Fun, Free Activities ~ St. Louis/St. Charles MO ~ January 2021

This information is updated weekly.

Partner News…

Advocating For Your Child with Special Needs, FREE Virtual CLASS, Thursday January 28 from 6-7pm.  Varsity AdvocatingIn this live class for families navigating the complex world of special education, you’ll learn how to take an active and effective role in managing your child’s schooling. With a basic understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, along with tips on how to develop SMART IEPs, parents will be prepared for school meetings, the genteel art of disagreeing, and maintaining healthy working relationships with their student’s school. Enroll HERE


TASH Inclusion
The 2020 TASH Conference Keynote: Creating a Culture of Inclusion
– Held in December 2020, enjoy this recording from the conference done by Dr. Carol Quirk’s as an opening plenary address:  Click Here to view You Tube Video


Inclusion WorkshopVirtual Workshop: An Introduction to Inclusive Recreation, Wednesday, Feb 3 at 10:30am. In this free information session you will be introduced to the foundational concepts of Inclusive Recreation.  Together we will explore National Inclusion Project’s 3 Core Beliefs, discuss key considerations for programs, practitioners, and participants, and highlight impactful steps toward intentional inclusion. Register now


MO Youth Leadership Forum, VIRTUAL Regional Leadership Workshop (RLF),
Register by February 15, 2021 (two day event will be held March 13 & 20, 2021). The Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) is a leadership training for high school students with disabilities, ages 16 to 21 to get a glimpse of our five-day program, the annual Missouri Youth Leadership Forum, which is held at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia in the summer. Leadership is an important skill to have as youth enter adulthood, so take advantage of this FREE opportunity.  The RLF is hosted by the Governor’s Council on Disability, Vocational Rehabilitation, MU Pre-Employment Transition Services, and Paraquad. Learn more HERE


Add this camp to your list of overnight camps now registering for Summer 2021…

Camp Wartburg, Shepherding Sheep Special Needs Overnight Camp, Session I: May 30-June 2 and Session II: June 2-5, 2021. This 3-day camp is now registering for youth K-12 and adults. Cost is $250, Camp is located in Waterloo, Illinois.



L&B Parent Seminar


BOL Speaker Series Feb 2021


COVID Vaccination Map:

Please get vaccinated if you are in the TIERS that are open now –


Events and Activities…


winter wildlife

Winter Wildlife, On-Site and In-Person, On-Site and In-Person, Sunday January 24 from 4:30-5:30pm at St. Charles Heritage Museum, 1630 Heritage Landing, 63376. Do some crafts, roast a marshmallow, or sip hot cocoa while learning about winter wildlife. or call 636-255-6000.


FREE Virtual Classes with Varsity Tutors, January 26. Remember to SUBTRACT ONE HOUR from the start times below. Enroll here

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St. Louis Arc FREE GROUP EVENTS designed for adults with disabilities to connect with each other in a safe, facilitated setting:

  • Virtual Karaoke Night (for ages 16 – 25), Wednesday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom.  Join us for singing fun as we relax together and catch up.  RSVP to Gabrielle Szarek at to get the event link.
  • Virtual Monthly Men’s Group, Monday, January 28 from 6-7pm and repeating every 4th Monday of each month ~ Register Here ~ Where men get together and talk about sports, music, movies, and everyday life. Join us for the first meet-and-greet where we will discuss the format going forward. 
  • Virtual Self-Advocacy Group, beginning Thursday, January 28 from 4-5pm.  Join by emailing Madeline Webster or call her at 314-817-2215 to sign up. 


gametimeLIFT Disability Network –  Virtual GAME WEDNESDAYS, Join us for an afternoon of games, fun and laughter as we stay connected at a distance. We’ll be testing your general knowledge with a game of CODENAMES! Join here: This event repeats every Wednesday. 



Fete De Glace-Ice Carving Competition, On-Site and In-Person, Saturday, January 30, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM in Historic St. Charles, 100 N. Main St., Saint Charles, MO 63301.  This ice festival is the perfect family activity.  Ice carvers fill two blocks of North Main Street in St. Charles, MO.  You can watch carvers bring the ephemeral art of ice carving to life with chainsaws, chisels, grinders and knives, as well as hot irons and cold spray.  Each carver starts with a single block of ice weighing 260 lbs. and dissects it and reassembles it into wondrous sparkling creations.  There are outdoor fire pits, restaurants serving breakfast or lunch and shops to wander in to help you stay warm.  Plan to stay for a few hours so you can watch the sculptures develop from a block of ice.


