Now that it’s the middle of June, the excitement of the beginning of summer has dwindled and kids are starting to get bored. I have rounded up a list of events, places, and activities in downtown Cape to keep kids of any age entertained all summer long. Moms, dads, grandparents, babysitters, and any other caregivers—feel free to keep this list nearby as a cheat sheet whenever your kids get antsy! (You will see repeats on the list because many of the events and places will be of interest to kids of any kind.)
For the history buffs and intellectuals…
1. Little Free Library (all ages) @ 235 Broadway, Cape Girardeau MO https://littlefreelibrary.org/
Pick a book from the little box (and leave another in its place, if possible), and read in the nearby First Presbyterian Church’s Peace Park or historic Ivers Square.
2. Heritage Hall (tweens & teens) https://www.kellermanfoundation.org/
Museum highlighting local history with great resources, documents, and historians; for kids interested, ask and see about possible volunteering opportunities (Facebook updated regularly).
3. State Historical Society of Missouri (tweens & teens) https://shsmo.org/about/capegirardeau/
Contact ahead of time to schedule a visit or to do research of the area; possible volunteer opportunities, too.
4. Historic Old St. Vincent’s Catholic Church (tweens & teens) http://www.oldstvincents.org/Home/
Unique & beautiful historic architecture; museum and tours available Saturday afternoons.
5. Red House Interpretive Center (around age 6 & up) http://www.orgsites.com/mo/redhouseinterpretivecenter/ & https://www.cityofcapegirardeau.org/departments/parks/Facilities/red_house_interpretive_center
Learn about the man who established Cape, Louis Lorimier, in the house and gardens.
6. Crisp Museum (around age 6 & up) @ SEMO’s River Campus https://semo.edu/museum/
Take your kids to see the home of the Southeast Explorer bus that visits their school; museum focuses on Archaeology & History of area Native Americans; check out Education page & the Make and Take activities for July & August (follow on Facebook for updates).
7. Cape River Heritage Museum (around age 6 & up) @ the Historic Fire and Police Station https://www.visitcape.com/discover/cape-river-heritage-museum/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Cape-River-Heritage-Museum-171305849554228/
Exhibits on Cape G’s history; fantastic riverboat history/diagrams; huge, life-size historic firetruck inside.
Amazing Victorian Era architecture & gardens; rotating exhibits or showcased pieces; excellent tour guides (Facebook updated regularly).
9. Fort D Historic Site (all ages) http://fortdhistoricsite.com/fortd/welcome.htm
Attend the 4th of July event of reenactments & cannon fire from Civil War period.
For the art lovers and creative types…
1. Board & Brush Creative Studio (kid parties: 6-12; teen parties: 12-15) https://boardandbrush.com/private-events/
Great birthday party option; out-of-the-ordinary group event for teens; learn new hands-on skills & get to take creations home; must create own private event for kids/teens.
2. Discovery Playhouse Summer Camps (ages 8-11) https://www.facebook.com/discoveryplayhousecape/photos/pcb.10157131329369242/10157131327289242/?type=3&theater
Check out the Photography summer camp going on July 15-19th.
3. “Cape Be You” Urban Festival hosted by Fingerprint Urban Dance Studio (all ages) https://www.facebook.com/events/337422960463893/
All day Saturday, June 29th in the parking lot behind Fingerprint Urban Dance Studio; dance battles, studio recitals, skate competition, hip-hop concert, and more (follow on Facebook for updates)
4. Arts Council of Southeast Missouri & First Friday with the Arts (all ages) http://www.capearts.org/Default.aspx & https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Explore the downtown outdoor sculpture exhibit; the next First Friday is coming up on July 5th with many downtown art galleries open late showing new exhibits.
5. SEMO Summer Camps (ages 5 & up) https://semo.edu/camps/index.html
Check out Arts Academy camps for kids & teens; Redhawks Kids Camp also offer week-long camps that are different each week; Horizons camps offer unique, nontraditional educational summer camps like sewing.
6. Cape Riverfront Market – Saturday mornings 8 am-12 pm through October (all ages) https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Find local, hand-made crafts like jewelry, artwork, and flower arrangements each week (social media updates each week for specific vendors).
7. Catapult Creative House (all ages) https://catapultsemo.com/
Art exhibits in the Gallery; locally made artistic products in The Shoppe; keep an eye out for visiting artists & workshops in the Catapult Press.
8. On Cue Performing Arts Studio Musical Theater Summer Camps (ages 12-18) https://www.oncueperformingartsstudio.com/summer-schedule
Coming up in July, there are musical theater camps with themes ranging from Wicked to The Hunchback of Notre Dame to Les Misérables.
9. Crisp Museum (around age 6 & up) @ SEMO’s River Campus https://semo.edu/museum/
Locally created & rotating art exhibits.
10. Season Closer of Tunes at Twilight @ Ivers Square (all ages) https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Your creative child is sure to be inspired by this free outdoor concert at Ivers Square! Bring them at 7 pm for a live Bluegrass performance!
For the aspiring chefs…
1. Gabriel’s Food + Wine Kids Cooking Classes (all ages) https://www.gabrielsfoodandwine.com/cooking-class-cape-girardeau/kids-cooking-classes/
Contact to schedule a class; kids can learn to cook pizza or pasta.
2. Little Free Library (all ages) @ 235 Broadway
Have your little chef keep an eye out for cookbooks and the like.
