The Boathouse in Forest Park

A Great Destination for Outdoor Dining and Paddle Boating

Boathouse in Forest Park
Photo by Deborah O'Brien

St. Louis' Forest Park is filled with top attractions and things to do. The Boathouse may not get as much attention some of the park's other destinations, like the St. Louis Zoo or the Science Center, but it's certainly worth a visit.

Location and Hours

The Boathouse is located at 6101 Government Drive in the middle of the park. It's next to Post-Dispatch Lake between the Muny and the Zoo. The Boathouse is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Boat rentals are available each day but close one hour before sunset. The Boathouse does not take reservations for the restaurant or for boat rentals.

The Restaurant

The Boathouse serves a menu that includes pizza, sandwiches, soups and salads. Most entrees are priced at less than $10, making it an inexpensive option for a casual meal. The restaurant also offers brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The brunch menu includes egg wraps, french toast and other breakfast items.

The Boathouse has both indoor and outdoor dining, and as you would expect, it can be very crowded when the weather is nice. But it's also the kind of place where customers can relax and enjoy themselves while waiting for a table. Just get a beer or glass of wine from the outside bar and take in the view from the large deck overlooking the lake.

Renting Paddle Boats

The Boathouse rents paddle boats during daylight hours in warmer months. The boats can typically accommodate up to four people and are much easier to move if there are two people pedaling. Life jackets are provided for everyone and are required for those 12 and younger. Boaters can make their way from Post-Dispatch Lake, along the canals in the park, to the Grand Basin in front of the Art Museum. The cost to rent a paddleboat is $17 a hour.

The Boathouse in Winter

With outdoor dining and boat rentals, much of the activity at the Boathouse is naturally designed for warm weather. But don't miss the chance to experience this popular attraction during the winter as well. There's a large stone fireplace in the middle of the indoor dining area that keeps things warm. There's also a peacefulness to the park that's missing during the hectic summer months. For a truly relaxing experience, try Sunday brunch in front of the fire with a hot cup of coffee or mug of hot chocolate.

Special Events

Another reason to check out the Boathouse is the special events offered throughout the year. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny make appearances every year. There are also Moonlight Picnics in the summer and Yappy Hours for people and their pets. For a complete look at the current schedule of events, see the Boathouse website.