Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Things to do in the Lou!

If you need something to do in the lou, look no further!  

             Free things:
  1. Creve Coeur Lake- Lovely trails to stroll and 4 playgrounds as well
  2. Powder Valley Nature Reserve- Great visitor center with stuff for the kids to learn about nature and 3 trails of varying difficulty to walk
  3. Laumeier Sculpture Park- Great place to stroll around. They say they have a kids area but really it’s just more sculpture.
  4. Zoo- Free but parking in the lot is $15. We always park up by the art museum it has a free lot. Their discovery room is amazing.
  5. Art museum has free family art on sun from 1-4
  6. History museum- has an amazing free discovery room
  7. Pick fruit- Eckerts has great kids areas but picking fruit will cost you. There are other orchards like Thies, Stuckmeyers, Hermans, and Braeutigams.
  8. Science Center- Discovery room is awesome and it’s $3.50 for an hour of play.
  9. Frisco Train Store- Awesome store where the kids can play with train tables for free but please donate or buy something so we keep this great place in business!
  10. Lone Elk Park/World Bird Sanctuary- WBS is a great place to let the kids run free
  11. Citygarden downtown- beautiful park filled with sculpture and pop jets and wading pools for the hot summer months.
  12. Shaw Nature Reserve- Cost is $1 and their kid area is amazing. Same exit as Purina Farms.
  13. Purina Farms- Great place to take the kids!
  14. Contemporary Art Museum- Free stroller tour the first Tues of every month with a craft and free breakfast from Companion bakery.
  15. Mastodon Park- Great place to walk around and learn about….mastodons.
  16. Elephant Rocks/ Johnson Shutins- a bit of a drive.
  17. Mall play area- South county, West county, Chesterfield, Mid Rivers, Galleria, and the Mills are the only ones (Chesterfield also has the carousel and toy tyme)
  18. Ladue Early Childcare Center- FREE open play every Friday from 9:30- 10:30. AMAZING facility which includes a big gym to play in and the big room to play in with water table, rock wall, slide, dolls, grocery store, and kitchen.
  19. Most libraries have toddler time and baby time, check their websites for dates and times.
  20. Fly a kite and/or picnic on Art Hill
  21. Hartford Coffee Co or Rise Coffee House- Has kids areas and toys for the kids, with nice couches but I would feel weird going there and not getting coffee and something to eat.
  22. McDonalds- Quite a few locations have cool indoor play equipment including Rock Hill, South County, (also Chic-Fil-A)
  23. Kangaroo Kids- Has indoor play area for the kids and lots of great used clothing and baby gear, plus parenting events and playgroups
  24. Go play in a creek! Splash pads beat the heat too.
  25. St. Louis Live Steamers has free train rides in Kircher Park once a month. http://stlouislivesteamers.org/
  26. Ride bikes on Grant's trail or go hiking
  27. There are free children's concerts at the Piper Palm House every summer.
  28. Indian Camp Creek Park in Wentzville- awesome playground and creek.
  29. Parent Resource Center- sometimes they have playgroups
  30. Jewish Community Center free open play- check their schedule
  31. Stiches and Littles in West Co mall has book readings and princess parties
  32. Tour the Old Courthouse downtown. Tours are 45 mins long.
  33. Visit the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton. They give free tours of the loc and dam. Nearby is the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower (not free but very cool). Make a day trip of the area! Lots to do in Alton.
  34. Start Geocaching! It's free, addicting, and a very fun thing to do with littles!
  35. Go to a pet store and look at the animals
  36. Suson Park to see the animals
  37. Many retail stores offer book readings and activities- Lego Store, American Girl Store, and Stitches and Littles
  38. Tour the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate factory
  39. Story time at Barnes & Noble, Pottery Barn Kids in Frontenac, V Stock SoCo mall, History Museum, and Whole Foods....check their websites for dates & times
  40. Stories at Stages in Chesterfield has book readings and then craft and movement time- all free
  41. Home Depot and Lowe's have free kids workshops where they build things
  42. The Foundry in St. Charles has family fun day some Sundays- tons of free crafts for kids
  43. Skateboard at a skate park
  44. Amber Sky has free story times and activities sometimes, check their calendar.
  45. Chess Hall of Fame- has free todller time every Tues. Kids can play on a lifesized chess board, make crowns and shields, go down slides and more. 

