Annie’s Hope sponsors a teen retreat in which small groups of bereaving teens interact with empathetic peers, explore their concerns about a recent death, and work toward healing. Group and individual activities encourage teens to develop coping strategies by expressing themselves through arts and crafts, journaling about complicated feelings, and creating mementos of their loved ones in a candle-lighting ceremony. Annie’s Hope requires additional funding to cover the costs of its next retreat, including transportation to and from the retreat site, meals and snacks for the weekend, lodging, arts-and-crafts supplies, candles, and a nursing staff.
For more than 25 years, The St. Louis Funny Bone has hosted national touring acts and local comedic talent in its cozy club for diverse 90-minute stand-up sets. While headlining jokesters dominate weekend slots, humorous hopefuls can sign up for Tuesday night open mics. During open mics, 12 to 20 performers test out their material in four-minute slots. The club strictly adheres to the time constraint, reprimanding participants who exceed 240 seconds with a month-long ban from the club and a nuggie administered by the nearest carrot top. Up to 300 attendees per show can witness these plunders and successes while sitting in either the VIP or general admission areas. Both sections offer alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, along with appetizers such as pizza slices, chicken wings, and toasted raviolis.
In 2009, while refereeing women’s flat-track derby bouts, the founding fathers of the St. Louis GateKeepers realized they wanted a taste of the speed, adrenaline, and action found in competitive roller derby. The pair gathered a crew of like-minded skaters and, in November of that year, the GateKeepers held its first league practice. By the end of their 2012 season, the league had expanded to feature three teams, plus a travel team that defends St. Louis from out-of-town opponents hoping to claim the Arch as a trophy. Despite its expansion, the GateKeepers stands by its original mission to provide a league for the players, by the players, and welcomes men from all walks of life to try on the sport's sweat-soaked jerseys and multicolored bruises.
Named St. Louis’s Best Driving Range by the Riverfront Times in 2007, Family Golf & Learning Center earns praise as an encouraging environment in which golfers of all levels can hone their games. The lighted range boosts golfers with a second story of hitting stations stacked on top of the first that offers a bird’s-eye view, if that bird is sitting on the head of a giraffe. The range also features both real zoysia-grass tees as well as artificial-turf tees, and it stays open year-round thanks to heaters that prevent golf clubs’ handles from developing frostbite.
Once thoroughly limbered up, golfers can tee off on the par 3 course, where a maximum hole length of 160 yards allows for practice with short strokes and putting. Should self-improvement reach a plateau, the center’s instructors stand ready to help players make further strides through onsite lessons.
Course at a Glance:
Currating a bustling indie scene of regular live music and movie nights, The Heavy Anchor's press-lauded, dive-bar appeal reels in locals with an extensive line-up of rotating beers and light bar fare. Dining duos can settle into a pair of cushioned barstools and dig in to a Dogtown pizza, smattered with meat or vegetarian adornments. Drink-slingers serve up two beverages from the full-service bar, which brims with soda, more than 50 beers, and an extensive collection of liquors. Take taste buds for a ride with a Twisted Tea, keep it classic with a PBR, or go gluten-free with a Red Bridge brew. Parched pairs can also clink glasses of Wild Turkey or Pernod absinthe to fuel up for impromptu Flashdance flash mobs. Attendees can beef-up their dinner date with a side of Gus' pretzels or Billy Goat chips for an additional fee.
Cheers rise whenever the home team scores a point at Pepper's Grill and Bar. Maybe it's a 30-year history that gives the space its space swagger. Pair that with 27 HDTVs, and almost every table has a good view of the action. Abiding by the tenets carved into the stones of the original basketball rule book, Pepper's pairs its spectator sports with burgers, pizzas, and its signature pepper bites. Most impressive on the menu is the Cowboy burger, which is piled with bacon, onion rings, cheddar, and barbecue sauce. This combination of atmosphere and edibles earned Pepper's Grill and Bar accolades from the readers of the Riverfront Times, who awarded it the Best Neighborhood Bar (City) in 2011.
At The Great American Diving Company, swimmers and scuba enthusiasts plunge into a 10-foot-deep, custom-built training pool heated to a balmy 85 degrees. Under the guidance of PADI-certified instructors, students in Open Water Diver classes learn to breathe and explore beneath the surface, opening the doors to continue underwater education and obtain certification or finally put to rest a fear of really big puddles. Divers can gear up for their next expedition in the shop, and the staff also leads scuba trips to diving locales.