3. Cape Riverfront Market – Saturday mornings (all ages) https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Find fresh, locally grown ingredients for new recipes.
4. Catapult Creative House (all ages) https://catapultsemo.com/
Check out the unique menu items at Fuel created by SEMO Hospitality Management students; give young cooks the opportunity to learn about future career possibilities.
5. SEMO Summer Camps (ages 5-14) https://semo.edu/camps/index.html
Hurry & contact to see if there are any spots left in the Horizon cooking classes next week for both the 5-8 age group & 9-14 age group.
For the mad scientists…
1. Discovery Playhouse (6 months & up) https://www.discoveryplayhouse.org/
First floor exhibits made for 6 months old to 8 years old & 2nd floor made for 8 years & older; educational, real-life, & fun exhibits for all ages.
Discovery Playhouse Summer Camps (ages 5-8 & 8-11) https://www.facebook.com/discoveryplayhousecape/photos/pcb.10157131329369242/10 157131327289242/?type=3&theater
Space, Meteorology, and Science camps coming in July
2. SEMO Summer Camps (grades 1-6; ages 5-8; & ages 9-14) https://semo.edu/camps/index.html
The Redhawks Kids camps offers space, sea, STEM & careers, and animals & plant week-long camps. Horizons has camps including app creation, coding, Minecraft, 3D modeling, robotics, intro to the medical field, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, & vampires for each age group. (I wish I was young enough to go to some of these camps!)
3. Little Free Library (all ages) @ 235 Broadway
You never know what book you may find in this ever changing library or what your little scientist could learn from it!
4. Crisp Museum (around ages 6 & up) @ SEMO’s River Campus https://semo.edu/museum/
Let your scientist learn about the science that goes into archaeology & how they can use their interests in all kinds of ways (& in the back yard)
For the one who will go to anywhere as long as it’s outdoors…
1. “Cape Be You” Urban Festival hosted by Fingerprint Urban Dance Studio (all ages) https://www.facebook.com/events/337422960463893/
Check out this high-energy, all-day event in the parking lot behind the dance studio
2. Arts Council of Southeast Missouri & First Friday with the Arts (all ages) http://www.capearts.org/Default.aspx & https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Search for all of the sculptures in the downtown exhibit; take your dog for a walk for First Friday on July 5th (a list of pet friendly businesses can be found on the website).
3. Pop-Up Movie Night (all ages) @ Capaha Park https://www.facebook.com/pg/ArtsCouncilOfSoutheastMissouri/events/?ref=page_internal
Take your athletes to this ~free~ outdoor movie because this year’s theme is Sports Movies! Pre-movie activities @ 8 pm with the movie starting @ 9 pm. (Follow on Facebook for movie & activity line-up & any updates.)
4. SEMO Summer Camps (ages 6 & up) https://semo.edu/camps/index.html
Sports camps put on by SEMO include men’s & women’s basketball, football, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, cheerleading, etc. Certain weeks of the Redhawks Kids Camps look to be geared toward athletic kids, such as the Rowdy Redhawk Olympic Games.
5. Little Free Library (all ages) @ 235 Broadway
Take your outdoorsy kid on a walk through the green space of Downtown Cape and let them enjoy reading in the sunshine.
6. Season Closer of Tunes at Twilight @ Ivers Square (all ages) https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Come to the outdoor concert Friday, June 21st to the last Tunes until August. Alex Riffle & the Stiff Riffs will start playing @ 7 pm.
7. Cape Riverfront Market – Saturday mornings (all ages) https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Spend Saturday mornings outside in Downtown Cape; kids can draw with chalk, dance to music, and learn about shopping local in an outdoor farmers market! Dog friendly as well!
8. Fort D Historic Site (all ages) http://fortdhistoricsite.com/fortd/welcome.htm
Explore the outdoor, earthen fort from the Civil War.
For the easy-going one who just wants a chill day out of the house…
1. Arts Council of Southeast Missouri & First Friday with the Arts (all ages) http://www.capearts.org/Default.aspx & https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
On the evening of July 5th, take a casual stroll around downtown with the businesses open late for First Friday and beat the day-time heat. Make it a longer walk or a walk for another day by finding the sculptures of the outdoor exhibit.
2. Pop-Up Movie Night (all ages) @ Capaha Park https://www.facebook.com/pg/ArtsCouncilOfSoutheastMissouri/events/?ref=page_internal
Chill out on Friday nights in July with a free movie in the park.
3. Little Free Library (all ages) @ 235 Broadway
You and your little one can relax in the shade of the Peace Park or by the fountain in Ivers Square and find a new reading environment.
4. Season Closer of Tunes at Twilight @ Ivers Square (all ages) https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Hang out with friends, family, and the Cape community this Friday for the last Tunes at Twilight in the Spring Series and enjoy some fun, live Bluegrass music!
5. Cape Riverfront Market – Saturday mornings (all ages) https://www.downtowncapegirardeau.com/calendar-of-events/
Enjoy the company of Downtown Cape (and its dogs!) again on Saturday morning with the Market.
6. Catapult Creative House (all ages) https://catapultsemo.com/
Explore Catapult & find some casual shopping, yummy food & coffee, and unique art exhibits.
We hope you will find something here that your kiddos will love! Don’t have kids? Grab a niece or nephew or share with friends and family who do! Be sure to share photos of your experiences with #DowntownCG!