Best Public Park

Suson Park

Though south county's Suson Park greets visitors with nearly 100 acres of greenery, modern playground areas and charming bridges, we'd bet the farm that the biggest draws are the barnyard animals that call it home. Signs here and there remind parkgoers "We Bite!" Nevertheless, it takes a ton of willpower not to stroke the flanks of the adorable Shetland ponies, or pet the pigs flopped over in the dirt, or hug the lambs as they munch contentedly on the grass. Those who seek a more active afternoon can drop a line into one of Suson's three lakes — they are regularly stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation with bass, catfish, sunfish and rainbow trout. (State law requires anglers ages 16 to 64 obtain a fishing permit first, though, so come prepared.) Suson celebrated its 50th anniversary a couple of weeks back with kid-centric activities including pony rides, puppet shows, face-painting and hayrides, no doubt endearing it to yet another generation of children.

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