573 Dog Days of Summer Guide

The dog days of summer have officially begun. It's hot, humid, and just plain miserable this time of year. Unless you know where to go, that is.

Don’t get dogged by summer, get out there and stay cool!

There's a wide variety of amazing local oases to beat that summer heat here in the 573. A veritable plethora of swimming holes, ice cream shops, waterparks, and air conditioned indoor activities await you. Don’t get dogged by summer, get out there and stay cool! Here’s just a few 573 Magazine’s favorite summer destinations to escape to when the days are long and the humidity is high.


River Rapids Water Park in Ste. Genevieve


Right outside of Ste. Genevieve, just off the interstate, River Rapids has the perfect location to provide entertainment and enjoyment for the whole family whether you’re from the 573, the St. Louis area, Illinois, or just about anywhere. With a staff of over 125 seasonal workers, the water park not only provides a cool fun place to be on a hot day for people from all over Missouri and Illinois, but it helps fuel the local economy. Supported by sales tax, the local people are the ones who make it possible for the park to operate, and River Rapids puts that money right back in their pockets by only hiring locally.



The life guards are thoroughly and aggressively trained at River Rapids, going through several weeks of training before the park opens each year to ensure the safety of park goers. As a parent, this is awesome news that puts my mind at ease knowing my kids are in good hands.

There’s a huge variety of fun and cool activities at River Rapids Water Park.

There’s a huge variety of fun and cool activities at River Rapids Water Park. Among the multitude of large and exciting slides to fly down into a cool pool, there’s also a Lazy River for a worry-free float, a rock climbing wall to climb and dive into the area’s deepest lap pool, and a kid zone for the little ones to have a splashtastic time while you relax with a nice cool drink under a huge umbrella.

No worries here!

With plenty of seats in the shade, a full menu at the concession stand to enjoy, and carrying all kinds of essentials and super sweet swag like sunblock, lip balm, hats, towels, and sunglasses, River Rapids Water Park’s got your back on whatever you may need or anything you might accidentally forget to bring with you. No worries here!



I don't know about you, but my family will definitely be making River Rapids Water Park one of our regular haunts this summer, we can't wait to go back!


CLICK HERE to learn more!


Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center


The Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center is an amazing place to experience the fun of science and history this summer. Museum Manager, Abigail Kern, filled us in on all the cool details.

It’s been surprising and kind of impressive to us to see how many people come in and are just floored by what they see and how much we have here. It’s so much more than expected.

The original museum was established in 1935 in the old stone building with the word 'Museum' carved into the front. It was over there until very recently. What made this museum happen is the curator Guy Darrough. He was looking for a home for his collection of pieces including the dinosaurs he had created. He knew some of the locals and they proposed completely renovating one of the older buildings. This building has been around since 1914 and has been a bunch of different places itself including a grocery store, a library, and an auction house. The renovation process took about four years to complete.


There are lots of different workshops including arts and crafts as well. Next week we’re doing an astronomy workshop...

We currently have a weekly program that anyone is welcome to come see. Every Wednesday afternoon from 10:00am to 1:00pm we have a workshop and it's different every week. Today we did a dinosaur one. It was a little fossil dig where the kids got to dig out a fossil and then go into the museum to find where that fossil would go and find other things in the museum that are like the piece. There are lots of different workshops including arts and crafts as well. Next week we’re doing an astronomy workshop where we'll talk about how to recognize the stars and constellations. We’ve also done some show and tell with our curator where participants learn how to identify different rocks and minerals and fossils. They get to put it down on a piece of paper and then take that home with them. He also likes to show cool things he has in his collection like a piece of dinosaur skin for example. It's awesome to be able to share that, especially with kids when they’re really into it.


We like to have local restaurants cater or have local wineries offer wine tastings, just to have some nice evening hours and keep things light and fun.

We have monthly happy hours that we are now doing. We’ve done two so far, where we are open in the evening. We like to have local restaurants cater or have local wineries offer wine tastings, just to have some nice evening hours and keep things light and fun. We also have guest speakers as well from all of the surrounding areas. Area experts come to talk about things like the plank Road or the Civil War. We are always looking for new people to come in and talk about things of interest.



The lab days are always busy. Several times a month there will be someone working in the lab, and that's always a huge hit with the kids. They get to watch scientists at work and ask them questions and it’s a pretty fun time. It’s been surprising and kind of impressive to us to see how many people come in and are just floored by what they see and how much we have here. It’s so much more than expected.


CLICK HERE to learn more!


Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Company


Crown Valley Brewing and Distilling Company has been a staple for adult fun since 2008 when they renovated the old Coffman School House and created a state-of-the-art Brewery and Distillery.

Listen to a live band while sampling house made craft beer...

Offering an array of amazing beverages including several different flavorful craft beers, Missouri Moonshine, and an impressive collection of Crown Valley wine, there's something for everyone! Great for parties, anniversaries, date night, or even a nice business lunch, you're sure to find something to hit the spot and liven up any occasion at Crown Valley.

Open Friday and Saturday 11AM – 8PM and Sunday 11AM – 6PM, you can spend the whole weekend exploring and discovering all of the exciting amenities of Crown Valley. Listen to a live band Saturday afternoon and evening while sampling house made craft beer, or sipping a glass of wine from Crown Valley Winery. Hang out in a cool, comfortable atmosphere surrounded by friends laughing and toasting to success and good health, or venture out to the patio with your special someone as you sip on a smooth cocktail and watch the cotton candy sunset and feel the cool evening breeze.

...venture out to the patio with your special someone as you sip on a smooth cocktail and watch the cotton candy sunset...

Planning on really partying it up? Be prepared with reservations at any one of the four Crown lodging facilities. The Brewhouse and Moonshine are popular for bigger gatherings. With seven private rooms, four bathrooms, a large accommodating kitchen, and a nice, big, comfortable living room area it's the perfect place for a reunion, a bachelor party, or even just a weekend get away with a close group of friends.


CLICK HERE to learn more!


The City of Cape Girardeau

Cape Girardeau has a large variety of fun places to cool down in this heat wave.

Cape Girardeau has a large variety of fun places to cool down in this heat wave. The art galleries and antique shops in the downtown area are great for strolling through and finding treasures. There's a multitude of places to go for ice cream or a nice cold brew. There's swimming pools, movie theaters, restaurants, a nice shopping mall for some air conditioned window shopping, a hands on discovery museum for kids, an indoor trampoline park and of course the Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center waterpark.


CLICK HERE for a complete list of cool places to check out in Cape Girardeau.


The City of Perryville

Places to beat the heat are sometimes hard to find, but not in Perryville, Missouri.

Places to beat the heat are sometimes hard to find, but not in Perryville, Missouri. The Perry Park Center has a large variety of activities to help you stay cool, including spelunking, an indoor gym and pool, and a theater that features a variety of films. Other places to see in Perryville during the dog days of summer are The American Tractor Museum, Ball Mill Resurgence Natural Area, The National Shrine, Missouri's National Veterans Memorial America's Vietnam Wall, and the Blue Springs Hiking Trail which stays cool no matter how high the temperature gets!


CLICK HERE for a complete list of cool places to check out in Perryville!


Sugar Chic Creamery in Perryville



Sugar Chic Creamery is a family owned scoop shop that has been an iconic pillar in Cape Girardeau for several years, but now they’re on the move and growing even bigger. One of the area’s favorite ice cream parlors, Sugar Chic Creamery has begun to spread its wings and share its love of cool sweet treats with a broader area.

A great place to stop by and grab a frozen treat

I’m not sure whether or not you’ve heard, but Sugar Chic Creamery developed a second super sweet location in Perryville, Missouri just up the street and around the corner from Mary Jane’s Burgers & Brew. A great place to stop by and grab a frozen treat to battle summer’s heat after a downtown meal, while shopping the boutiques, or during one of Perryville’s awesome cruise-in’s on the square. Sugar Chic carries a large variety of ice cream for everyone! With amazing popular and exclusive flavors including This @$%& Just Got Serious, Superman, Heaps of Love, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Munchie Madness, and Chocolate Zanzibar, Sugar Chic also carries all the classics like Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, Salted Caramel, and Rocky Road. On top of the special flavors and the classic favorites, Sugar Chic also offers a variety of Vegan and Lactose-free ice creams, along with an array of cool tasty drinks and other treats like lemon ice, root beer floats, cookies, and their signature Sugar Rush which is an ice cream stuffed donut!



But Sugar Chic is not limited to Cape and Perryville by brick and mortar alone! You can also catch them on tour with the Sugar Chic Mobile! Visiting a multitude of different 573 cities and townships, Sugar Chic likes to travel, sharing its delicious creamy treats all over the area so be on the lookout.



What’s next for this awesome local ice cream family? Another cool location! Coming soon to Jackson, Missouri. Until then, be sure to stop in at their other locations in Cape Girardeau, and Downtown Perryville!


With so many fun things to do to stay cool in the 573 this summer, why are you still sitting here?


GET OUT THERE!


words by aj koehler

pics by t. smugala