We recently had something personal come up that helped us to decide to cancel our trip to Walt Disney World. Secretly I was heart-broken but the children were as well, and they let us know. Austin handled it well, Adalynne had her heart set on visiting with her friend Minnie and then meeting Winne the Pooh who she was unable to meet on our last trip back in August. With that said, I still wanted to go away but we decided to stick a little closer to home to save a bit.
We decided to head to St. Louis, Missouri. We could easily drive in about a half a day and it is packed with fun, family friendly attractions. We had already discussed traveling to St. Louis in a new series we planned on starting here on the blog, “Ozark Adventures” to showcase our favorite places in and around Arkansas. With that said, we had a list a places we wanted to visit. The Saint Louis Science Center was high on the list.
Saint Louis Science Center
The Saint Louis Science Center is such an amazing place to take your children, no matter what their age. There was so much to do that with our young children, we decided to break it up and we even returned a second day during our stay. Oh, we had so much fun it will be hard to recap. Here were our highlights:
Once you enter into Science Center there is a huge with all kinds of tunnels and cool wheels passing huge balls around. It reminds me of a huge intricate gum ball machine. Austin was in awe. The kids were happy to sit and wait while I decided what times we wanted for all the fun activities for the day. The general admission to the Science Center is free but we wanted to also take advantage of all the cool shows and exhibits.
WildLife Rescue Exhibit
The kids were immediately drawn to the life-size T-Rex downstairs but the first exhibit we headed to was the Wildlife Rescue Exhibit. It is a limited time exhibit but it is full of cool exhibits to teach about endangered species as well as all kinds of interactive exhibits. The kids loved learning about various endangered species by selecting the countries they were from.
We were able to weigh ourselves to see how our size compared to an average panda (I was the size of a 2 year female), the kids enjoyed the flying exhibit where we learned about the migratory flights of birds and so much more. Although the exhibit really was geared more for kids a little older, we enjoyed it and the kids were ever so anxious of visiting the dinosaurs downstairs.
Fossil Dig Site and Prep Lab
The dinosaur exhibit featured a life-size moving T-Rex as well as a hurt Triceratops. The kids loved watching it as well as playing in the dig sites. Austin pieced together a recreated fossilized dinosaur and he was so proud of himself once it was complete. There were several sand boxes as well that the kids got to dig in and see what it is like for a paleontologist. This was one of the kids favorite spots.
On our second visit, the kids got to assist putting together a display piece of a dinosaur just like ducky from The Land Before Time. There were many real dinosaur fossils on display including a T-Rex femur; it was huge!
From there we had a great lunch. There were pizza, delicious sandwich and salad options. They even had awesome gluten-free options. We browsed the gift shops and they had so many eco-friendly options. Austin picked out a Hape bamboo racer but Addie had here heart set on making a Build-A-Bear at the shop downstairs.
We picked out the Born to Be Wild show at the Ominmax right after lunch. It was an amazing theater in a giant dome and it made you feel like you were flying at times. I was slightly worried at how well the kids would do since my stomach was having a little difficulty but they loved it! The movie was awesome learning about how two women have spent their lives to rescue, save, rehabilitate and return orangutans and elephants back into the wild. It was an awesome movie and such a cool experience for the whole family.
After sitting for the movie, heading to the Discovery Room was such an awesome choice! The Discovery Room is full of interactive toys and fun learning exhibits geared toward children 3 to 5, think giant playroom full of awesome toys! To say my kids loved it was an understatement. Truthfully, it was a lot of fun for Bryan and I also to be able to interact with the children as well.
On our second trip we checked out the Planetarium and to say it was cool would be an understatement. We walked across the walkway over the interstate. There were fun interactive exhibits all throughout the journey between the Science Center and Planetarium. The kids loved using a robotic arm, trying to build an arch and checking out bridges and structures.
Once we were in the Orthwein StarBay we were instructed to grab a mat and make ourselves comfortable for the night sky. The show we choose, The Little Star That Could was created for pre-k to 2nd graders and it was perfect for the children.
They We all learned about various times of stars and what makes them unique from red stars to white stars to blue stars and how special of a star our sun is since it has planet earth, our home.
The show was played right onto the side of the StarBay. The room became very dark and the stars were illuminated just as we were outdoors enjoying them in our own backyard. It was something they talked about for days.
We then were able to spend some time with a replica Mars rover and learn about astronauts and how they live. Of course the traveler Austin is, he quickly let us know that he would be traveling into space…one day.
We truly enjoyed both days we visited and learned so much at the science center. We came home with glow-in-the-dark planets for Austin room as well as stars for the ceiling. He is hooked! Who says learning needs to always be from textbooks?
Interactive learning is so fun as well as leaves a lasting impression on the minds of our little ones.
If you live close to, or around St. Louis, I would highly recommend planning a visit to the Saint Louis Science Center. When you do, be sure to download the SLSC mobile app that is a FREE virtual toolkit designed to help you experience the Science Center in an entirely new way and will ease navigating the Science Center. Don’t think even if your children are young, they can not benefit from the hands on learning at the Science Center, at the ages of my children, 3 and 5, they are the perfect age to ignite their minds!I received complimentary tickets for admission to the Science Center in exchange for my honest opinions about our visit. All opinions shared, are as always 100% my own and those of my family.