There are many fun things in St. Louis for families to enjoy that do not cost a lot. I wish we had more time when JL visited us in 2005 so we could visit a few more places/activities (in random order) in addition to the Gateway Arch, the Zoo and the Science Center:
Grant's Farm ~ This is a very hand-on place, wonderful for kids and I know JL would enjoy feeding a bottle of milk or hand-feed the goats or riding the train around the farm. The Budweiser Clydesdale stables, both the clydesdale and foals are on exhibit. The grounds include Grant's Cabin, the log home built in 1856 by Ulysses S. Grant.
World Bird Sanctuary ~ About 200 birds make their home at this 305-acre sanctuary. Part of the park is a refuge and rehabilitation for injured birds. On display are owls, falcons, eagles, pelicans, hawks, vultures and pigeons.
Lone Elk Park ~ I did not know about this place and it is less than 15 minutes driving from my house. There are the eponymous elk (some are over 600 pounds and 8 feet tall), the hulking bison, 2,000 pound buffalo, wild turkey and white tailed deer.
Dental Health Theater ~ There are 16 illiminated teeth, each about three feet long and a five-foot tall toothbrush on display. There is an antique dentist's chair (without the instruments used in the movie "The Marathon Man" starring Dustin Hoffman, where the main character was asked, "Is it safe?" while his tooth was being pulled off as a torture). Kids learn about taking care of their teeth thru a puppet show and a 45-minute presentation.
Let's end this entry with a sweet note ~ JL, VL and my Mom all love sweet, so does my husband - it runs in the family.
Custard Heaven ~ What is custard? Custard typically contains 10 percent butterfat and 1.4 percent egg yolk and is more dense than ice cream. St. Louis most famous Ted Drewes Frozen Custard serves concrete that consists of devil's food cake topped with custard, hot fudge and whipped cream. Or you could get a vanilla custard with hot fudge, caramel and pecans. My favorite would be a smoothie that is made with coconut, pineapple and a healthy banana.
I thought my brother (VL enjoys running and completed the New York City Marathon a few years ago) would enjoy reading the next event, not in St. Louis, but is still fun to participate ~
Tour De Donut in Stanton, Illinois ~ A 32-mile ride that starts and ends with glazed donuts being served to all participants. The glazed donuts are available at two stops 10-mile in between along the route. Here is the sweet deal, for every donut eaten, participants get 5-minute off their time at the finish line.
As my brother is trying to get JL to slim down and do more physical activities, let's hope VL will not think that I am a bad influence on JL for talking too much about custard and glazed donuts.