Most non-heated park restrooms and drinking fountains are closed mid-October through mid-April. October marks the time when many parks and outdoor facilities are used less. Parks maintenance staff begin to close and winterize the restrooms in mid-October, depending on long-range forecasts and staff availability.
What does winterizing mean?
Many park restrooms, pools, and concession stands are not heated. If it gets below freezing, they run the risk of water lines and valves breaking, causing several thousand dollars worth of damage. Before the temperatures start to freeze, these facilities are closed and winterized by draining the water from all vulnerable lines.
When do facilities close?
Typically, the goal is to have all non-heated facilities closed by the end of October. This date is a fairly standard closing date for many cities in Missouri. They are re-opened by mid-April.
When it warms up, why don’t you unlock the restrooms?
There are times when Missouri temperatures are unseasonably warm in the winter months and people flock to the parks to enjoy the warm weather. With this, we get a lot of questions about why we do not unlock the restrooms on warm days. It is because it is not as simple as turning the water back on for the day. In addition to draining the lines, other maintenance must occur to safely prepare the restrooms to endure the cold weather temperatures. This takes several hours per restroom to do. It is not cost-efficient (or feasible) to close and reopen restrooms multiple times throughout the winter along with the added risk of refreezing if staff cannot get them in time.