Sunday, July 22, 2018

Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility, St. Charles



Location: 1875 Muegge Rd., St. Charles, MO 63303 

Website: http://www.stcharlesparks.com/aquatics/hours-and-rates/wapelhorst-aquatic-facility/


This pool is nothing short of amazing. It's open every day from 11-7pm.  They have a tot time from 9-10:30am every Monday through Friday and it's $3.25 per person.  Regular admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for kids, and $2.50 for kids under 3. You do get a $1 discount if you come after 4pm.

The kiddie pool is great! It has zero entry and lots of activities and slides for little ones.














They do have a bucket that dumps out. It's hard to find a pool without these!









The lazy river 





Concession stand


The 2 big slides are scary and so fun! They include the 5 story speed slide and the Boomerango multi passenger slide. There are lots of steps to get to the top, and you have to carry the raft up to the top for the Boomerango. On this slide 2 people sit on the raft and then go down the yellow tube slide until it opens up into the orange thing and you fly up and then down. 









The 2 flume slides, one open and one closed



 They will let you swim in this pool but only at the end near the stairs. They don't want the people coming out of the slides to hit anyone.


When you first enter the facility they will measure the kids, and assign them wrist bands based on their height. Red is for all kids under 42", and yellow is for kids 42" to 48". If they are 48" or taller they get a green one and they can do everything.






They also have life vests you can use





 The deep pool has these awesome loungers on a shallow shelf that are halfway in the water. They have lots of umbrellas too for shaded lounging.









Overall this facility is amazing. It's brand new and clean as of 2018 and has lots of fun for everyone! If you have teens that crave adventure this pool is perfect. The Cove at St. Peters is rather tame and would be a better choice for families with younger kids.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis City



Location: 1 Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63102

Website: https://www.gatewayarch.com/plan-your-visit/

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial under the arch reopened on July 3, 2018 after a 5 year closure and a $380 million dollar renovation. It also goes by a new name, the Gateway Arch National Park. This place is a destination for residents of this city and tourists alike. Here are the details to help you plan a great visit.

First of all there is no designated parking lot for visitors, so you just drive around until you find a parking garage or street parking that is available. We went on a Saturday afternoon in July and downtown was hopping. I was told by 2 garages that unless I was a staying at the hotel I couldn't park there. You could also ride the MetroLink and get off at the 8th and Pine station. I drove around until I finally found a spot at a meter by the Hyatt that was really close to the new entrance. It's a pretty walk along the tree lined paths. My daughter loved the new wading pool at the entrance.







Once you enter the building you can look out over the mezzanine at this new map of the area. You have to go through security to get into the museum and to ride the tram to the top. You can purchase tickets to the left and go through security to the right.  Then you can come down the stairs into the museum. The museum is free but it does cost to go up to the top of the arch. It currently costs $13 for adults and $10 for kids. They also have packages which include riverboat cruises and the documentary movie. During the summer the Arch grounds are open 8-10pm daily and during the winter their hours are 9-6pm daily. Keep in mind the museum is new and very popular right now, so buying your tickets online is a great option. When we got to the arch it was 1:00 and when I went to buy tickets to go to the top I was told the next available was 5:45pm. We spent a lot of time walking around and exploring to kill time. If you don't want to wait that long then definitely check into buying tickets online! 


They have all these cool new screens depicting life in the 1800's. Kids can go behind it and their shadow shows up to the people in front.






Beyond these screens is the new museum. There are sections depicting the history of St. Louis and the Arch that go by chronological order. Some people have criticized the new museum saying it's not very kid friendly. I believe they tried to make it interactive for all ages. It definitely needed an update though because it was the exact same since I was a kid and I'm in my 40's! The beloved taxidermy bison is gone, replaced with a bronzed one. But the covered wagon, Indian teepee, and stagecoach are still here!




















The cafe food is pricey. We got the huge pretzel and it was really good! 







You can go to the top of the arch via the north leg or the south leg. The ride to the top takes 4 minutes and the pod is small and a bit claustrophobic. There are 8 pods and 5 people fit in a pod so only 40 people can go to the top at a time. Once you're up there you can stay as long as you like, but there are no restrooms and it's cramped if it's busy. It's fun to look down on the city and take in the views. You can see up to 30 miles!


Waiting in line for our turn to board. There are screens everywhere that tell you when they are boarding to help you know when you should get in line. 


The tour guide tells you about the process and they play a short video and trivia game on the walls.




The 8 tram cars


 Inside the tram car



The amazing views










There are lots of things to do once you're down here. There is a gift shop near the cafe with lots of cool things for sale. The Old Courthouse is a short walk and gives free tours. You can sit on the riverfront steps and watch the horse drawn carriages go by. There are riverboat cruises and helicopter tours as well. The Landing is also a short walk and they have the aquarium and some restaurants and shops. You could easily make a day of it!