St. Louis’ Biggest Events for 2018
Start planning now for exciting 2018 events, exhibits and festivals in St. Louis. Scroll down our month-by-month list and choose from a variety of annual favorites, special exhibits and more.
SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Gateway Arch (July 2018) – The freshly revamped museum beneath the Arch is set to reopen in July. The museum’s exhibits will teach about colonial St. Louis, westward expansion, life on the river’s banks, how the Arch was built, and more. The $176 million renovation and expansion of the Museum at the Gateway Arch is part of a $380 million overhaul of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The 380 million overhaul included new landscaping, renovations of Kiener Plaza, Park of the Highway and Luther Ely Smith Square, the Riverfront and the new museum.
Saint Louis Art Museum (March 25 – September 25) – The Saint Louis Art Museum will host the North American premier of Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds, an exhibit showcasing antiquities from one of the greats finds in the history of underwater archaeology. The most significant exhibition of ancient Egyptian art undertaking in St. Louis in more than 50 years, Sunken Cities features colossal, 17 foot tall sculptures and precious artifacts from the long-lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus.
Saint Louis Science Center (April 14 – September 3) – Visit the Saint Louis Science Center for Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, featuring the iconic command module, Columbia, on its first tour in more than 46 years. The Science Center is one of just four institutions in the country to hose the expedition , which also highlights artifacts from the historic mission that landed man on the moon.
The Loop Trolley (Early 2018) – Track down fun aboard the new Loop Trolley. Traveling a 2.2-mile fixed route between The Loop and Forest Park, vintage-style cars glide along The Loop neighborhood’s Delmar Boulevard, one of the top 10 streets in America, known for its lively entertainment venues, unique shops and restaurants. Hop off to follow two stelar streetside attractions: the St. Louis Walk of Fame and The Loop Planetary Walk.
Missouri Botanical Garden (Opens June 2018) – In 2018, visit the Garden for multimedia evening experience. By day, a botanical garden is a place of beauty and family enjoyment. But by night, a botanical garden becomes a wondrous place of mystery and dreams. Colors change. The perfume of flowers grows stronger. Shadows create illusions. Under the moonlight and starshine, another world comes to life. This exhibit creates a continuous path of interactive destinations with lighting and projections. Interpretive elements will highlight the wonders of the garden at night
The Muny (June 11 – August 12) – America’s oldest and largest outdoor theater, celebrates 100 years of presenting the best of broadway under the stars. the centennial summer season showstoppers include: Meet Me in St. Louis, Annie, Gypsy, Jersey Boys, Singin’ in the Rain, Broadway and The Wiz.
The Missouri History Museum (June 9 – June 2, 2019) The curtain rises at the Missouri History Museum’s uny Memories: 100 Seasons on STage exhibit, which stays in the spotlight for a full year. Theatre buffs can reminisce over highlights of past performances, hear the recollections of famous performers who played there and take a star turn learning a son and dance or two.
The Saint Louis Zoo – More than the bare necessities are available to Huckleberry and Finley, the Saint Louis Zoo’s two new Grizzly bear toddlers. The brother and sister bears welcome visitors to watch them frolic in their brand-new Grizzly Ridge habitat. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer glimpses of the furry duo playing amidst rocky bluffs and water features including a waterfall and splash pools. The Grizzly Ridge exhibit is the result of a complete re-do of the Zoo’s historic 1920s-era bear grottoes.
Hamilton (April 3 – 22) – The national tour of this contagious Broadway musical is coming to the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
Six Flag St. Louis (Spring 2018) – Debuting in the spring, the Typhoon Twister, a new water thrill, is heading to Hurricane Harbor. The ride features four-person rafts that careen widley into a 125-foot-long whirlpool bowl that spins riders around 360 degrees before the bottom drops out, sending guest plummeting down an enclosed five story drop.. Storm chasers will then be propelled up a 45-foot zero-gravity wave wall to experience moments of weightlessness before falling back down and shooting out into the splash pool below.
Events Month by Month
The Loop Ice Carnival (January 12 – 14) – Discover the charming neighborhood of University City and the dozens of family friendly activities that await you at The Loop Ice Carnival including game booths, ice slides, ice carving demonstrations and more.
STL Motorcycle Show (January 13 – 14) – Motorcycle enthusiasts from across the region will be rolling into America’s Center for the STL Motorcycle Show, where hundreds of new bikes will be on display, including performances by six-time National Trials Rider Champion Pat Smage.
