Arts & EntertainmentOften one of the unsung qualities of Granite City life, our community is home to some of the most dynamic arts and entertainment performances in the St. Louis region. And, with the establishment of the City’s first official Arts & Entertainment District in the Downtown area, in conjunction with various incentive programs for artists, businesses and residents, our reputation for the arts has only just begun to grow.
One of the greatest proponents of the arts and entertainment in Granite City is an organization named Summer Stage. Summer Stage is an amateur thespian organization which began conducting theatrical performances in 1981. The group currently operates out of a seventy seat theater and has more than seventy different performers. For larger productions, the group utilizes either the High School or City facilities to cater to larger crowds of up to 350 people per night. Also, a number of Summer Stage’s performers have gone on to have professional acting careers in such areas as Broadway Theater, television and the Silver Screen. The group presents five programs per year, including dramas, comedies and musicals, and performs each presentation between three and five times.
In addition to our Summer Stage group, Granite City residents also have the luxury of attending the myriad performances conducted each year by the numerous theatrical, orchestral and vocal groups in the community. One such group is the Granite City Community Band, which is a group of dedicated musicians bringing live traditional band and jazz music to Granite City and surrounding communities.
In the summer, residents can sit back and relax while listening to one of the summertime concerts in the park, which are held at the Wilson Park Pavilion. The Park District's Big Band Concert series with the Fornaszewski Orchestra is one of the longest continuously running big band concert series in the US. It has been running for approximately 30 years. Additionally, the Granite City Public Library is a cultural focal point in the community, providing a wealth of books and services. The library also has programs for preschoolers, including "Summer Storytime Fun," and puppet shows which bring smiles to our children’s faces.
St. Louis Arts & Entertainment
Just across the river lies a vast wealth of arts and entertainment activities. They afford residents plentiful, diverse, and world-renowned options and opportunities.
These opportunities include the St. Louis Art Museum, which is one of the 10 most comprehensive art museums in the nation; The MUNY (Municipal Opera), the nation’s oldest and largest outdoor theater, which offers more than 12,000 seats for classic operas and musicals; and the internationally acclaimed St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, which plays at Powell Symphony Hall and is one of the top ten orchestras in the U.S.
While these opportunities alone make the St. Louis area one of the richest arts areas in the country, they do not even scratch the surface of everything afforded to area residents. And to think that Granite City is about twenty minutes or less from it all makes it all the more astounding! Other arts centers in St. Louis include: The Fabulous Fox Theater, Sheldon Concert Hall, St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, Grand Center, which is home to Dance St. Louis, The Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.
In addition to our vast arts resources, the area is also rich with entertainment options as well. For starters, we have the St. Louis Zoo, which Was named No.3 on Parents magazine's "10 Best Zoos for Kids" in the May 2009 issue. The Saint Louis Zoo was also ranked the No. 1 Midwest city zoo in July 2007, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, was ranked by the Zagat Survey as the No. 1 national attraction for child appeal in 2005, beating out even Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Then, there is the St. Louis Science Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, Gateway Arch, Anheuser-Busch brewery, Soulard Market, The Hill, Forest Park, St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, and the St. Louis City Museum, which was ranked as one of the “World’s 10 Best Public Spaces” by the Project for Public Spaces in 2005.
For outdoor entertainment, residents often take advantage of our close proximity to area theme parks such as Six Flags St. Louis and Raging Rivers Water Park. With nearly a dozen roller coasters such as Mr. Freeze, Batman and the Boss along with multiple other rides, shows, concessions, attractions and several dozen water rides combined between these two parks, residents can get a full day’s worth of amusement several times a year.
Of course, the surrounding St. Louis area has a great deal more to offer than just these outstanding sites. The area is also abundant with great night-life hotspots such as Laclede’s Landing and The Loop, as well as some of the most exquisite restaurants to be found. And this all precludes our World Champion sports teams, namely Cardinals baseball, Blues hockey and Rams football.
When you add it all up, it’s easy to see that not just the St. Louis region, but Granite City in particular, has all the arts & entertainment options available to create the ideal family environment.
Learn more about the St. Louis area’s popular attractions
Research popular restaurants, shopping and more