St. Louis Treasures Your Kids Will Love to Find
(That Aren't Pokémon)
All St. Louisans know about the great kids activities that this city has to offer, like the Zoo and the City Museum, but there are even more kids activities to discover in St. Louis. Here are many places you (and your kids!) probably aren’t familiar with, as well as some of the lesser-known family activities at places you are already familiar with! If you’re tired of your kids wandering around the streets trying to catch Pokemon on your iPhone, check out some of these awesome activities that are fun for the whole family!
IN ST. LOUIS CITY
1. Get Loud at the St. Louis County Library
Photo from SLCL Facebook page
“”Shhhhhhhhhh…” is not a word you'll hear from a tired grumpy old cat lady at The Saint Louis County Library. They have a ton of events for kids every day, such as Whiskers and Tales, where Love on a Leash (a local pet therapy organization) brings in animals for the kids to interact with during a story. Other recurring events include Pokemon/Digimon/Yu-Gi-Oh! parties, story time (an aloud story reading program) and a Lego Club! They also have a summer reading club open to all ages and a bookmark design contest open to anyone in grades 1-12. So, let your outdoor voice be freeeeeeeEEEEEEE!!! Registration is required, however, as these events are -- like we boldly stated -- FREEEEE! Follow the link below for more information about event dates and registration.
Find out more here.
2. Learn How to Prey at Crown Ridge Big Cat Rescue Center
Photo from Thor-slider.jpg
Located in Genevieve, Crown Ridge is a nonprofit tiger sanctuary that provides lifelong care for neglected big cats. They even rescue cats that would otherwise be euthanized and provide them with a happy home. It's a great place to take your kids that isn't the zoo! They offer a variety of different tours (a general tour is $10/person), including educational tours that are great for school field trips, and they even host children's birthday parties for $11 per child! So, get ready to channel your inner Calvin and Hobbes and explore this beautiful tiger sanctuary.
Find out more here.
3. Channel Your Inner Da Vinci with the Family Activities at the St. Louis Art Museum
Photo from St Louis Art Museum Facebook Page
Art is intriguing for people of all ages, but sometimes all the beauty can make kids antsy. And we all know the word "museum" scares the heck out of them! Get them appreciating art and learning at Family Sundays at The St. Louis Art Museum with hands-on art activities and lively 30-minute family tours through the Galleries. Each month has a different theme (like Designing Nature, Art Transformers, and Passport to India). As of the Summer of 2016, the Art Museum has “Portraiture” Connect Labs throughout the Galleries, which offer hands-on activities (for all ages) that help you discover themes and connections across the Museum’s collections. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of family, you can download a self-guided family tour from the Museum’s website in one of four themes! And these activites are all free!
Learn more here!
4. Treat Your Kids Like Royalty at Zachary’s Playground
Photo from Unlimitedplay.org
We know -- you want the best for your children. No second-rate playgrounds for them. Well, don’t worry, we have the #1 playground in all of America right here in St. Louis! It’s Zachary’s Playground in Hawk Ridge Park in Lake St. Louis (voted #1 by the Early Childhood Education Zone). The playground has a castle and boat theme, with swings, a climbing net, a waterplay area, music selection, rollerslides and metal slides, and it is completely ADA compliant. Everything can be used by children of all abilities! Just try not to hog it all when the "kid" in you can't resist.
Learn more here!
5. Jump Back in Time with the Special Activities at the Missouri History Museum
Photo from www.stlparent.com
If you are a parent in St. Louis, you're probably aware of the History Museum’s History Clubhouse that opened in 2015. If you aren’t aware, my gosh! Check it out! It’s an interactive gallery about St. Louis history that was created with the input of children and parents in St. Louis! This family-focused exhibit is only one of the plethora of experiences the Missouri History Museum offers for kids and families. Every Tuesday and Friday at 10:30 AM is Storytelling at the Museum with a different story each week with a matching hands-on craft and it’s all free. There’s also a Spanish session once a month! You and your children can also enjoy Homeschool Days; a Spring Break Series and Summer Family Fun Series with storytelling, puppet shows, movies, make-and-takes and more; Parent & Me, a four-week series every Spring and Fall for families with children ages 2-5 that encourages free play and child-directed exploration; Early Childhood Group Visits; Summer camps; theatrical performances, and Girl Scout and Cub Scout programs. And don’t miss the special MLK Family Celebration, Winter Getaway days (during Winter break!), and Healthy History Lovin’ Halloween party!
Find out more here!
AROUND THE ST. LOUIS AREA
6. Myseum is Yourseum for Funseum
Photo Comprised from Myseum's Facebook Page
What do you get when you take the magic of the Magic House, with the science of The Science Center and a dash of the City Museum and mix it all together? You get Myseum! Located in Town and Country, for just $10.95 plus tax (and a nominal fee for adults--because you adults will have fun too!), your kids can have a blast and a half with tons of fun activities! Explore the Vet Center, where you're the vet and you get to help wild animals, an Interactive Video System, which uses your body shadows to interact with a projection on a wall, and Laser Harp, which are lasers that make music, and so much more! It's scientifically fun!
Learn more here!
7. Enjoy the Greater Outdoors at the Shaw Nature Reserve
Photo from Missouribotancialgarden.org
The Shaw Nature Reserve is owned by Missouri Botanical Gardens, but is actually located in Gray Summit, MO, about 40 minutes from the city. Their Sense of Wonder Woodland (opened in 2015) is made of entirely natural or repurposed materials and includes structures like swings, treehouses and fire towers. (Editor's note - if you encounter an actual fire, please call 911.) The reserve has a selection of geocaching classes open to the public, but if you already know how it's done, you can come here and do it on your own. It's probably also an awesome place to play Pokemon Go if you're into that. Shaw features an array of outdoor adventures that both kids and teens can sign up for, like paddle boarding, kayaking, wilderness wagon rides, flashlight night hikes and soil digging. So, if you're like some of us and you quit the Boy Scouts after 4th grade because you were tired of selling Christmas wreaths door-to-door, then come out to the Shaw Nature Reserve and experience your inner cub scout with your kids.
Check out this list of events!
8. Fowl Play at Purina Farms
Photo from Purina Farms Website
Purina Farms is one of the many great free attractions that St. Louis has to offer. They've got great activities for kids like wagon rides, cow milking, baby animal petting, a hayloft play area and more! The visitor center is open from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM everyday except Monday. Purina often sponsors interesting events like dog and cat shows, and they even host birthday parties for your kids! They just ask that you not taunt or feed the animals. And also don't take them home. Seriously, don't. How were you even planning on taking that cow home, hmmm??
Learn more here!