Friday, May 18, 2012

Kindred Spirits Dine at the Boathouse in Forest Park

Yesterday I enjoyed lunch and conversation with a dozen women who belong to a group called "Kindred Spirits."

When everyone attends, the group consists of about twenty lovely ladies, almost all of whom have worked as civilians for the Department of the Army at some time during their careers. Most of us crossed paths while working for the Department of the Army and/or the Department of Defense on Goodfellow Boulevard in North St. Louis.

The group, which keeps growing each time we meet, is led by our creative and organized leader Jan, who managed to shy away yesterday every time I snapped photos--although you can catch a glimpse of her arm and wristwatch the picture above.  
Anyway, the Kindred Spirits get together several times a year at different locations. Last December we roamed the streets of historic Kimswick and ate lunch at the Blue Owl. In February we made the journey to Josephine's Tea Room in Godfrey, Illinois.

Yesterday was a lovely afternoon to be out and about, and it was a good time to catch up on what has been going on in our lives.

As we sat on wooden benches waiting for our table, I watched the young man in charge of boats feeding marbled rye bread to ducks and fish in the pond. He was later joined on the dock by families taking photos and youngsters who delighted in throwing more bread to the ducks and fish

I also noticed young ladies arrive from their graduation ceremonies still wearing their caps and gowns. Relatives and friends, bearing wrapped gifts, patiently waited for their tables.

The place was packed with graduates, families, dates, business people, runners dropping by for a quick bite--even folks with their well behaved dogs-- all soaking up the Boathouse's family-friendly atmosphere.

As expected with a large group, it took a good amount of time to get our food, but the server was very attentive and kept our beverage glasses filled. Everyone around me gave good reports about their meals. I ordered the spicy shrimp pizza. The pizza was definitely spicy, but the crust was a bit burnt. I only finished half; next time I'll try something else.

If you've never been to the Boathouse in Forest Park in St. Louis, add it to your list of places to visit, but get there early if plan to eat and want a table outside--especially if you have a large group.

Fun facts about the Boathouse in Forest Park:

* Boating has been available in Forest Park since 1876.
* Because of a 1894 campaign by the Post-Dispatch to raise money for expansion, the lake is called the Post-Dispatch Lake.
* Six thousand men registered to work on the project. (What? No women?)
* After the most recent restoration of Forest Park, the lake has been expanded to include new boating lagoons and an island devoted to wildlife conservation.
* The new Boathouse was designed by St. Louis architect Laurent Torno and is "reminiscent of Midwestern boathouse cottages in the early twentieth century."
* While boating on the lake you can see the Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo, World's Fair Pavilion, Art Hill, Grand Basin and the Government Hill foundation.

The Boathouse is located on 6101 Government Drive in Forest Park.  Summer hours of operation (May-Oct) are:

Monday-Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.(open later on Muny nights)

Friday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) (open later on Muny nights)

Paddleboats and rowboats are available for rental for $15.00 per hour.

For more details, visit the Boathouse website.

Thanks, Jan, for planning another awesome adventure!


  1. What a nice day you had, and I know even unsatisfactory food didn't spoil your day!
    I did not know about the Post-Dispatch moniker on the lake! Out for my own outing today!

    1. Hi Claudia,
      Hope you have a great outing today. It's lovely weather!

  2. Boy, that sure looks nice! My husband and I will joke "I made a poor selection" when we get a meal we don't enjoy - it's something that we remember from dinners with my brother - a family joke. But it looks like it was fun!

  3. Spent some time catching up with you today--lots of great tips from the conference (and yes, I've been hypnotized--it did not go well, but it *was* funny ;-)

    Wouldn't it be lovely to have a day in Missouri? At the Boathouse? Thanks for the joyful posts--I really need to make time for reading your blog every day!

  4. Hi Melissa,
    It was fun, and I've been reading about the adventures you've been having touring in your RV.

    Hi Cathy,
    It would be great if you could head out west to Missouri. Maybe when the Braves are in town. No, wait, I'm not too happy with how they stomped on the Cards last time they were in town.


    1. Cathy,
      I meant to write you're welcome any time, but the Braves, not so much. :-)

  5. Donna, you belong to some great groups. I have visited St. Louis many times but they did not include the boathouse. I'll add it to the list next time. Summer is upon us, hope you have a great one!

    1. Hi Sally,
      Next time you're in St. Louis, check it out.
      Hope you have a great summer too!

  6. Thanks for reminding me about this place. I always love going there and forget about it! :)

    1. Hi Margo,
      I bet Katie would love standing on the dock feeding the ducks and fish.


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