Tower Grove Park Takeaway. The "Pavillion Park". A great park for adults. Not so great for kids. Excellent 3-mile loop for walking or running. Playgrounds surprisingly meh. Haven't been, but heard the Farmer's Market is great. So many little things to see add up to a really fun experience. Baseball fields, soccer fields, and even a clay tennis court. Parking is everywhere. A park worth being the neighborhood namesake.
Tower Grove Park Experience Summary
We made our first adventure to Tower Grove Park.
We've driven past Tower Grove a bajillion times to get to restaurants, places, and the botanical gardens three or four times but never made it one block further south into the park.
We parked on the west side of the forest and walked all the way to the east side. The plan was to walk back, but it was a tad too long and cold for the kids, so I walked back by myself to get the car. The 3-mile loop was a bit too adventurous for an eight and four-year-old to trek.
And that's actually a pretty good summary of the experience in a nutshell - great for adults, lacking for kids. I'd give it a 9.2/10 for adults and a 3.1/10 for kids.
Throw in the Farmers' Market, I've heard, is fantastic, and it's a park made for adults. The crisscrossing walking paths and almost perfect 5k loop make for an almost infinite number of different runs or walks.
And with a dozen plus pavilions to look at, you have way markers every few minutes.
Tower Grove Park encapsulates everything about the neighborhood. Like most St. Louis lifers I've met in Olivette, you spend your 20s in Tower Grove before kids and then move to the ‘burbs as "adults."
Tower Grove Park Playground Breakdown
There are two playgrounds in the park:
Both, to be frank, kinda suck for kids. They aren't big, there's not a lot of different apparatuses, and it's dated.
Gosh, I sound snobby.
I'll knock them down in order.
The middle playground was bigger than the eastern playground with one main apparatus, a climbing wall, a climbing net, some swings, and a younger kid's playground.
The main apparatus didn't have much height and only two standard plastic slides. The climbing wall and net didn't have much height either.
Without height, both lacked excitement and variety.
It was a cold day, we had been walking, and the kids wanted to like the playground - they made us stop - but they both got bored in under ten minutes. Needless to say, it's not Playground Complete.
So we ate some snacks and trekked on to the east playground.
The east playground was a step up from the middle playground. It had one main playground with two sets of slides and a unique 2-bar slide-thing. My four-year-old was too young to mount and slide down the 2-bar slide-thing but still wanted to try several times. My eight-year-old made it down… awkwardly.
I liked it, but I'm 36 and not exactly the target audience.
The strangers with kids between our kids' ages almost murdered themselves twice. I had to catch a jumper one time who had no fear.
Besides that, it had a couple of normal slides and some monkey bars, but not much more.
Tower Grove Park Amenities And Miscellaneous
There are a ton of landmarks all the way throughout the park.
In all honesty, Pavilion Park would be a much more apt name, but without the neighborhood appeal.
We usually walk in Stacy Park, where you walk for convenience and exercise - there's not much to see. With Tower Grove Park, you have something unique and interesting to look at every two or three minutes.
A list of pavilions and landmarks we saw on our trek across the park include:
Fun Small Bridges
Sons Of Rest Pavillion
And the list goes on. There are easily 10 to 20 more statues and pavilions throughout the walk. And if you don't want to walk, the web of paths offers an almost infinite number of running paths. My favorite was Fountain Pond.
Making it feel like super St. Louis, the whole park is lined by my favorite brick row houses and townhouses
Tower Grove embodies the quintessential St. Louis, but you must be over 25 to appreciate it fully. My sons wanted to just get to the playgrounds and get out. I could sit at the Fountain Pond reading a book all day, but my sons would rather jump in and swim around.
I have yet to go to the Tower Grove Farmer's Market, held in the park every Saturday from the spring through the fall. Maybe next year on that one. I bet it's the kind of place you'd want your parents to buy you stuff when you're in your mid to late twenties, and they are visiting for the weekend.
There are also bathrooms, both fancy and port-o-potties, spread throughout the park.
Parking At Tower Grove Park
There is parking throughout the park and its perimeter. There are so many entrances to the park that you should be able to find parking somewhere. If there's somewhere you need to be exactly, the furthest walk would be thirty minutes, but I'd imagine you shouldn't have to trek more than fifteen.
Tower Grove Park Receipt