By Lisa Payne-Naeger

Wait! Summer just started. How can it be almost over? Isn’t that always how it goes? All through the cold winter months, we anticipate, look forward to the lazy, hazy days of summer, hanging with the kids, swimming, bar-b-ques, and adventures that make new memories. Well, before summer is actually behind you, plan some last minute activities, with the family, to create some of those special 2017 summer memories that will stay with you forever.

Endangered Wolf Center
6750 Tyson Valley Road
Eureka, MO 63025
(636) 938-5900

Oh my gosh! What could be more exciting on a summer day than rubbing elbows with a wolf pack? This is and adventure you and your family will never forget. The Endangered Wolf Center, on the outside the St. Louis county limits is an adventure you can take with just a short drive from home. The staff at the Endangered Wolf Center can’t wait to introduce you to their Mexican, Red and Maned wolves in residence. Have your kids ever seen Swift Foxes, African Painted Dogs or Fennec Foxes? Have you? Well, you’ll see them here and learn about their preferred lifestyles an habitat. Plan our tour or even an overnight campout, if you’re brave enough. Bring your camera and save the experiences in time, forever. Do it! Your family will love the adventure. 

Big Joel’s Safari Petting Zoo And Educational Park
13187 State Highway M
Wright City, MO 63390
(636) 745-3031

Everyone should experience the thrill of a safari. The wild, and untamed world of exotic animals is actually right in your back yard, just a short drive west. Wright City is home to Big Joel’s Safari  where you and your family can have the thrill of a lifetime amidst animals from all over the world, and some from your own backyard. In fact, you’ve never experienced a petting zoo quite like this one. In between animal rides enjoy some time in the bounce house. Try out the Keet Shack, where you can feed the birds, and don’t miss Big Joel’s Special activities and Wagon Rides. It’s the perfect last minute activity before summer runs out.

Edison’s Entertainment Complex
2477 S. State Route 157
Edwardsville, IL 62025
(618) 307-9020

So, maybe you don’t have time to plan an elaborate family vacation before the summer’s end, but you always have time to pack up the kids for an impromptu evening at Edison’s Entertainment Complex. There is probably no better place to spend a great time with the family than Edison’s. A round in the laser tag is a great way to work up an appetite, which can be satisfied in the Eats and Drinks restaurant. There are 12 lanes of bowling fun and more than 55 games in the arcade. The kids will love it and you will too. Make some late summer memories, or just have some old fashioned fun before the kids go back to school.

Related: Free Fall Activities For Families In St. Louis

Grant’s Farm
10501 Gravois Road
St. Louis, MO 63123
(314) 843-1700

When was the last time you visited Grant’s Farm? If you haven’t enjoyed their great family atmosphere in a while, it’s time you got back there, with your family, and reacquaint yourself with the fun. A day touring the grounds, and having fun at the petting zoo and maybe even enjoying a cold frosty adult beverage that St. Louis is so famous for. The atmosphere, and history at Grant’s Farm is unique to our area and if you haven’t been for a visit in a while, you should plan a trip before school starts. Admission to the park is free. Parking is $12 per car. Don’t forget to save a dollar for goat food. It’s a highlight of the trip, along with camel rides/feeding, pony rides, paddle boats, and so much more.

Crown Candy Kitchen
1401 St. Louis Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63106
(314) 621-9650

Ok, let’s get serious about the ultimate kid friendly activity in St. Louis. The absolute best sweet treat place in the city has got to be Crown Candy Kitchen. Kids, young and not so young love the treats there and it’s a great place to have a dinner, dessert, with the family. They’re open every day except Sunday and they have a great sandwich menu with entrees starting at only $6.50. Now that dinner/lunch is out of the way, let’s get down to business. Oh my gosh, malts, shakes, sundaes and … candy! If you’ve never experienced a Crown Candy Kitchen sundae, well, you haven’t experienced St. Louis. No matter where you choose to book your last minute family outing, you definitely must top it off with a visit to Crown Candy Kitchen.

Related: Top End Of Summer Activities In St. Louis