      Things that cost:

  46. Meramec Caverns- $19 adults, $9.50 kids
  47. Wabash, Frisco, and Pacific railway- $4 a person…cute little train that takes you on a scenic 30 min ride through Wildwood.
  48. Grant’s Farm- Technically free but parking is $12 a car- $5 off coupon floating around online
  49. Butterfly house- $6 adults, kids under 12 are $4, kids under 2 are free. Admission is FREE the first Tues of every month from 9-11.
  50. Botanical Garden- Their kids area is amazing, and it’s free to get in every Wed and Sat before noon, otherwise $4 for adults, kids free under 12. Also their discovery room in the Climatron is amazing.
  51. Transportation Museum- Their Creation Station is an hour of fun in a room filled with transportation themed toys, cost is $2 a person plus reg museum admission which is $8 adults, kids 3-12 $5.
  52. City Museum- tons of things to do there, including enchanted caves and slides, rooftop ferris wheel, toddler town, skate park, tiny train railroad, and more. ages 3 and up $12 a person
  53. Bob Kramer’s marionettes- A legend in town but also kind of bizarre. It was $22 for Nick and I and it was dusty dirty and felt old and stale. They do a puppet show and show the kids how the puppets are made. Prob better for older kids.
  54. Magic House- Lots to see and do here $10 a person age 1 and up
  55. Cahokia Mounds- Technically free but they ask for a $4 donation
  56. The arch- The Jefferson National Expansion Museum under the arch is free to wander around in, to go to the top is $10 adults, $5 kids
  57. Tour the Compton Hill Water Tower- Views of the city are amazing, one of very few water towers left in the country. It’s old though and there are lots of steps.
  58. Paddleboats in Forest Park and have lunch at the boathouse- $15 an hour (also paddleboats at union station)
  59. Raging Rivers water park in Grafton- 4 feet tall and over $22 for the day, under 4 feet $19, under 2 free. Go after 3 pm and get a discount. 8 diff water areas to enjoy including one for little guys.
  60. Bowling- Show Me Lanes has $1 games every Tues during the summer.
  61. COCA or Craft Alliance- They offer kids classes
  62. Kirkwood Discovery Room- In the Kirkwood Early Childcare center, they have open play for $5 for the first child, $3 each additional child, and it is so worth it. Play is from 9:30- 11:30 and they have every toy under the sun plus sensory bins and craft time. For kids birth to age 5. Run by parents as teachers, they only take checks, no cash or credit cards.
  63. Open gym- South Co and Mid Co YMCA has open gym for $5 from 9:30 to 11:00. Kids can run down a long trampoline, play on the balance beams and uneven parallel bars, or just run and jump. Very good place to let them run wild, it’s all on soft mats so they can’t get hurt and they can burn major energy. Also Hi NRG, Little Gym, Miss Kelly's, Olympiad, Barron, Team Central they all have open gym check their schedules.
  64. Myseum- Part magic house, part science center in Town & Country. It’s big with lots to do including a huge slide where you can clock your speed, dig for dinosaur bones and more. $11 adults, kids $6. No time limit
  65. Ride the Carousel in Faust Park- $2, kids under 1 are free There is lots to do in Faust park, including a historic village that is great for photo ops, and a playground. Sometimes they have ride and play for $8 which gets you unlimited rides and the toy room for 2 hrs. Check their schedule.
  66. Incredible Pizza Co/Chuck E Cheese- Lots of games and food to be had here. Sounds like Dave and Busters but on a smaller scale. For older children, there is laser tag, go karts, bumper cars and glow mini-golf, mini-bowling, and various other arcade type games.
