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!


  1. This sounds like SO much fun! I need to bring my kiddos!

  2. What fun! I melt in the heat though, so we'd have to time it right. I keep intending to go to one of the campfire howls. I have a dear friend whose kids go to wolf camp every year and they love it!