Birds: Eagle Explorations on your Own, Although the annual in-person part of Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge has been canceled, the MDC Naturalists will help you discover Bald Eagles on your own. Here’s a list of great places to find these majestic birds:


  • Lock & Dam 24 at Clarksville
  • Lock & Dam 25 east of Winfield
  • Old Chain of Rocks Bridge south of I-270, off of Riverview Drive, St. Louis
  • Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary east of West Alton
EAGLE WATCHING, ST. CHARLES – Each winter, thousands of bald eagles take up residence in Missouri where they can find open water and plenty of food, and St. Charles County Parks are on their radar. Grab your camera and a telescope and celebrate the return of these majestic birds to these County parks:
  • Bangert Island, 1704 South River Road., St. Charles
  •  Hideaway Harbor Park, 1550 Hideaway Harbor Drive, Portage des Sioux
  • Klondike Park, 4600 Hwy 94 South, Augusta
  • Riverside Landing, 600 Kampville Drive, St. Charles
  • Veterans Tribute Park, 1031 Kisker Road, Dardenne Prairie.
Parks are open daily from 7 a.m. to 30 minutes past sunset; eagle watching is best during the morning hours. For more information about St. Charles County Parks, visit


Head outside to enjoy a walk before it gets too cold. Here are some links so you can explore more events around the metro area: 


Summer is Coming….


Overnight Camps are Registering for Summer 2021 (previously posted)

summer camp picYes! It’s official. Summer camps are looking forward to welcoming you back to camp this summer. When registering, make sure to carefully read their COVID policies to make sure you understand modifications or changes in the way camp will be provided this year.  Camps are Recreation Council Voucher eligible for St. Louis residents of all ages and for St. Charles youth residents through age 18. 

Sunnyhill Adventures, Specialized camp happening weekly beginning July 4 and running through August 27, 2021 – 6 adult-only weeks and 2 weeks of youth/adult camp.  Cost is $750 for 1:5 ratio and $925 for 1:1 staffing ratio. If you rolled over your 2020 registration, you MUST complete the 2021 registration form in order to use your deposit credit. COVID policy and Registration Link

Wonderland Camp, Specialized camp happening weekly beginning May 23 through August 6 plus fall weekend camps. Cost is $850 per week ($300 deposit required). COVID policies ~ Registration

Camp Barnabas, Specialized camp happening weekly beginning May 30 through August 6. All campers are paired with a counselor for an individualized camp experience. Cost is $1,500 per week paid in full by April 2021. Registration

YMCA Camp Lakewood, Inclusive Youth Camp (ages 8-16) happening weekly from May 30 through August 18. Weekly camp cost is $615-$895, Mini camp cost (ages 6-16) is $395. Registration


New  ~ Summer Independent Living Experience through St. Louis ARC, happening the weeks of August 2 and 9, 2021. Cost and registration details are being worked out. Contact Ryann for information at 

Arc Next Adventure


RESOURCES Previously Listed…


St Louis Arc Weekly CONNECT Virtual Meetup Events: CONNECT is a program at the St. Louis Arc that empowers individuals to lead an independent life using individualized and community supports. Events include Dance Party, Cooking, Art, Zumba, Film Discussion, Self-Advocacy, Men’s Group, and more.  The CONNECT Meetup group is free to join and their events are free to attend. Click here to join the Meetup group and RSVP for events in order to receive the Zoom links. 

 if you need a device to connect to these groups, apply to get your own tablet through the Recreation Council’s E-Connect initiative – Information


The JCovid Vaccine Information: Visit the St. Charles County Health Department at for more information on how and when the vaccine will be available.  In the meantime, keep masking up, social distancing, and washing your hands for a safe and healthy start to the New Year. 


VarietyCamp2021Variety – Registration is Open for FREE weeks of Virtual Summer Camp: It’s time to register for Virtual Summer Adventure Camp and Teen Camp 2021. This free online Camp experience is open to all kids and teens (ages 4 – 20) with a medically diagnosed disability in the greater St. Louis region – they do not have to be a current Variety Kid or have financial need to apply.  Camp Registration Open Now  and will remain open until 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 1.


Behavior SolutionsBehavior Solutions, Positive Behavior Management Parent Training. This DDRB-funded workshop will help you and your family create a more peaceful environment while meeting the needs of your child with behavior challenges.  Ages 2 and older plus their families and individuals must be eligible for services through the Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DMH). Call 636-493-9299 or visit for information.  Cost is ONLY $20 for the entire workshop! 


learningSt. Charles Community College Classes for Students with Disabilities: Looking for a class tailored to meet your special needs? Try your hand at cooking, sign language, painting, drawing, photography, making dog treats, or creating a dream board in the LifeSkills class.  Classes cost $69-$129 and are Recreation Council Voucher eligible for those who have Regional Office or DDRB services.  Registering now for Jan-April 2021. Check out the class options for 2021 here: Information Here


varsity tutorVarsity Tutors Tutoring Services for Students with Special Needs: If you are looking for virtual tutoring services for your child, check out this group service. Cost is $15-$44 per hour (not Rec Council voucher eligible) ~ Information


DMH Creativity Showcase2021 DMH Director’s Creativity Showcase:  This showcase highlights the talents of the people with disabilities. Deadline for submission is Friday, January 29, 2021. For more information about the showcase, visit:


MO ResourceMissouri Resource Guide: The Department of Social Services has developed a guide to assist Missourians in finding resources to meet their basic living needs, access support services, and prepare for their career pathways. The resource can be accessed at the following link:

IDDIDD Help, Resource Center – In addition to being able to contact us by phone and/or email, you and those you serve will now have the option to chat, in real time, with an IDDHelp Community Connector. The Chat feature is live Monday through Friday, from 9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m. Visit