  67. Movies- Some movie theatres offer free or cheap kids movies and don’t frown on the kids being loud.
  68. Six Flags- Not cheap but they have a toddler area and includes admission to Hurricane Harbor.
  69. Dream Play Recreation- a swingset store that has 12 huge swingsets for the kids to play on and trampolines and basketball. (rainbow swingset superstore was the same thing but is out of business)
  70. Shrewsbury City Center has open play on certain days (changes every semester) for $2 from 10 to noon.
  71. Bounce places- Jolly Jumps, Monkey Joes, Bounce U, Pump it up, Jump 4 fun
  72. Go to the tot time at a pool, it's usually cheap for kids under 5 to play in the baby area (see other sheet for list) Indoor pools in the winter is great too!
  73. Airplane museum in Creve Coeur at Creve Coeur Airport
  74. The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon has a great playhouse for $3.
  75. Playtime Party Center in Wentzville $2 a person
  76. Chesterfield Sports Fusion- Indoor playground for young children, indoor mini-golf, laser tag, dodgeball, a climbing wall and an arcade for the entire family.
  77. Family Fun day at Ballpark Village
  78. Big Joel's Safari in Wright City, it's worth the drive! My kids love feeding all the animals. You can get a lot closer to them than you can at the zoo. There's also Critter Lane down south in Valles Mines MO
  79. Swing Around Fun Town- bumper boats, indoor playground, mini golf, arcade, and more!
  80. Tee Time family fun center on Lemay-go carts, mini golf, bumper cars, bumper boats, free soft play, video games, blacklight 3d maze.
  81. Tour Busch Stadium. Adults $12, kids $8, 3 and under are free. Not including parking.
  82. Take a riverboat cruise. The Becky Thatcher and the Tom Sawyer give one hour sight seeing cruises daily. Adults $18, kids $8, under 3 free.
  83. The Endangered Wolf Center offers tours and messy play dates. Check with them for schedules/fees.
  84. Take a cooking class with the kids- Dierbergs, Eckerts, Kitchen Conservatory, ABC chefs, l'ecole clinaire, Sweetology and more
  85. Go to a model train show http://mvns.railfan.net/othersho.htm
  86. We Rock The Spectrum inclusive indoor gym
  87. Upper Limits Rock Climbing
  88. Go Ape! Zip line and treetop adventure
  89. Epic 6
  90. Roller Skating/ice skating
  91. World Aquarium on the landing
  92. Kokomo Joe's in St. Peters
  93. The Pointe at Ballwin Commons- The Pointe Activity Center has sportwall system, dance dance revolution, wii, and a climbing wall. $7 per kid
  94. Sky Zone indoor trampoline park
  95. Webster Rec Plex open play
  96. Dave & Busters
  97. Rockin' Jump O'Fallon
  98. Wiloughby Farm in Collinsville
  99. Healthworks kids museum- around the corner from the Science Center
  100. Pole Position indoor go cart raceway
  101. Paint Ball
  102. Go get a sweet treat! Whether it's custard, ice cream, cupcakes, sno cones or donuts, there's plenty of places in town to sample.
  103. Escape the Room, for older kids and adults
  104. Kindermusik or any music class
    108. The Prologue Room Boeing- free self-guided tours to the general public (individuals, small groups, etc.) only during the summer months: June, July and August, 9:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m., Monday -- Friday Free admission. Free parking. Cameras are permitted. The facility is wheelchair accessible. The Prologue Room is located in Building 100 at the corner of McDonnell Boulevard and Airport Road, adjacent to Lambert-St. Louis International airport.