St. Louis Auto Show (January 25 – 28) – If you’re looking for a new car or just wanting to see the latest and greatest from automakers from around the world, then don’t miss the Saint Louis Auto Show at America’s Center. The show will feature hundreds of new cars and trucks, drifting by Vaughn Gittin Jr. and a concert by Big and Rich.
Soulard Mardi Gras (January 6 – February 13) – The soulard neighborhood plays host to the third largest Mardi Gras Festival in the World. The festivities kick off on Jan. 6, also known as 12th night (12 days after Christmas), and pack in a whopping 11 events through Fat Tuesday, including the Family Carnival, Snow Ball Softball Tournament, Wine & Whiskey Taste, Cajun Cook-off, Taste of Soulard, Beggin’ Pet Parade, pub crawls and of course, the main event, Grand Parade Day.
Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Championship (March 1 – 4) – Cheer on your favorite teams during the annual ArchMadness Missouri Valley Tournament. Don’t have tickets? Head over to Come by Ballpark Village, the official Valley Fan Hangout for the Missouri Valley Conference Arch Madness and catch all the games on the largest screen in the region at FOX Sports Midwest Live!
GO! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend (April 6 – 8) – This race continues to attract over 25,000 participants internationally. The Family Fitness Weekend features events and races for people of all ages and fitness abilities including a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 5K run/walk, children’s fun runs, and fitness expo. Marathoners start downtown and run past St. Louis landmarks including Busch Stadium, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Forest Park and more
St. Louis Earth Day Festival (April 21 – 22) – The annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park is an opportunity for the community to celebrate the Earth while learning about resources, products and services that enable practicing Earth Day every day. Enjoy three stages of entertainment, local food, 200+ booths, and hands-on activities for the whole family.
Circus Flora (April 19 – May 13) – St. Louis’ intimate one-ring circus offers a unique circus experience under an air-conditioned Big Top.
Art Fair at Laumeier (May 11 – 13) – A nationally acclaimed fine art and crafts fair featuring national artists representing clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking/drawing, sculpture and wood with live music, entertainment, demonstrations, food, a beer and wine garden, the Creation Station kids’ area and more
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis (May 31 – June 24) – Watch Shakespeare under the stars in beautiful Forest Park. Bring blankets or chairs for lawn seating and pack a picnic or enjoy a box dinner from the on-site caterer. Come early for the traditional Green Show where dancers, musicians, jugglers and other entertainers interact with the audience. This years performance is “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
PrideFest St. Louis (June 22 – 24) – PrideFest is an annual celebration of gay, lesbian, and transgender culture. The festival includes a parade with floats and contingents, twenty hours of live entertainment ranging from pop, disco, jazz, rock, country and rap.
Fair Saint Louis (July 4, 6, 7) – St. Louis’ annual 4th of July bash returns to its original home at the Gateway Arch this year. The annual celebrations features nationally-known artists, food and beverage options, and a spectacular fireworks displays.
Let Them Eat Art (July 13) – Maplewood’s whimsical tribute to Bastille Day. This is where Mardi Gras meets the Christmas Tree Walk. Take a self-guided tour through the streets of historic downtown Maplewood where you will find live art demonstrations, music, entertainment and surprises. Enjoy food and drink specials streetside from Maplewood’s award-winning restaurants and food purveyors.
St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival (July 14) – Enjoy live music, gourmet food and have a chance to sample more than 100 beer styles from local brewers including Schlafly, O’Fallon Brewery Six Row Brewing Company, Morgan Street Brewery, Anheuser-Busch, and Square One.
PGA Championship (August 6 – 12) – The PGA Championship is coming to Bellerive Country Club in 2018 2018. Be there in-person to watch one of the strongest fields in golf compete for the coveted Wanamaker trophy in the 100th edition of this historic Major.
Bommarito Automotive 500 Verizon IndyCar Series Race (August 25) – The Bommarito Automotive returns to Gateway Motorsports in 2018. The 2018 edition of the INDYCAR race at GMP promises to be bigger and better — with more entertainment for the fans — and will start one hour earlier. Coors Light Pole Night qualifying is slated for August 24, 2018.
Festival of Nations (August 26 – 27) – This multiethnic celebration features traditional dance, music, ethnic food, cultural and educational exhibits, folk art demonstrations, and an international market.
Japanese Festival (September 1 – 3) – A celebration of Japanese culture that includes tours of the Japanese garden, art exhibitions, traditional processions, tea ceremonies, kimono demonstrations, traditional music and dancing, arts and crafts, Ikebana, Bonsai, martial arts, karaoke, theatrical performances, cooking demonstrations, food booths and more.
