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8 Downtown Activities for Kids

With the cooling weather and changing leaves, Downtown Cape Girardeau is the perfect spot for a day with the family. Check out some of the cool activities available in the coming months!

1. Discovery Playhouse

The founders of Discovery Playhouse bring fun, educational experiences to Downtown Cape Girardeau. Located at 502 Broadway, this children's museum has two floors filled with interactive exhibits ideal for kids ages 11 and younger. Established in 2006 by a group of community leaders, the museum moved into their current home in 2010 and have been molding minds and imaginations ever since. Kids enjoy exhibits that allow them to learn as they play, with opportunities to engage in life experiences like shopping for groceries, harvesting veggies, becoming a dentist or even milking a cow! Discovery Playhouse is open Tuesday-Sunday, and is available for large group outings, birthday parties or just a day spent with the family! Check out their website here.

2. Cape Riverfront Market

Saturday mornings are always best spent at the Cape Riverfront Market downtown on Spanish Street. Find amazing local produce, baked goods and artisan crafts in a laid-back, family environment. Teach kids how to make healthy meals or grow their own vegetables at the market demonstration booth.

From live music to ice cold lemonade to giant handmade doughnuts, Cape Riverfront Market has a little something for everyone. The heart of the community shines bright every Saturday from 8am-Noon starting in May and lasting until the end of October. Catch the end of this year’s season in the remaining weekends and plan ahead for fun next year!

3. Heritage Days

This fall, plan for a brand new kind of family fun with the first ever Cape Girardeau Heritage Days! Experience the rich history of Cape Girardeau during a weekend of special activities downtown. It all kicks off Friday, September 30, at 6:30pm with a free concert at the Common Pleas Courthouse Gazebo, and gets better from there. Saturday is packed full of fun with events starting at 10am and running throughout the day until 5pm. Sunday has a shorter schedule from 11am until 4pm, but just as many cool attractions will take place! Tour the flag house on Normal Street, have tea in the carriage house at the Glenn House on Lorimier and hang out with your local firefighters at the Cape River Heritage Museum for children’s music and games. Families won’t want to miss out on this free weekend of culture and fun! For a full itinerary and participating attractions, click here!

4. The LST Ship Memorial

Don’t miss the chance to experience floating history as it docks in Cape Girardeau from September 29-October 3! This LST-325 WWII ship was launched on 27 October 1942 and has been on the move ever since. She now serves as a memorial to honor the men and women of WWII, and as an educational tool for younger generations. Tours of the ship are self-guided and run all day from 9am-5pm from Friday-Monday. Experience a piece of our nation’s history with your family on the riverfront in Downtown Cape Girardeau! Click here for a full history of the ship and its schedule for the year.

5. First Friday With the Arts

Nothing says Fall quite like a Halloween-themed night at First Friday with the Arts in Downtown Cape! On October 7, put on your scariest mask or your prettiest tiara and experience the first taste of Halloween with the family! This year, the Arts Council if Southeast Missouri is hosting Trick Art Treat during First Friday festivities. Show off your outfit in the costume contest, get in the Halloween spirit with spooky ghost stories or a fun hay ride and, of course, snag some candy during the Trick or Treat Art Walk! First Friday begins at 5pm the first Friday of every month and businesses and galleries stay open until 9pm. Explore your community and support local galleries and small businesses while having a blast! For a full list of participating businesses and galleries, click here!

6. Indian Park

With the weather finally cooling off, few places are better for family fun than local parks. This fall, check out Indian Park located at William and Lorimier Street in Downtown Cape. This park is the perfect size for a day out on the playground, a family picnic in the pavilion or a friendly game or two of basketball on the courts. Return to the simplicity of being together outdoors and plan a park day before winter arrives!

7. Red House Interpretive Center

Ever wondered what's in the little cottage off of Main Street in historic downtown Cape Girardeau? Well stop wondering and go see the Red House Interpretive Center for yourself! The center commemorates the life of community founder Louis Lorimier, the visit of Lewis & Clark in 1803 and the lives of early settlers of the old Cape Girardeau district. Learn and interact with the history of the town and those who came first. The Red House Interpretive Center is open May-October on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. Admission is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children. For updates on programs and what’s new with the center, click here!

8. Family Dinner

After a long day of fun at all the downtown attractions, unwind with a delicious family dinner at a local restaurant. Cape’s downtown cuisine is unmatched, and the perfect opportunity to try something new! However, kids aren’t always as adventurous with their food choices, so we’ve made a quick list of downtown eats with a menu just for the little ones! Get a pasta fix at Bella Italia, spice things up at Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine, try your luck at Katy O’Ferrell’s, fill up on fries at Stevie’s Steakburger and as the perfect end to a perfect day downtown, visit Port Cape Girardeau’s walk-up window on the Riverfront for some hand-dipped ice cream.

There are all kinds of family-oriented, fun-filled activities available in Downtown Cape Girardeau, so take advantage of them and make the most of this season!

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