St. Louis Recurring Festivals:
  1. Mardi Gras- Feb/Mar (Soulard)
  2. St. Patrick’s Day- March (Dogtown & Downtwon)
  3. Earth Day- April (Forest Park)
  4. Children's Festival- May (St. Charles Main St)
  5. Irish Fest- Memorial Day (St. Charles Main St)
  6. Fair St. Louis- July (Downtown)
  7. Strassenfest- August (Downtown)
  8. Festival of Nations – August (Tower Grove Park)
  9. Festival of the Little Hills- August (St. Charles Main St)
  10. Japanese Festival- Labor Day (Botanical Garden)
  11. Big Muddy Blues Festival September (Laclede’s Landing)
  12. Greek Festival- September (Central West End)
  13. Greentree Festival- September (Kirkwood)
  14. Great Forest Park Balloon Glow/Race- September (Forest Park)
  15. Apple Butter Festival- October (Kimmswick)
  16. Oktoberfest- October (Soulard and St. Charles Main St)
  17. Christmas Traditions – December (St. Charles Main St)

Brown Road Park, St. Peters

Location: 100 Brown Rd, St. Peters, MO 63376

Website: http://www.stpetersmo.net/st-peters-parks.aspx#brownroad

Playground Ground Cover: Poured rubber

The St. Peters website says there is a playground here, but there is not. There are only 4 sling swings and that's it. However, it's worth including because it is one of the few places in St. Louis that has sanctioned BMX tracks.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Oak Creek Park, St. Peters

Location: 1600 Willotte Rd, St. Peters MO 63376

Website: http://www.stpetersmo.net/st-peters-parks.aspx#oakcreek

Playground Ground Cover: Poured rubber and wood chips

This is an older playground but still fun. There is also a community garden here as well. They have 2 sling swings and 2 baby swings. There is one structure for littles and one for bigger kids. There are 4 rocking horses too.

They only have a port-a-potty- no permanent restrooms. It's next to the parking lot and pavilion.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Covenant Park, St. Peters

Location: 2199 Willotte Rd, St. Peters MO 63376

Website: http://www.stpetersmo.net/st-peters-parks.aspx#covenant

Playground Ground Cover: Rubber mats

This playground only has one thing, and it's unique. It's a large orange shape with spiderwebbing in the center. There is also one baby swing, one sling swing, one adaptive swing, and a spinning seat. I didn't see any restrooms.

Olde Town Park, St. Peters

Location: 141 Gatty Dr, St. Peters MO 63376

Website: http://www.stpetersmo.net/st-peters-parks.aspx#oldetown

Playground Ground Cover: Rubber mats and wood chips

The physical sign says Olde Town but the website says Old Towne so who knows where the extra E goes!  Olde Town Park is St. Peters' original park. More than 100 years old, this park is still a favorite of the community, offering two ball diamonds, four horseshoe pits, two pavilions and a playground. 
As a bonus this 1835 cabin is located on site.

The cabin was originally built and owned by Jacob Sattler on a site near Belleau Creek Road.

In 1995, Sattler's descendants donated the cabin to the Old Town Association after it was scheduled to be razed in preparation for a new development. The Association then kept the cabin in storage until 1999 when the City of St. Peters donated land on Gatty Road near Old Town Park as a new homestead. In 2004, the Old Town Association asked the City to take over the reconstruction of the cabin on the new site.

In December 2005 the Log Cabin officially opened with the first annual "Visit With Santa.” This annual event provides families the opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa in a true historical setting.

The playground has 2 baby swings, 2 sling swings, and a great play structure. It has 4 slides, a tic tac toe board, ramps, moving stepping stones, rock wall, and lots of bars and poles.

Tot Lot, St. Peters

Location: 259 Bellemeade Dr, St. Peters MO 63376

Website: http://www.stpetersmo.net/st-peters-parks.aspx#totlot

Playground Ground Cover: Rubber mats

Yay for enclosed playgrounds! This one is great and was renovated in 2009. There are 2 baby swings, 1 adaptive swing, and 1 sling swing. The bathrooms are close by and so is the parking lot. It's geared more toward kids under 5 but I am sure some grade schoolers would also enjoy it. They have a modified see-saw, stepping stones, balance beams, steering wheels, rock walls, musical instruments, activity boards, and more!

 basketball courts adjacent to the playground

Pavilion next to the playground

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Calvary Church Indoor Playground, St. Peters

Location: 3998 Mid Rivers Mall Dr, St. Peters MO 63376

Website: http://www.calvaryonline.cc/

This place has an amazing 3 story indoor playground, the largest I've ever seen! Now just to be clear you can't just walk in here and play, but they do birthday parties for REALLY cheap. We went to one there today which was $85 for 2 hours and you can bring anything in you like. 

It's a huge room with lots of little kid sized tables for eating and lots of seating for the adults. It's a great space for a party!

 It's a big building but the playground is right when you enter so it's easy to find.

 Big slide on the left