Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Endangered Wolf Center Messy Play, Eureka

Location: 6750 Tyson Valley Rd, Eureka MO 63025


Messy Play Days happen 3 times a year during the summer months of June, July, and August.  They're always on a Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and it's for kids walking to age 5. I will say that my kids are 4 and 6 and honestly they were a bit too old for this. I would say this activity is best suited for toddlers up to age 3.

The cost is $8 a child and you should register in advance. They had 80 people sign up! I was the first person to get there and I'm so glad because it was crowded.  This facility is gated but someone will greet you and give you instructions when you pull up to the gate.

 The circle on the upper right is the gate where you arrive. You then drive down the road and get to the circle at the bottom left where the messy play takes place. They had a registration tent set up where you gave your name and paid your money if you hadn't already done so with a credit card over the phone. Then it was time to play!

They had 5 different activities set up along the road. The first was making your own pine cone bird feeder. The kids each got a plate with peanut butter and they could smear it all over the pine cone however they wanted and then roll it around in a tub of bird seed. I think this was our favorite activity.

The next station was self face painting. They had mirrors and lots of colors. My daughter had fun with this one!

The next area had lots of tubs for water play. There were a variety of water toys in each tub.

The next area was finger painting. They gave everyone paint and a paper towel roll and you could decorate it however you wanted.

The last area contained baby pools filled with sand and mulch. They all had buried objects like plastic insects and shovels and sifters. They also had tubs of water if the kids wanted to clean themselves off. My son hates having dirty hands so he appreciated that.

You had 4 hours to play but my kids were done quickly so I decided we should also do the wolf tour. It cost $10 for adults and the kids were free (it was included with their messy play admission). They had tours starting every hour. A docent talked to us while our group walked to the area where the animals are kept. She told us about the property and how all the buildings were originally WWII bunkers. The Wolf Sanctuary was founded in 1971 by world famous Marlin Perkins. Their goal was to save wolves that were becoming extinct and their work continues to this day. I was shocked to hear that the red wolf is the most critically endangered animal right now and that their numbers in the wild are less than 100.

We saw a swift fox but it was hard to see a lot of the animals because they were behind 2 separate fences. One fence had barbed wire at the top to keep the raccoons out.

 African painted dogs

 Gray wolves

We couldn't see the rare red wolves which was a shame. There were some other wolves we couldn't see either because they just had pups and were hiding in the back.

The day we were here it was about a thousand degrees outside, and the walk was long and hot. My kids were not happy about it. It would have been more enjoyable on a cooler day.

They have some other events that look interesting, including a photog tour, keeper for a day, predatour,  wolf camps, birthday parties, campfire wolf howl and more. I'm glad we finally got to check it out!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The James S. McDonnell Prologue Room at Boeing, Berkeley

Location: 100 Airport Rd, St. Louis MO 63135


This exhibit is completely free and open to anyone Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the summer months of June, July and August. The exhibit is not open on weekends. Parking is free and it's easy to find the building. I just plugged 100 Airport Rd into my GPS and it took me straight there. It's in Building 100 of Boeing's campus at the intersection of James S. McDonnell Blvd. and Airport Rd. You need to get through security to get to the rest of the campus but not this building.

From their website, "Portraying a century of milestones, the Prologue Room showcases the courageous pioneers of aviation and the achievements of thousands who turned dreams into reality."

Simply put, this room is an air and space history exhibit. My kids enjoyed it but wished there was more to do. I would say this is definitely more appropriate for school aged kids and not toddlers. 

You can sit and watch a little movie as you enter. It explains the basic principles of space flight.

My son loves the Blue Angels! 

I remember flying on Eastern in the 70's and it looked just like this!

From the website: "Visitors can view large-scale models of the F-15 Eagle, F/A-18 Hornet and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, and an operational unmanned ScanEagle.

Wind-tunnel-size models include Boeing’s newest 787 Dreamliner, C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angel, and Air Force One.

Displays of rockets and missiles include full-scale models of a Harpoon radar-guided missile, a JDAM smart weapon, and a Small Diameter Bomb.

At the exhibit’s center are full-size engineering mockups of the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft that carried America's first astronauts into space. Also on display are models of the Space Shuttle, Sky Lab, and the International Space Station.

Touch-screen kiosks throughout the museum help visitors to learn more about the products of Boeing through dozens of videos describing the development of the venerable airplanes and spacecraft that lead the way in the advancement of technology, change the way we travel, defend our freedoms, and discover new frontiers.

Guests may view a rare collection of fine art, including one of the largest collections of paintings by famed aviation artist R.G. Smith. His bold and dramatic work captures significant achievements in flight, space travel and world history."

This would be a great field trip for a homeschool group! They have programs in place for middle school students to explore science and technology. Call them for more information!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

RiverChase Rec Center of Fenton Outdoor Pool, Fenton

Location: 990 Horan Dr, Fenton MO 63026


RiverChase has 2 pool areas, one indoor and one outdoor. The outdoor complex has a lap pool and a water playground for kids which includes 2 slides and a lazy river. There is also a much larger slide but to slide you must be over 48".

Overhead view-photo from their website
Open swim costs $8 for adults, $7 for kids under 15, and kids under 3 are free. The hours are posted below. They do have a tot time but it's in the indoor pool and only during the school year.

This pool is wonderful if you have small kids. The water structure in the center has all kinds of jets and sprays and things you can manipulate to make water change direction. It's not deep at all, maybe a foot and a half deep. They have a bunch of animals you can climb on that float on the water but are secured to the bottom (a frog, a stingray, a turtle, and more). My kids were obsessed with climbing on them and also with those yellow slides!

 Lazy river

 This was a zero entry area with huge umbrellas for shade and little pop jets everywhere. So fun!

 The lap pool

They have a concession stand just on the inside of the building but I didn't look at the menu or prices.