O'Fallon, Mo., is a beautiful place to call home, full of history and excitement. Since being voted one of the 100 "Best Places to Live" in 2017 , O'Fallon has been lauded for its affordability and high quality of life. If you're looking for family fun in this city, it's safe to say you don't have to look far.
From cardboard boat races to trampoline parks to three-day holiday celebrations, you'll find plenty of family fun in O'Fallon!
1. Have Fun in the Sun at Alligator's Creek Aquatic Center
This outdoor aquatic center is located in O'Fallon's Civic Park and open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Visitors are offered the choice of daily admission or season passes. You can also opt for swim lessons, attend promotional days and rent the facility for birthday parties or special events. Features of the Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center include:
- A bathhouse
- A concession stand
- A lazy river
- A splash pad for kids
- A floating bridge
- An interactive water playground
- Three water slides
- A diving board
- A family-friendly whirlpool
- A pool with lap lanes
Summer memberships allow you to save money and encourage your whole family to stay active. As a season pass holder, you can receive free admission for as many as five guests on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
The aquatic center offers several promotional days throughout the season with tons of fun for the family! Here are a few events to add to your calendar:
- Honor Roll Day: Kids with a GPA of 3.0 or higher swim for free! Any student from kindergarten through high school is eligible when they bring in their report card.
- Father's Day: To show dads some appreciation, the aquatic center admits them for free on Father’s Day.
- Sunglasses Day: The early bird gets the worm –– or in this case, a pair of sunglasses. The first 75 guests on Sunglasses Day receive a free pair of shades!
- Mermaids and Mates: Search for treasure, make crafts, go swimming and take part in the mermaid- and pirate-themed games during the Mermaids and Mates event.
This is a stop you won't want to miss, so make sure to drop by before it closes for the season.
2. Take Your Dog Swimming
That's right –– bring your dog to Alligator's Creek Aquatic Center for the annual Pool Paws Dog Swim Day, where your canine companion can enjoy a dip at the swimming center. Funds raised through the event go to the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, and your furry friend will love paddling through the pool and playing in the waterspouts. Everyone wins!
3. Paddle Your Cardboard Boat
Every July, Alligator's Creek Aquatic Center also hosts the Cardboard Boat Race where participants paddle for prizes in their vessels made of cardboard and duct tape. Think you're up to the challenge? Grab a family member or friend to establish your two-person crew and row for the finish line! All ages are welcome, and your team may just have a chance at winning an award, including Best Decorated Boat, the Titanic Award and Fastest Boat.
Following the Cardboard Boat Race is the Battleship Boat Challenge, in which teams of two use buckets to sink their opponent's boat. These events are sure to be a blast for the whole family!
4. Visit Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to bring the family to explore some natural wonder. This refuge is home to mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish in their natural environments, such as forests, water, prairies and wetlands. There's no better place to spend your day, especially for your young wilderness explorers.
5. See a Play
In 2001, a theatrical troupe formed called O'FallonTheatreWorks . In 2017, the group was awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Catch one of their productions at O'Fallon Municipal Centre –– a musical in the spring, a drama and comedy in the fall and a youth production in the summer. Enjoy with the whole family!
6. Attend the O'Fallon Fall Fest
Every October in Civic Park, O'Fallon ushers in the fall season with the O'Fallon Fall Fest . Bring the kids to enjoy the food, shopping, bluegrass concerts, a kid zone and plenty more! Join 20,000 others to celebrate the transition into autumn at this free event.
7. Race in the O'Fallon Fall Run
If you have a few runners in your family, the O'Fallon Fall Run may be the perfect family fun event for you. All ages can participate in these 5K and 10K races in early October. Participants can run at their own pace, starting and ending at City Hall. The first 300 people to register will receive shirts. Race participants can also compete in a pirate costume contest, so be sure to dress up. At this Fall Run, there's something fun for everyone!
8. Run in the Fourth of July 5K
The city of O'Fallon's Firecracker Run 5K on the Fourth of July is another popular race event that includes a "Runners Only" area after the race. Bring the family and take advantage of the all-you-can-eat area exclusive to runners after you've burned all those calories and worked up a sweat.
9. Attend the Celebration of Lights
This huge holiday event makes one of the most magical times of the year even brighter. The Celebration of Lights attracts more than 10,000 vehicles a year from Thanksgiving to Christmas at Fort Zumwalt Park, and 5,000 people participate in the Old-Fashioned Holiday Stroll at Christmastime. Every Monday, attendees can enjoy hayrides on a wagon, train or sleigh. Bring the whole family to revel in this wonderful holiday celebration!
10. View the Lillian Yahn Gallery
For families interested in art, visiting the Lillian Yahn Gallery should be on your list of things to do in O’Fallon. Artwork by local professionals and students is featured here and new exhibitions are displayed every six to eight weeks. The Arts Council Boutique is also located in the gallery and offers arts, crafts and gift items created by members. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, so be sure to bring the family by!
11. Play Disc Golf
O’Fallon’s disc golf course, known as The Fort , is a scenic, 18-hole course that circles through Fort Zumwalt Park. Free scorecards are provided, there’s no charge to play and the course is open to all ages during park hours. Set your own pace over the open fairway and hills and enjoy a fun game with the family!
