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balloon race

My absolute favorite overall place in St. Louis has got to be Forest Park. In terms of things to do, it has so much to offer, beginning with the award-winning St. Louis Zoo, which I might add is one of just a few zoos across the country that are FREE! They have added a lot of exciting things over the past few years, and they keep doing more. You can never go wrong with a trip here. If you are an early bird like I am, attractions that normally cost are free during the first hour the zoo is open. When trying to take advantage of this deal, do remember that  the zoo has a winter and summer schedule so make sure that first hour is really the first hour.

Just up the hill, you have the St. Louis Art Museum — expansion and new things are going on here too! Did I say it was FREE! Special exhibits often have a free day as well. They have family fun Sundays with special tours and hands on craft activities. And guess what, nobody cares if you don’t have any kids. Art Hill is the place to be for sledding in the winter time and in the summer time… movies right on the lawn on a cool screen with the water fountains as a back drop.

The History Museum has story time on Fridays and Saturdays, and usually in the summer, it offers different crafts and special events. On their lawn in the spring, April-May, and fall, August -October, they have FREE music concerts for all!

There is also the Muny, Dwight Davis tennis courts, raquetball courts, playgrounds, the Jewel Box, Steinberg’s ice skating in winter, beach volleyball in summer. There’s fishing, canoeing, walking, running, biking (w/rentals available), golfing, etc. etc.

Of course I can’t mention Forest Park without mentioning the Great Forest Park Balloon race — everybody that happens to pass through here at the right time should go at least once.

There are some things about St. Louis I wish were a little, but I do appreciate what’s offered here.  What makes it a great place for college students and families as well is the fact that if you’re not too particular about doing any one specific thing, you can often find something fun to do for FREE or at least reasonably priced. There’s even a catalog that you can pick up at the Visitors’ Center in Forest Park that has lots of great coupons.

It’s such an easy walk from campus that soon you’ll be singing, “Meet me at the Muny. The Muny in Forest Park!


The most exciting new thing for me this year was the Balloon Race at Forest Park. I was born in St. Louis, and I never heard of the Balloon Race! Ever! How silly is that?

I received an e-mail from Janelle about volunteering for the race. The event sounds awesome and I like volunteering, so I signed up. As the weeks flew by, I couldn’t wait until that day.

The day finally came. Funny thing is that I get lost in Forest Park because of how big it is, so I just parked at a random parking lot. My brother, Anthony, and our friend, Tiffany, were with me. We started walking and following the signs which made me realized that I parked really far from the race. Great!

I told Anthony and Tiffany that I’ll just go ahead to the place because I was already late. I walked fast, then ran, then walked, and so forth. I texted my friend, Kara, who was also volunteering, and asked her where our tent was located. She wasn’t sure but she said it’s a purple tent. Of course, it’s our school color. 🙂

So I finally reached the area and  saw so many tents! There were different food, accessories, and games everywhere. I continued to search and finally, I found our Fontbonne University tent! I arrived and apologized to Brent, the person in charge who is also the assistant director of Leadership Education and Student Activities. He told me it was alright and gave me the pin and name tag. So awesome! 😀

Our tent had different games and whoever played got to choose either a Fontbonne frisbee, magnet, balloon, or candy. It was really fun. I had a great time. Later in the evening, I saw the hot-air balloons getting ready. I was so amazed because I never saw hot-air balloons in person before. About 7 p.m., we put away the games and prizes and watched the balloons. I took many pictures. Kara and I were getting excited like little kids. There was also a marching band in between. That was cool, too.

Eventually, we all left, but the preparations were still going. Did I mention there were MANY people there? It was so awesome! Brent and Janelle mentioned that about 130,000 people would attend. I was just so amazed.

That was one very exciting opportunity for me. I’m happy that I got the chance to be a part of the race!


This past Friday night was the Great Forest Park Balloon Race’s Balloon Glow. Last year, I was honored to be a member of Fontbonne’s balloon race ground crew. This year, I had the honor of being in the audience with my friend and fellow blogger, Elizabeth. (Elizabeth’s sister, Kim, was actually a member of the ground crew this year, so we had a great time “capturing her adventures in pictures” as we said!)

It was a great night.  I had the opportunity to meet St. Louis celebrities like Tim Ezell from Fox 2 News and take a picture with some of my nerdy friends from “The Big Bang Theory.”  (Well, unfortunate as it was, they weren’t actually there, but a big poster of them was tacked up to the back of a van!)  The balloons, as usual, were absolutely beautiful. I loved how they literally ignited the night! And it was great to see the Flying Griffin proudly displaying our school mascot and colors. However, I think my favorite parts of the night occurred when a horn was blown, signifying to all of the balloon pilots that they were to ignite the burners in their balloons so that the balloons would all glow at once. It was a beautiful spectical that was welcomed by the crowd’s erupting cheers. Elizabeth and I couldn’t figure out exactly how to respond to the balloons as they all simultaneously glowed, so we eventually decided to respond with a hearty, “Yay, Balloons!” People may have looked at us like we were crazy, but hey, it was dark out and we’ll most likely never see those people again.


Hi, Everyone!

I’m Courtney, a freshman here at Fontbonne. Even though I’ve only been a Fontbonne student for a couple of months, I already feel at home. Everyone here has been so kind and welcoming, and they all helped to make my transition from high school into college a smooth one.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I went to Notre Dame High School, where I decided that I wanted to pursue biology, Spanish, and theatre in college. Because of Fontbonne, I am able to do just that. All of my professors here are great – they challenge me, yet they also help me along the way. Even though my classes can be difficult at times, I always know that I can go to any one of my professors for help.

I’ve already gotten involved here on campus. I entered a raffle and was chosen with 3 other students to be on Fontbonne’s Forest Park Balloon Race Crew (which, by the way, was a TOTAL blast!), and I’ve joined clubs on campus (namely, BSO, the Biological Sciences Organization, and OPUS, the Organization of Performing University Students). Additionally, I was able to work as an usher for one of Fontbonne Theatre’s performances, and in a few weeks I will usher again. By getting involved, I have already met a lot of great people with whom I share a lot in common.

Even though I’m just a freshman who’s been here for only a few short months, I’m already 100% happy with my decision to come to Fontbonne. Everyone here is so friendly, the classes are so fun, and getting involved is as easy as pie.

~ Courtney 🙂

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