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  • December 18, 2014

Summer Bets For Kids - Ladue News: Kids & Parenting

Summer Bets For Kids

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Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:00 pm

There are virtually endless ways for youngsters to have a memorable summer break in St. Louis. Mark your calendar for these family-friendly festivities, and get ready for some fun in the sun!

Saint Louis Zoo

Year after year, millions of visitors discover new animals and adventures at Saint Louis Zoo—join in the wild and wonderful fun!

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Where: 1 Government Drive in Forest Park

Cost: Free admission; parking, $12

Information: 781-0900, stlzoo.org

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Board the Emerson Zooline Railroad to all your favorite exhibits, including Sea Lion Sound, where guests can marvel at sea lions swimming in an underwater viewing tunnel and take in a live show at the amphitheater. And stay tuned for what is sure to become a new favorite: Polar Bear Point—coming next year!

• Summer attractions: Dance to the music during the Jungle Boogie Concert Series from 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday night through Aug. 29 (except June 20); feed and pet the stingrays at Caribbean Cove; and get up-close with the animals during keeper chats at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily throughout the zoo, and animal enrichment and training activities at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

City Museum

Journey through the City Museum’s multi-level maze of play, offering hours of eclectic entertainment—visit after visit!

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: 750 N. 16th St. downtown

Cost: $12, ages 3 and older; free, ages 2 and younger. Group rates also available. Parking, $5.

Information: 231-2489, citymuseum.org

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: This unique fun house’s interactive and stunning structures were created from salvaged materials such as bridges, tiles and even planes! Weave through the whimsical outdoor playground, MonstroCity, travel through the tunnels of the Enchanted Caves and take a ride back down to the play house’s floor via the 10-story Spiral Slide.

• Summer attractions: Venture through every unique crevice of the museum at night with SLUMBERCITY Family Overnight on Aug. 3. A $33 per person ticket includes a pizza dinner, breakfast buffet, activities, museum exploration and parking.

The Magic House

With hundreds of hand-on educational—and fun—exhibits and new attractions popping up all the time, it’s no wonder The Magic House is a top-rated children’s museum.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Memorial Day to Labor Day hours—Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Where: 516 S. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood

Cost: $9.50 for ages 1 and older. Group and member rates also available. Free parking. Free Family Nights by Emerson the third Friday evening of every month from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Information: 822-8900, magichouse.org

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Ascend the three-story magical Beanstalk climber and descend the three-story slide as you visit all the museum’s favorite interactive exhibits in-between.

• Summer attractions: Through June 29, build sandcastles and search for seashells at the museum’s backyard beach; through Aug. 10, star on the stage of the Magical Theater Company; and through Aug. 31, explore your natural curiosity with Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit! And extend the fun with the museum’s summer camps that offer various sessions from June through August for ages 4 to 5 (Camp Little Bit) and ages 6-9 (Camp Magic House).

Butterfly House

Be mesmerized by the mystical world of butterflies, as 80 species fly through a tropical habitat at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Memorial Day to Labor Day hours—9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Where: 15193 Olive Blvd., Faust Park, Chesterfield

Cost: $6, adults; $5, seniors; $4, ages 3 to 12; free, ages 2 and younger

Information: 636-530-0076, butterflyhouse.org

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Explore the tropical conservatory and butterfly garden, where thousands of butterflies are in flight.

• Summer attractions: Families can spot fireflies glowing in the night sky during the Butterfly House’s annual Firefly Festival from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on June 11, 18 and 25; examine the native insects of your own backyard at the sixth annual Bug Hunt on July 20 and 21 and join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for brunch from 9 to 10 a.m. July 18 and 19.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature with family-friendly activities at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Where: 4344 Shaw Blvd.

Cost: $4, kids and adults; $3, seniors; free, kids 12 and younger; Children’s Garden, $5, kids

Information: 577-5100 or mobot.org

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Splash and play your way through the Children’s Garden, featuring a tree house, water area, limestone cave, Midwestern prairie village and wetlands.

