STL Cinemas' quartet of movie houses mingles the vibrant pageantry of the early film industry with the technological sophistication of modern studio projects. Chase Park Plaza exudes the essence of this retro-contempo coupling, earning it the Riverfront Times 2010 Best Movie Theater award. With five intimate auditoriums, an all-digital sound system, and state-of-the-art projection, Chase Park Plaza coaxes movie-goers deep into the film's plot lines, characters, and 3-D effects easier than an underseat package containing a plaid dress, a little dog, and a magical Kansas twister. Before one of Chase’s shows, bask in the sights of the lifelike trompe l'eoil murals, and soak in the sounds of a live organist who serenades the crowds with show-tune favorites such as "Phantom of the Opera," "Goldfinger," and "I’m a Little Tea Pot (The Remix)."
Sweating is a great way to meet new people, and Sports Monster has proved that since it started its first adult league in 1994. With year-round offerings that include volleyball, kickball, soccer, bowling, and other sports, interested kickers, hitters, and dribblers can sign up solo or with a fully formed team of friends or coworkers. Games take place all around the St. Louis area. With many nights available, participants can choose a time and location that best suits them. Annual members of Sports Monster leagues get an additional perk: free online dating opportunities with other league members, the only facet of the experience that doesn’t offer any season-end trophies.
Forest Lake Tennis Club's experienced tennis pros refine serves and strokes on their eight indoor, air-conditioned courts. A tennis pro diagnoses your stroke for the first hour of the clinic, tinkering with your form and process. For the last half hour, racket raisers can test their newfound ability to defeat challengers with topspins, slices, and smashes that provide a more definitive ending to a match than the time Duke Evers knocked out Rocky Balboa with his autobiography. The clinic is geared toward advanced-beginner adult players, and classes hold a maximum of 32 adults, with a student-to-pro ratio of six to one. Throttle pea-green projectiles Tuesdays–Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm.
Hazelwood Bowl boasts 24 retro renovated bowling lanes and redesigned restaurant and bar areas for sporty entertainment and family fun. After wrangling a pair of bowling shoes, duos of 10-pin enthusiasts can perfect their arm swings with two hours on the lanes, complete with bumper bowling for youngsters and automatic scoring to keep abacuses fresh and ready for tallying UFO sightings (up to a $12 value/person). Then customers can head over to The Wood Bar & Grill to conquer worked up appetites with a St. Louis–style pizza with one topping, including Italian sausage, jalapeños, mushrooms, and more (an $8.95 value), all washed down with a pitcher of soda (a $4 value). Families of four and barbershop quartets can combine two Groupons for larger group frivolity.
Boat House Forest Park has been launching revelers’ watercrafts across the glimmering waters of Post-Dispatch Lake since 1876. Today, a restaurant fills the high-ceilinged interior space, serving up half-pound burgers and hand-tossed pizzas, among other hearty American fare. Flames crackle in a stone hearth, warming patrons as they clap along to live music or conduct an impromptu performance of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with a sauce-slathered barbecue rib. In warm weather, servers transport plates to an outdoor patio with views of sparkling waters. The Boat House also rents out kayaks and paddleboats inside which patrons can tour the lake, catching glimpses of ducks, turtles, and feral Tweety birds, as well as historical landmarks such as the St. Louis Zoo and World’s Fair Pavilion.