Big Muddy Blues Festival (September 1 – 2) – St. Louis’ only blues festival takes place each year on Laclede’s Landing, a historic district along the Mississippi River. National and local bands perform on multiple outdoor stages during the two-day event.
Saint Louis Art Fair (September 7 – 9) – If you want to see one of the best art fairs in the country, head to Clayton Business District for the annual St. Louis Art Fair. This three day exhibition of visual and performing arts features the fine art works from 181 nationally recognized artists.
LouFest Music Festival (September 8 – 9) – A sustainable music festival for all-ages featuring national and local bands on three stages, food and retail and for the youngest fans there is Area K, a special area filled with music, magic, kid-friendly food, and more.
Great Forest Park Balloon Race (September 14 – 15) – Festivities begin with a balloon glow on Friday night and race day (Saturday) activities include a children’s entertainment area and a photo contest prior to the launch of the hare and hound balloons. Bring a picnic and enjoy the day!
Taste of St. Louis (September 14 – 16) – The Taste of St. Louis is an award-winning celebration of the best food, art, music and culture our great city has to offer. A Grand Tasting Event, 30+ Restaurants, Culinary Competitions, an Art & Wine Walk, the Chef Battle Royale, Amphitheatre Shows (ticketed attraction), Kid City and so much more.
Q in the Lou (September 29 – October 1st) – Bar-b-que lovers can enjoy all their favorites at Q in the Lou in Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis. The three-day festival features top BBQ chefs from all over the country cooking up their most popular recipes, great live music, and of course, the best barbecue in America.
Annual Historic Shaw Art Fair (October 6 – 8) – Check out art from 135 exhibitors as you stroll along the Historic Shaw district at the Shaw Art Fair Oct. 4 and 5. Admire the surrounding architecture, walk your dog, enjoy fare from food vendors and bring the kids for fun in the activity tent. Proceeds benefit the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association.
Best of Missouri Market (October 6 – 8) – More than 130 Missouri food producers and craftsmen gather to offer fresh produce, baked goods, fresh and dried flowers, herbs, handcrafted items, baskets, wooden toys, custom jewelry and more. Features live music and a Kids Corner.
St. Louis International Film Festival (November 2 – 12) – This film festival showcases the very best in cutting-edge features and shorts from around the globe. The majority of the more than 400+ films screened – many of them critically lauded award-winners – will receive their only St. Louis exposure at the festival.
Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights (November 17) – The always anticipated Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights helps ring in the holiday season with musical entertainment, children’s activities, vendors, and fireworks that follow the annual lighting of the Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights
Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 22) – The Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade takes to the streets of downtown on November 23 at 8:45 am with over 130 parade units, including musical floats, displays, giant helium balloon figures, local marching bands and an appearance by Santa Claus to wish everyone at Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. Prior to the parade, runners of all ages will be hitting the streets for the annual Turkey Trot 5K.
Tillis Park Winter Wonderland (November 22 – December 30) – Don’t miss your chance to see one of the most popular Christmas light displays in the area. For over 30 years, Tilles Park in St. Louis County has been making memories for families across the region with its Winter Wonderland. The park is filled with millions of twinkling lights and various holiday scenes.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights (November 16-Jan. 1) – Experience the wonder of the Budweiser Clydesdales, s’mores roasting on an open fire, thousands of twinkling lights and one monumental display of holiday spirit.
Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden (November 18 – Jan 1; Exhibit Closed Dec. 24 and 25) – Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden at night surrounded by a spectacle of unique light installations. Hundreds of thousands of lights will adorn some of the Garden’s most iconic locations including the Climatron®, Kaeser Memorial Maze, the Central Axis and Tower Grove House. Walkways will be transformed into an explosion of visual magic, while more traditional displays will delight crowds of all ages.
Holiday in the Park (November 18-Jan.1) – This holiday season Six Flags St. Louis becomes a magical winter wonderland featuring thousands of colorful lights throughout the park, show stopping performances to get you into the Holiday spirit, and personalized meet-and-greets with Santa and his helpers.
Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park (December – January) – Always a holiday and seasonal favorite is a visit to Steinberg Ice Rink in Forest Park. It is the largest outdoor skating rink in the Midwest and is open to the public every day of the week, including holidays.
To see a full listing of all St. Louis events, festivals, special exhibits and theater performances events taking place in St. Louis in 2018, visit explorestlouis.com/events