Boathouse at Forest Park
The whole family, including Fido, can enjoy a walk, a paddle boat ride and then dinner at the Boathouse restaurant, where dogs are greeted at the outdoor dining area, with a fresh bowl of water and their very own treat. Join the Boathouse for Paddle with Your Pooch July 19. This dog-and-master boat race is a fundraiser for Forest Park Forever.
Boathouse at Forest Park is at 6101 Government Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63110. Call 314-367-2224.
AKC Museum of the Dog at Queeny Park
Talk about art imitating a dog's life! The AKC Museum of the Dog at Queeny Park is home to the world's finest collection of art devoted exclusively to man's best friend. You and your dog can gaze at more than 700 original works from paintings, sculpture, bronzes and decorative art. Start your outing on one of six trails in the 569-acre park and once your dogs are barking, head inside to the cool, captivating confines of a whole doggone museum.
The AKC Museum of the Dog at Queeny Park is at 1721 South Mason Road, St. Louis, MO, 63131. Call 314-821-3647.
Tower Grove Farmers' Market
What a great combination: farm-to-table foods and pet lovin' people. Dogs are welcome on Saturday mornings mid-April through November at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market where local vendors offer the freshest produce, meats and cheeses, plus artists and craftsmen display their wares. The park itself is nothing to snarl at either! Take the kids and the dog for a stroll around the Piper Palm House while you're in the neighborhood.
Tower Grove Farmers' Market is in Tower Grove Park west of the Whitaker Theater at the Pool Pavilion, 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63110.
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Fabulous trails, plenty of fresh air and world class art, the Laumeier Sculpture Park is an internationally recognized open-air museum. You can take a docent-led tour right along with your dog.
Laumeier Sculpture Park is at 12580 Rott Road, St. Louis, MO, 63127. Call 314-615-5278.
Park Avenue Coffee
Get your gooey butter cake on because Park Avenue Coffee is the place for the St. Louis confectionary delight after you've taken the kids and the dog on a walking tour through historic Lafayette Square. It's a great, locally owned and operated coffee house where adults can get a jolt of java and the kids can enjoy a smoothie or a bite of one of St. Louis' most famous sweet treats. Dogs just get a bone.
Park Avenue Coffee is at 1919 Park Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63104. Call 314-621-4020.
Canine Carnival in Tilles Park
Once the dog days of summer are over, be sure to check out the Canine Carnival held Oct. 4 at Tilles Park in Ladue. Kids will enjoy their own carnival games, activities and crafts. Dogs will enjoy games and fun, too. Visit with pets available for adoption and vendor booths. Proceeds benefit the Animal Protection Association of Missouri, a non-profit organization providing shelter and a second chance for lost and unwanted animals.
Canine Carnival is at Tilles Park, Litzsinger and McKnight in Ladue. Call 314-645-4610 for information or visit the Animal Protection Association website.
Purina Farms offers several great events for pups and their families, including Petapalooza Aug. 23 and Trunk and Treat for Pets and Kids is Oct. 31. They also offer periodic Pooch Playdates! Visit their calendar for more events.
Purina Farms is at 200 Checkerboard Drive, Gray Summit, MO, 63039. Call 314-982-3232.
Taubman Prestige Outlets in Chesterfield
Bring your furry friend on your next shopping trip. Over 30 stores at the Taubman Prestige Outlets allow your dog to come inside. Throughout the oudoor common areas you'll also find several "Dog Comfort Stations" featuring water and bag dispensers.
Taubman Prestige Outlets is at 17017 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield, MO 63005. Call 636-536-3014.
Dog Days at Area Pools
Several outdoor pools offer dog days to close out the summer pool season. At Chesterfield's Aquatic Center, pooches can dog paddle in the facility's pool during K-9 Splash Tuesday, Sept. 8, from 4:30-7 p.m. Dogs can also go for a dip at Dog Days of Summer at The Lodge Des Peres from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 8. Check the St. Louis Sprout & About pool guide or the Sprout calendar for more dog day events.
Editor's Note: You may be wondering: Why aren't any off-the-leash dog parks included in this article? Here's the deal. When you read the fine print in the park rules, most will not allow young children to enter. Dog parks do, however, offer great fun for dogs and their adult owners.
Jean Ellen Whatley is the author of "Off the Leash: A Woman, Her Dog and the Road Trip of a Lifetime;" a tale of triumph about a life changing, coast-to-coast road trip by a woman who faced her fears and risked everything she had to follow a dream. It became a transcendental journey, all inspired by her dog.
Best Bets articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues. Best Bets do not imply an endorsement of a business or activity.