Strawberry Festival at Eckert's Orchards

A Sweet Celebration in Belleville

••• Photo by Chris Windsor, courtesy Getty Images

The St. Louis area has some fun food festivals. There's the Horseradish Festival in Collinsville each June, Midwest Wingfest in September and, of course, the Taste of St. Louis every fall. Another fun, family-friendly event is the annual Strawberry Festival at Eckert's Orchards in Belleville.

When and Where

The Strawberry Festival is held each year in the middle of May. In 2016, the festival is May 14-15, 21-22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's held at the Belleville location of Eckert's Orchards.

To get there from St. Louis, take I-64 across the Poplar Street Bridge to I-255 South. Take 255 to Exit 17A for Illinois Highway 15 to Belleville. The orchard is located about 10 miles down Highway 15. Turn left into the parking lot at 951 South Green Mount Road. Admission and parking are free.

What to See and Do

Strawberries are, naturally, the star attraction at the festival. You can pick your own, or try any of the dozens of strawberry-themed foods and desserts offered at the bakery, restaurant and custard shop. There's also other festival food, live entertainment and plenty of activities for the kids. Children can enjoy pony rides, a play area, farm animals, carnival rides, and inflatables during the festival. Keep in mind, there is a fee for some of these activities.

More at Eckert's

The Strawberry Festival is just one of the many popular events held at Eckert's each year. There's also the Wine & Food Festival in March, the Free Summer Concerts from May to August, the Haunted Hayrides in September and October, and Breakfast with Santa in December.

But there doesn't need to be a special event to draw crowds to the orchards. From strawberries to apples to pumpkins, Eckert's has a variety of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables throughout the year. In fact, Eckert's is the largest pick-your-own orchard operation in the United States. In addition to the Belleville location, there are also smaller farms in Millstadt and Grafton offering their own events and activities.

And, Eckert's operates a St. Louis Farm Market on Gravois Road in the summer. For more information on any of these locations, see the Eckert's website.

Other May Events

The Strawberry Festival is just one of the many events happening in May in St. Louis area. The warmer weather means the chance to get outside and take in celebrations like Art on the Square in Belleville, Bark in the Park in St. Louis and Maifest in Hermann, Missouri. For more ideas and information on what to do in St. Louis this month, see Top Events in St. Louis in May and What to Do on Memorial Day Weekend.