Summer Polar Vortex Hits St. Louis: 10 Outdoor Activities To Do Before It's Hot Again

Jul 16, 2014 at 6:00 am
Now this is how you spend a summer polar vortex, St. Louis. - Foolish Cross via Flickr
Now this is how you spend a summer polar vortex, St. Louis.

If only the polar vortex came every summer -- and never in the winter.

After a demoralizing and brutal winter under the icy thumb of the polar vortex, St. Louis is feeling a similar weather pattern that's capping summer temperatures at a pleasant 80 degrees.

It's not exactly a polar vortex, because the air mass cooling us off is coming from western Canada, not directly from the arctic, meteorologists tell the Associated Press. But with temperatures this nice, who cares?

See also: 25 Reasons to Love Summer in St. Louis

In honor of the season's uncharacteristically lovely weather, Daily RFT whipped up ten outdoor activities -- the kind that St. Louisans endure in the dog days of summer but that are so much more fun without sweat rags and dehydration.

Here are our suggestions for the best way to enjoy this week's "polar vortex":

1. Go to Grant's Farm.

When the weather got cooler, all of St. Louis seemed to have the same idea: LET'S GO TO THE ZOO! And while we support that idea -- especially for anyone who hasn't seen the new River's Edge exhibit -- it means that Forest Park, and especially the zoo itself, are jam-packed. So why not hop just over the city boundary to Grant's Farm, feed some baby goats, admire the Budweiser Clydesdales and then knock back a beer while listening to polka music? It's like being in some rich beer-lover's private zoo.

2. Take a carriage ride downtown.

Horse-and-carriage rides may be nixed from downtown soon, so this week's unusually cool weather is your last chance to ride in comfort.

City health director Pam Walker was walking her dog downtown Saturday night when she saw a horse that looked like it was suffering from heatstroke, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This week, she's been pushing to ban the practice over the protests of the horses owners: Luckily, there's no 102 degree heat index this week.

See also: RIP King the Clydesdale: Tilles Park Winter Wonderland Carriage Horse Dies During Ride

3. Wait in line at Crown Candy Kitchen.

Summer Polar Vortex Hits St. Louis: 10 Outdoor Activities To Do Before It's Hot Again
Ian Froeb

If there's ever been a week to endure the long line of hungry, loyal customers outside this north-side delight, it's this week. You won't mind the wait with cool breezes blowing and the sun shining, and once you're inside, BLTs with mounds of bacon await. Don't forget to try the malts!

4. Make the world greener.

Let the fruits of your labor be actual fruit. Gateway Greening maintains a record 220 community gardens across the city, thanks to thousands of volunteer gardeners. Pitch in on your own nearby neighborhood garden or help train and direct youngsters at one of the 90 youth-run gardens in town. With the weather this nice, you'll have no excuse!

See also: 6 Ways to Spend Summer Making St. Louis a Better Place

5. See a movie outside.

This cool summer weather is supposed to turn into rain by the weekend, so may we suggest heading out of the city for a weeknight showing of Mary Poppins in Grafton, Illinois. The adorable Piasa Winery and Pub shows movies at 7 p.m. every Wednesday all summer long. This week's flick features the all-knowing nanny and her dancing chimney sweep, and upcoming movies include Clueless, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Five more on page two!