If you're looking for a final hurrah for the summer before school begins again, there is an annual event going on right now that could fit that bill very nicely.

If you're looking for a final hurrah for the summer before school begins again, there is an annual event going on right now that could fit that bill very nicely.

At the St. Louis Rams' training facility in Earth City right now, the team's annual training camp is going on. Not only are the practices at this facility open to the public, but attending them is free of charge as well. Training camp remains one of the few things that the National Football League and its member franchises won't demand you open your wallet to partake in.

Besides the open practices held on specific dates and times, there is also a free "Kids' Zone." In the enclosure, kids can play on a custom playground and bounce around on inflatables. There are games, giveaways, and on select days, kids may have the chance to be a "Rams Rookie." Registration for that activity can be done on the team Web site.

Practices normally last around three hours, with position-specific autograph sessions for kids occurring directly after the conclusion of practice. I say for kids because there are a lot of older fans that I have seen pushing kids out of the way to get their jersey autographed so they can sell it. The players will sign for adults, but don't be one of those people who denies someone else a childhood memory to make a buck for yourself.

If you can swing it on such short notice, tomorrow could be an ideal day to head to St. Louis. Starting at 12 p.m. the Rams will have their third annual Fan Fest at the Edward Jones Dome. Fans will have the opportunity to watch the Rams take the field for practice and seven-on-seven drills beginning at 12:30 p.m. Following the practice, the entire team will outline the perimeter of the field to sign autographs for fans. Other activities offered include a kids interactive zone with a Rams playground, photo booth locations and the opportunity to tour various areas of the Edward Jones Dome.

There are several things to know to make your visit to camp as enjoyable as possible. The first is the parking situation. Parking is free but is limited to the lot directly north of the facility. The earlier you get there, the better your chance of getting a spot. Those with handicap parking permits will be allowed to park inside the gates of Rams Park.

As any Missouri resident knows, the temperatures in August can be scorching. There is little shade available around the practice field so sunscreen and umbrellas are a good idea. This should go without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway; bring water. There are limited concessions available, but the Rams allow you to bring in a small cooler so that you can stay hydrated. Seating is also quite limited around the practice field, so bring a lawnchair or blanket. If it should begin to rain, shelter is also very limited as well. That's another reason to bring that umbrella.

The Rams are fine with you taking pictures during practice, but prohibit recording any video recording or using flash photography. They are very serious about those two things.

Glass containers, noisemakers, loud radios, large signs, smoking and inappropriate attire are prohibited as well. The Rams also do not allow weapons of any kind, regardless of any permits. Animals, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted at the camp.

Training camp is a relatively inexpensive way to see how a professional football team works and get very close to the athletes and coaches. If you make the trip, you won't be disappointed.

What: St. Louis Rams' training camp

Where: Rams Park, Rams Way, Earth City, Mo.

When: Gates opening 90 minutes prior to the start of practices. Open practices will be held on the following dates at the listed times

8/4 3:30 p.m.

8/5 5:30 p.m.

8/11 3:30 p.m.

8/12 5:30 p.m.

8/14 3:30 p.m.

8/19 3:30 p.m.

8/20 3:30 p.m.

Cost: only the gas to get there and back, plus any food or merchandise.