On Playin’ Hooky

My kids just finished their second week of school!
The first week we missed two days because we were in St. Louis on a 
last minute family vacation.   
(In all honesty, my honey was there for work so he didn’t get to play as much as we did…)

A fun, fast, last minute summer trip…

Spring Break -Part 2 (or On Being Snowed In: St. Louis Style)

Part 2 of our Spring Break…

Thursday of our week off we drove to St. Louis, MO.
(It’s about a six hour drive from here.)

What is fun to do in St. Louis for families? (Just for you, Kelly!)
Our top picks:

1. City Museum 
(This is honestly the main reason we go to St. Louis.)

An old shoe factory that’s been converted into the most awesome artist colony you’ve ever
seen.  Artists have turned empty spaces into a magical wonderland for both children and adults.
Your imagination can go crazy (and so can the kids!)  Plan to spend an entire day here.   This is the most expensive thing we do in STL and it’s around $13 a head I think.
There are lots of clubs and restaurants in this area also so you won’t be bored!

city museum stl
My kids want to live here!

Inside the “caves” 15 story slide!

Opera Poster exhibit I adored

Waiting to hear it play

2. Forest Park (Home of the 1904 World’s Fair)
So many things to do IN the park (and many for FREE)- We’ve been in the summer and rented bikes there- that way you can explore the park and go from attraction to attraction. 

  • St. Louis Zoo (FREE, and as my happy husband said “They have BEER!” If you park in the zoo’s lot it costs $10, but you can also park along streets in park for free.)
Beautiful butterflies
  •  St. Louis Science Center (free)

  • Grand Basin (or the grounds where you can fly kites, picnic,  or just let the kids run- and free)

We happened upon a nice guy flying a kite so high up you could barely see it.  He let us all “fly” it for a bit and talked about the science of kite flying. 

My family visiting the second silver tree in a week- second state!
  • Missouri History Museum

  • St. Louis Art Museum (free)


Dear Old St. Louis

3.  Fitz’s American Restaurant
In the DelMar loop- A fun family place to go after the park, Fitz’s makes their own Root Beer and soda right there.  You can see the bottling plant working while you eat. 

Be warned- This is a float SPLIT in 1/2!

 4.  The Gateway Arch  (This was the first time we didn’t stop to see it.  You can ride up to the top, or just explore the park and the Museum of Westward Expansion under the arch which is free.)

5. Anheuser-Busch Brewery 
(We didn’t visit the brewery this time either.  It’s a neat FREE tour of the factories and stables for the Clydesdale horses.  I find the history and actual factory very interesting.  Some like the free sampling and snacks at the end of the tour… Kids like the horses the best I think.)  Grant’s Farm is also supposed to be a really neat place to visit but it wasn’t open this trip due to weather.

My honey had to work the next week so our plan was for us to drive up and stay til Sunday morning, and he’d fly back the following week after working at his company’s office there.

However, Mother Nature had other plans!  Snow started Saturday night and by Sunday morning this was our view from the hotel…

Snow Dancers Outside the hotel
 12 inches of snow by the time it was over!
Another day of vacation is never a bad thing, right?

On the way back we stopped at Lambert’s Cafe “Home of the Throwed Rolls” in Sikeston, MO.

Really a fun place for kids- they actually yell “ROLLS?” and if you want one you raise your hands and have to catch them.  Really hot, good, homemade rolls.  Wish the butter was real…
The kids liked the giant drinks and all through the meal they come around asking if you want this or that.  Make sure you’re hungry or share a meal.  We shared and still had leftovers for days. Oh, and they don’t take credit cards…(this is when a teenage daughter who doesn’t spend money comes in handy- Thank You, E.)

For more fun in St. Louis check this out:
They have a great food festival Labor Day weekend that’s FREE and fun!
 St. Louis in Fall

*If you’re driving up from LR, also check out Blue Owl Bakery in Kimmswick, MO (fun!), Mastodon State Park and Museum of Transportation right before you get to St. Louis.  REALLY fun with kids! 

Quick Trip to St. Louis

We went to St. Louis for Fall Break-
The kids really only wanted to go to play in the City Museum
(and we got our money’s worth- we played for about four hours, then went to the hotel for a break and back again until after midnight!)  
City Museum
If you make it to St. Louis you HAVE to visit this museum (no matter how old/young you are.) 
A fantastic
old shoe factory that was converted into an art gallery/playground that is
next to nothing you’ve ever seen before.  They take recycling to a new
extreme.   Our kids were old enough this time for me to not panic when
they disappeared into a tunnel.  I trusted that they would stay together
and they did for the most part.  Since we were there last time they’ve
added so much.  A whole middle section that goes up at least ten stories
with slides that span the entire building and a rooftop garden complete
with ferris wheel!  Where else can you watch a circus, be a human skateboard, see the world’s largest pencil, slide down ten stories, climb in an airplane hanging on a crane, enter the belly of a whale, and more??  Bring your walking shoes! 

Dragon Friend on Patio

 It was a crazy weekend in St. Louis, as many in the summer/early fall are.  Make sure you try and get a room booked ahead of time.  I had one for the first night and we just lucked into one the second night (thank goodness.)  There was a college football game, professional football game, Food Festival (which was so much fun,) and a Cardinals game all that weekend!  Downtown St. Louis has really boomed since we visited a year or two ago.  I was amazed at all the new bars, shops, and restaurants downtown as well as the neat lofts and condos in the old factory district.  Very cool.

Gateway Arch (great free museum underneath!)

View from Arch (Only 3 of the 6 of us were brave enough)  See the Cards game in Busch Stadium?

  The Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour is another fun (and free) thing to do.  It takes about an hour if you catch it at the right time.  The architecture and artwork is phenomenal and the kids love seeing the Clydesdales and the bottling plant.  (Free drinks and pretzels at the end of the tour!)

Scott the Clydesdale

Hops Chandelier in Mash Room at A.B.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery

 On the way home we stopped at the Mastodon State Park.  Not as grand as I’d imagined, but a nice break with some fun information that the kids enjoyed.  (And we learned the difference between mastodons and woolly mammoths!)

On Vacations…

My cousin has a new fun Mr.Linky on her site. Here’s my answer…

Oh, I love to travel. Luckily my honey does too. Some of my faves…

Coba, Mexico (on the steps to a pyramid)

With family in Playa del Carmen

We love Quintana Roo, state in Mexico. We honeymooned there 17 yrs ago. We went every year for awhile. A couple of times with friends and once with family. We like to stay in the Iberostar chain hotels, but now our family is larger (and they only allow 4 to a room) we haven’t been back but once I guess. Have to rent a house there soon!
City Museum

Then there is St. Louis. What an awesome family trip! Last year we drove up and hit all the hot spots (City Museum, Arch, zoo, Transportation museum, Blue Owl Bakery…) FUN!
And San Antonio! We rode the train there over Spring Break and had a fantastic trip. We stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa (I sooo recommend this place for families! Free bikes and trails, fantastic pool and beach, close to Sea World, great food…) Hit the Witte museum, SA zoo, Alamo, Riverwalk…

Another great trip was our drive from Arkansas to California! We saw lots of fun things that were along the old Route 66, went to the Grand Canyon, LA, Pasadena, La Jolla (Scripps museum) San Diego…
on the way back went to Arizona and saw more fun things. (Hint, if you join a science museum close to you then usually it’s reciprocal with museums all over the world. We usually don’t have to pay a dime anywhere and a family membership is around $70 for a year.)

Picture of Train in Grand Canyon (Max took this!)


Our next trip is Orlando (Disneyworld) this fall. Can’t wait! I would like our trip after that to be Panamá.