Central Field in Forest Park

Chances are, even with all of your impressive experiences that you so meticulously included in your application essays, you have never experienced anything like St. Louis’ Balloon Glow. Every September, the night before the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, a mass of hot air balloons inflate on the park green for a spectacular glow of light, color, and fire. Half of St. Louis seems to show up for the event, which is free and also includes live music and food, so I would strongly recommend walking rather than facing the horde of traffic. The next afternoon, call on your friends who live in an apartment near the park with an accessible rooftop to watch the balloons take off for the race. Dates: Late September; Website: for details.

— Emily M., M1