Tuesday, June 19, 2012

St. Louis - a GREAT Vacation Place!

We're back from from a trip to St. Louis, MO.   I have to say, I never thought this city would be much - but we had a great time and I found out St. Louis has a lot to offer in the way of entertainment.  We didn't get to do as much as we wanted to, but what we did was great.

First we went to see the Gateway Arch.  I had told myself all my life growing up that I would NEVER get inside that thing and ride to the top... it just didn't seem safe to me.  But then, I have kids, and they were anxious to go inside and see the sights from up high.  The arch is 630 feet high at the top - and you can see so much from up there...   it's a beautiful view of the city.  And it's such a beautifully simple and elegant piece of architecture...  the stainless steel plating on the outside of the arch shines and reflects differently depending on the time of day and angle you are viewing it from.  

  Underneath the arch, there is a lot to see as well.  They have the Museum of Westward Expansion, a theater and gift shop. The museum is free - just walk through it. They had several animals (done by a taxidermist) such as a horse, bison, and longhorn steer.  They also have the robots that talk like at Disney. The kids thought they were creepy.  

We then took the kids down to the Mississippi River to take a river boat ride.   They thoroughly enjoyed being on the boat and seeing the city from the river.  I've been on one of these rides when I went to Minneapolis for a visit to a friend's house. 

The bad part was when we had to go back to the hotel.  There are 63 steps to climb up to get back to the park area at the Arch.  The kids ran up them like Rocky Balboa...  LOL!

We were staying at the Hilton at the Ballpark... it is just down the street from Busch Stadium - home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Traffic was somewhat of a mess when it was game day (which was every day we were there). I really wished we could have gone to a game, but the girls weren't interested. Maybe someday. There are some very nice parks nearby, and the girls enjoyed the fountains. As you can see, one of the game days the water was turned red in the fountain. Go Cards!

 We also went to the City Museum.  My camera battery went dead, so I couldn't take many pictures, but click on the name and it will take you to the website. This place was incredible...  a kid's dream come true with places to crawl/walk through, hide in, and explore.   It's $12 per person, but really well worth the price.  The food court was reasonable on their prices (I've seen worse, and they give you good sized sandwiches.) Everything here is made with recycled materials.  And you'd be amazed at what was used throughout the entire place.

Other places I would recommend in St. Louis is the St. Louis Zoo (free), the St. Louis Science Center, or take a carriage ride around the river/downtown area.  Also, there's the St. Louis Botanical Gardens (kids 12 and under get in free).  Here's a link to "25 Things to Do in St. Louis".  I really enjoyed the trip and want to return to finish seeing the things we didn't get to the first time. 

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