St. Louis....a town we have driven through oh so many times, but hardly ever stopped and enjoyed what the city had to offer. I always seemed to snap a picture of the Arch as we drove over the bridge of the Mississippi, but we never stopped. Until this summer. My fan-tab-u-lous (it's a word, right?) SIL had lived there for many years and suggested we go down for the day. She said she had heard of this fun kid's museum that she thought the kids might like. Oh yeah...they liked it alright! But our first stop of the day was the Gateway Arch:
So, did you know:
~ The Gateway Arch was built in February 1963 and was completed 2 1/2 years later? And they didn't have fancy computers to help with the surveying and building like we do now....
~ The Gateway Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet?
~ These tiny trams to get to the top of the Arch have been in operation for 30 years? They only sit 4 people and take about 4 minutes to get to the top. But it's a long 4 minutes......
~ The room at the top of the Arch fits about 100 people and has lots of tiny windows to "look out" onto St. Louis?
~ The Arch can sway in high winds??? Yikes! Glad it was a nice & sunny day in St. Louis when we were up there!
~The Arch was built to honor the westward expansion that was started here, in St. Louis, along the Mississippi River? This muddy, brown, still river is the Mississippi. Somehow, not as I pictured it when I read about it in History.
~ Lastly, the distance from one foot of the arch to the other is the same as the height, 630 feet?
And how'd ya like that little lesson in history? Your welcome. The experience was great. The kids loved it and the museums that are underneath the Arch as well. Funny story- as we were heading up to the line for the trams, we ran into some Texas friends...girls who are in Sissy's Girl Scout Troop! Ironic, isn't it?? Proving to us, how small the world really is.
After our History lesson, we headed to the "fun, little" museum that Aunt Ginger recommended. The City Museum is so much more than "fun". It is hands-down the BEST children's museum I have ever been to. It is built in an old shoe warehouse in downtown St. Louis. A local artist was commissioned to build it out of children's playground equipment, planes, school busses, crazy metal objects,and much more. It has an outdoor area that you can crawl around in for hours. Everyone of these structures has a way to climb and crawl into it.
The City Museum has underground tunnels that I got a little claustrophobic in (but come on, they were built for kids!). It has tree houses made of wood and metal, a huge whale to crawl around it, slides to slide down (including a 10-story circular one), and the list goes on and on.
The kids had an amazing time.
Here they are, 13 stories high, climbing inside a metal snowman. Huh?
Some of the indoor structures.
What did these kids think of it? I think it's safe to say that they liked it. We were so bummed that it closed at 5, we could have stayed all night. And it was only because of the wonderful treats found a Crown Candy Kitchen, that these kids were ok with leaving.
I found Crown Candy Kitchen while googling "kid fun restaurants in St. L". CCK is an incredible soda fountain that has been around since 1913. It's not in the best past of town, but since it was for lunch, we thought it would be fine. Unfortunately, there was a line out the door at lunchtime (popular place), so we came back at 5 with no wait. Turns out, this place was featured on "Man vs. Food" from the Travel Channel a few years ago (he had to drink 5 large malts in 1 hour and failed!!). It was like stepping back in time. And the food was amazing. We each had wonderful toasted sandwiches topped with the most original sundaes:
Marshmallow creme sundaes, turtle sundaes, and death by chocolate sundaes were enjoyed that night!!!
All-in-all, it was a wonderful day and one that I highly recommend. No more "driving through" anymore...you can meet me in St. Louis anyday!