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Free Family Fun in Cape Girardeau: 2017 Edition

Here is your guide to making memories with your family this summer in Cape Girardeau without spending a dime!

1. The Cape Public Library has a summer packed with events, and their children’s area has toys, sensory boards, play kitchens and more while teens enjoy their own space complete with gaming systems.  It’s a great (free!) spot to while away a rainy afternoon or jump in on a planned activity.

2. Check out a kid’s fishing reel and bait and kick back while your little one tosses a line in the kid’s fishing pond, or check out a themed hiking backpack brimming with activities to do on the White Oak Trace Trail system at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center – all of that is free!

3. Go for a swim at Lake Boutin’s sandy beach inside Trail of Tears State Park; it’s well worth the 20 minute drive from downtown Cape Girardeau.

4. Swing by the Cape Riverfront Market on June 2, July 1 and August 5, when they have their Marketeer’s Club, an educational program about growing food and eating healthy that includes a hands on activity.


5. Speaking of hands on fun, the River Campus Summer Arts Festival on June 17 has musical instrument petting zoos, family friendly art expression activities, an art walk and more.

6. Set off on a Storybook Trail adventure at the LaCroix Recreation Trail by the Osage Centre, where you can read children’s books aloud as you take a walk – books are switched out regularly!


7. Throw rocks in the mighty Mississippi and practice your skipping skills at Riverfront Park.


8. Take in a free outdoor concert at Capaha Park’s Band Shell on Wednesday nights throughout the summer, where you can hear movie tunes, country, marches and more from the Cape Municipal Band. Tunes at Twilight is another free concert series that extends into June and starts up again in August.

9. A picnic under the stately maple trees along the Whitewater River at Bollinger Mill State Historic Site after a tour of the first floor of the mill and a walk across the covered bridge is the perfect outing to include on your summer bucket list.

10. Visit the peacocks at Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery and feed them a snack! Maybe you’ll get lucky and see the birds spread their beautiful feathers.

11. Embark on a geocaching adventure! This GPS enabled scavenger hunt is fun for all ages, and Cape Girardeau has caches all over town.

12. See a Civil War Fort encampment come to life at Fort D on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.  Civilian ladies in hoop skirts demonstrate camp cooking, and the Turner Brigade performs artillery and cannon fire.

13. Explore a new-to-you playground! Cape Girardeau’s smaller parks have hidden gems that offer hours of fun; a personal favorite is Dennis Scivally, where kiddos can explore the creek after they tire of the playground.

14. The train table at Barnes & Noble is a perennial hit, especially on rainy or hot days. Bonus: Parents have plenty of reading material to enjoy while toddlers play away.

Share your summer fun, use #VisitCape, and has more ideas to fill up your summer bucket lists, including a summertime weekend itinerary!

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