12. Tour O’Fallon Historical Society's Log Cabin Museum
Admission is free and tours are available by appointment at O’Fallon Historical Society’s Log Cabin Museum . Learn about the museum’s artifacts and O’Fallon’s history from experienced guides.
Some artifacts you’ll find during your tour include a replica of Zumwalt’s Fort the size of a dollhouse, a folding bed used in covered wagon travel, Wabash Railroad items, an organ that was used at funerals and weddings, an immigrant’s trunk and 19th-century clothes and hats. If your family is curious about the history behind your city, schedule a tour at the Log Cabin Museum.
13. Visit the Veterans Memorial Walk
In 2001, the Veterans Memorial Walk was dedicated as a place to honor U.S. soldiers. Thousands of people visit each year to view the bronze boots lined up in a marching position. Bring the family to walk the path, see the flame that burns continuously and view the single pair of boots that sit at the foot of the POW/MIA flag. The Walk is open for free to the public 24/7. You can also attend public ceremonies on days such as Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, POW/MIA Remembrance Day and Veterans Day. For a day of remembrance and commemoration, visit the Veterans Memorial Walk with your family.
14. View the 9/11 Memorial
After the Veterans Memorial Walk, view the 17-foot memorial that was dedicated to America’s first responders on September 11, 2005. Next, make a stop inside City Hall to see a part of the World Trade Center's steel core in a display case. At these stops, the whole family can learn about our nation’s recent history.
15. Explore Zumwalt's Fort
For the aspiring historians and history buffs in your family, this is the perfect site in O’Fallon to visit! Zumwalt’s Fort is full of history. This settler fort is one of more than 35 in Missouri. During the War of 1812, American settlers sought refuge from Native Americans at the home of Jacob Zumwalt and his family.
In 2015, the reconstruction of the fort opened, presented by the O’Fallon Community Foundation as a gift to the city. Details and information are provided at the site about the people who lived in the O’Fallon area in the days when it was part of the American frontier.
Zumwalt's Fort is open for tours at the end of May to the end of September. Admission is $5 a person and free for children 10 and under, which makes it the perfect, affordable site for families to visit.
16. Brendan's Playground
O'Fallon partnered with a local not-for-profit known as Unlimited Play, Inc. in late 2010 to raise funds for the city's first all-inclusive playground . The playground is named after an O'Fallon resident, Brendan Schmitt, and is located in Westhoff Park. This playground allows all kids to play and have fun. Bring the kids for some fun on the playground!
17. Attend the Heritage and Freedom Fest
O’Fallon’s three-day Fourth of July celebration attracts between 100,000 and 150,000 people every year. Admission is free, parking is free, and shuttle service is free during the last two days.
Family Night is July 2 and includes a carnival and midway , where you can eat carnival food like cotton candy and corn dogs, play games and enjoy carnival rides. Country Music Night is July 3 and Rock 'n Roll is on July 4. These final two nights include concerts, fireworks displays, free kids' activities, sideshows and carnival rides. This is the kind of holiday celebration you and your family won't want to miss!
18. Eat up at the Food Truck Frenzy
Take a trip with your taste buds by enjoying some food truck offerings , activities for kids, and live music at locations throughout O’Fallon. You'll find some of your favorite local restaurants in food trucks during this time of year. These food and boutique trucks include:
- Angie Burger
- Cardinal Nation
- Dough Boys
- Gloria's Unique Boutique
- Good News Brewing
- Half Baked Cookie Dough
- Kona Ice
- Locoz Tacos
- Rendezvous Café & Wine Bar
- Sarah's Cake Stop
- Savor the Southwest
- St. LouisianaQ
- Thai Jasmine
- Treats Unleashed
Find your favorites and enjoy some of the best food O'Fallon has to offer! Admission and parking are free, so all you need to bring is some chairs and your appetite. This is an event in O'Fallon the whole family is sure to enjoy.
19. Sign up for a Family Membership at the Gateway Region YMCA
Community meets fitness at the Gateway Region YMCA. We offer fitness classes, recreational programs, and gym and pool access, so your family can have fun while getting some exercise!
With membership, you can enjoy many amazing benefits , including:
- Free child watch for household members
- Free group exercise classes
- Free aquatic fitness classes
- Free youth and family classes
- Free health and wellness consultation
- Free towels, wifi and coffee
- Personal training
- Indoor pool, gym and track
At the Gateway Region YMCA, our focus is on the value of membership. We are community-oriented and offer something for everyone at any age, which means you can bring the whole family! Try us out to see if the Y is the right place for you and your family. You can get started on your membership application and register for programs you're interested in online today.
Find Your New Favorite Family Activity Today
O'Fallon, Mo., boasts an abundance of family-friendly activities and events to keep your family busy and having fun all year long! Whether you're spending the day in the water, learning about your city's history, admiring the Christmas lights from a hayride or getting fit at the Y, your family will always find something interesting to do in this scenic city. For all of your fitness needs, we are here for you at the Gateway Region YMCA! Visit us in O'Fallon, Mo. , to get started on the fun!