• Summer attractions: Take to the trees for a bird’s-eye view of the garden with Canopy Climbs for ages 8 and up on June 14 and 15; learn about plants and insects during Great Green Adventures hands-on activities on June 21, July 19, Aug. 16 and Sept. 20; and for a variety of free outdoor music, head to the free Whitaker Music Festival Concert Series running 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday nights from June 4 to Aug. 6 at the garden’s Cohen Amphitheater.

Saint Louis Science Center

Explore the far reaches of the universe at the Saint Louis Science Center through new and classic exhibits and events.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays beginning June 5)

Where: 5050 Oakland Ave. in Forest Park

Cost: Free admission. Exhibitions range from $3 to $14. Group rates available. The first Friday of every month, enjoy free activities throughout the center from 6-10 p.m. and see a free science fiction movie at 10 p.m.

Information: 289-4400, slsc.org

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Journey to another world with movies on the five-story dome screen of the OMNIMAX Theater. Now showing: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, Titans of the Ice Age and more.

• Summer attractions: The interactive exhibit, Dinosaurs in Motion, features kinetic life-size sculptures and opportunities to engage in art, science and innovation. And explore the universe during Planetarium shows, such as The Little Star That Could and Live Sky Tonight.

Grant’s Farm

Celebrate 60 years of Grant’s Farm as it rolls out new attractions alongside traditional favorites for another season of family fun.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Memorial Day to Labor Day hours—Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: 10501 Gravois Road

Cost: Free admission; $25, Clydesdale tours; $12, parking

Information: 843-1700, grantsfarm.com

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Take part in family favorites, such as the Clydesdale tours, baby goat feedings and camel rides. Additional Animal Encounters are at 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily, along with Elephant Education at 11:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. daily.

• Summer attractions: Grant’s Farm is debuting two new activities this season—swan paddle boat rides on Mirror Lake and parakeet feedings.

Purina Farms

Marvel at the multi-talented canines of Purina Farms.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Memorial Day to Labor Day hours—Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: 200 Checkerboard Drive in Gray Summit

Cost: Free admission and parking

Information: 982-3232, purinafarms.com

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Canines will showcase their talents during live shows daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in The Incredible Dog Arena. And at the Visitor’s Center, take a wagon ride and pet baby animals in the Animal Barn and Hayloft Play Area.

• Summer attractions: Countrytime Bluegrass Festival and Kids’ Country Carnival will feature free live music and backyard kids’ games on June 14 and 15.

Gateway Arch

As the city celebrates its 250th anniversary, the signature Gateway Arch grounds are buzzing with family-friendly summer activities—take advantage of the food, fitness and fun!

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Various times

Where: St. Louis riverfront downtown

Cost: Various costs

Information: 877-982-1410 or gatewayarch.com

DON’T MISS:

• Favorite features: Take a trip to the top of the awe-inspiring Arch, board the historic Gateway Arch Riverboats and explore the lush grounds of Jefferson National Park.

• Summer attractions: Stargaze from beneath the Arch during the free Gateway to the Stars event series on June 13, July 11 and Aug. 1; enjoy Sunday Brunch Cruises with a buffet and live Dixieland Band; and get fit during Get Outdoors Day—9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 14—featuring rock-climbing, exercise sessions, live music, children’s activities and more under the Arch.

Saint Louis Art Museum

Express your creativity at Saint Louis Art Museum, which is offering a slate of family-friendly hands-on activities this summer.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

When: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Where: 1 Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park

Cost: Free

Information: 721-0072, slam.org

DON’T MISS:

Favorite features: Visit rotating exhibits in the main museum, as well as the new East Building. Currently on view: Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet, Flowers of the Four Seasons in Chinese and Japanese Art and many more.

Summer attractions: Kids and adults can create art together during free Family Sundays from 1-4 p.m. June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 in Gallery 216. Themed Best Impressions this June, art activities will let guests imagine French cities and its countryside.

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