Spring Events for the Family Beckon in St. Louis
By MARNIE FERNANDEZ
GETTING AWAY: St. Louis offers fun family activities this spring. Attractions such as the beautiful zoo, riverboats, breathtaking arch and baseball stadium are sure to provide a getaway vacation for Tulsans this year.
Spring is right around the corner. And what better way to celebrate than to take a trip to the home of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals? The team was awarded their 11th World Series trophy in 2011. Follow in the Redbirds’ winning ways and score some fun during a visit to the Gateway City this spring. There’s plenty to see and do and it’s only a short drive away.
I have spent several months in St. Louis over the years, and it is one of my favorite cities. It is completely unassuming and totally Midwestern; yet cosmopolitan at the same time.
I enjoyed exploring the beautiful historic homes, the quaint neighborhoods with unique shops, bookstores and coffee shops. My favorite neighborhood is The Hill, or otherwise known as Little Italy, which is filled with locally owned Italian restaurants, delis and bars.
There are also lots of options for families. I consider myself a connoisseur of zoos after working in the zoo world for over a decade and visiting zoos all over the country. St. Louis is one of the best I’ve seen. It boasts beautifully landscaped, world-class exhibits and an amazing animal collection. And the best part? It’s free. Visit www.stlzoo.org.
In addition, St. Louis offers several other destinations that are also free for visitors. The Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Science Center and the St. Louis Art Museum are all free of charge as well, which makes St. Louis one of the top cities in the country for free family activities. For more information on these attractions, visit www.explorestlouis.com.
A visit to the Anheuser Busch family farm is another must-do activity. Tour the brewery, visit the gorgeous gardens and catch a glimpse of the famous Clydesdales. This is also another free activity. Visit www.budweisertours.com for more information.
Of course, a visit to St. Louis would not be complete without visiting the Arch, the city’s most recognized icon. It is a thrilling ride to the top and offers an unparalleled view of the city. Visit www.explorestlouis.com.
You saw the Cards’ home on TV during the most highly rated World Series’ TV broadcasts in years. During March, you can take tours of freshly christened-by-victory-champagne Busch Stadium. One-hour tours normally include the following stops: a Party Room, the Redbird Club, the Press Box, the Cardinals Club, and the Cardinals Dugout, as well as other unique areas in the ballpark. To learn more, visit www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com.
Live long, prosper and transport yourself to the Saint Louis Science Center. This top St. Louis attraction hosts an enterprising collection of items that make up the largest display of authentic Star Trek artifacts in the galaxy. Step aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, check in to Sickbay and call for warp drive from Captain Kirk’s command chair. The out-of-this-world exhibit runs through May 28, 2012. No need to invoke the Vulcan mind meld to get the scoop. Simply click on www.slsc.org for more information.
You can get a closer look at life on the Mississippi by hopping aboard the Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher, authentic Mississippi paddlewheel riverboats, for a one-hour excursion on the Mighty Mississippi. The vessels, operated as the Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises, are docked on the levee directly below the city’s signature monument. Cruise times, information and on-line ticket sales for the boats and other Gateway Arch attractions are offered at www.coreofdiscovery.com.
To learn more about March events and other attractions and to book a hotel room in St. Louis, visit www.explorestlouis.com or call the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission at 1-800-916-0040. An up-to-date calendar of events provides details on March and beyond happenings scheduled at attractions throughout St. Louis.