Magnificent quarter that I saw "by mistake" (blessed mistake).
The architecture is varied but harmonious, and all the area exhales tranquillity and quality of life. It must be good, being a student of that school!
We completed our enjoyable trip covering Brucemore House in Cedar Rapids, Gateway Arch, Dowtown waterfront area, Zoo, Cahokia Mounds in St Louis and Mark Twain important places in Hannibal. If you are travelling between Minneapolis, MN and St Louis, MO, you can consider going all of these.
This park is one of the biggest in the US and holds more treasures of things to do for people than any others, in my opinion, even Central Park, NY. There is a very large zoo, arboretum/jewel box, an art museum that is nearly unrivaled, history museum, muni opera, a large open pavilion, and many statues and fountains, boating on a lake, and flowers--and also two golf courses and a nice visitor center. Connecting across the highway now is the Science Center, another great exhibit for people to participate.
It started in 1876, but the World's Fair of 1904 brought it into the current use and magnificence. There are 12 million annual visitors coming to the park, and the city holds numerous events here through the year. It has 1,293 acres, 500 more than Central Park.
It is called the Great Forest Park Balloon Race and is held the third Saturday in September. About 70 or more hot air balloons are launched in about an hour or so. Before that there's all kinds of family activities. People bring picnics, their dogs,cameras and have a wonderful afternoon. This free (but there are local foods and beverages for sale) event is very, very popular.
If you've never done anything like this, you have to try it at least once.
I took this photo from the 16th floor balcony of a building across the street from the park.
The annual event is called Balloon Glow and is held the evening before the Great Forest Park Balloon Race,on the third Friday in September. This year it was held on the public golf course, of all places! The effect of balloons reflected in the water was priceless.
I imagine that next year it will be held back at the usual location, at the base of the World's Fair Pavilion hill. This Summer, the hill has been relandscaped, with amazing long staircases and a new fountain. Many thousands of dollars were spent. The turf is being installed before Autumn is over. It will be so large a park feature, that any vt photo won't do it justice. Just one of the many jewels in this city park!!!
Please, visit their web site if you plan to make the trip. It is very helpful.
This is a popular event. Many people bring small children and flashlights! Plan to arrive early, long before dark. It is all over at 8:30 so it works for a family outing, if you don't mind the crowds. Lots of people stay in their vehicles and just drive by, which takes awhile, as it is very popular. Hence, many cars are moving through the park, very slowly. This would not be something I would enjoy at all...but walking around is fun!!
I didn't bring a tripod so it was hard to take good photos in the dark.
The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame is in St Louis. Fun place to go. They have videos of old pros, trick bowlers, etc.. They have a bowling alley, 2 lanes, that you can even bowl a game at. Fun place to see.
Closed sun & mon.....admission adults $7.50
In 1989, I attended a St. Louis Cardinals Game at the Old Busch Stadium. Although I am not a Cardinal Fan, I was impressed with the enthusiam for the Cardinals. In 2010, I did see the Cardinals in Cincinnati on my way home. Here is a shot I took of Busch Stadium from the St. Louis Arch.
This is by far one of the better, and more unique structures in the city, and there are many. It has red granite outside facade, and a huge complex that served as the operating arm of the City back in early 1900's. It was completed in 1904, just in time for the World's Fair event. Cost was under $2 million and has 150 rooms on four floors plus the basement.
If you go here, you need to plan your visit when the have a movie inside the planetarium; otherwise you will not be able to see the site. Cost of the show is $6 range and features various topics, depending on the day and time. It is in an Omnimax theater. The lobby has space memorabilia of the space flights and some capsules.
Connected to this area is a walkover above Hwy 40/64 to the Science Center. It is nearly all laid out for kids to see, do and play, with many interactive things to play with. This was not my favorite place to go to, and the noise is like being in a cage at the zoo. They also have shows of magic and science topics for the kids. I guess if you got the-then they could be entertained for the day here.
There are some very nice and impressive buildings near the center of downtown. Most are Government buildings that were built in early 1900's with that theme of the time. The buildings are of great facade sandstone and limestone and stand out as monuments to the period when Depression era building was well done.
This is one of the first in the country to have been renovated, and it looks superb. The inside takes your breath away for thinking of the magnificence back in an era where theatre was vogue. They now have many entertaining things in the theatre, and tours can be done in daytime.
Today-in Aug 2011, the area is getting more deteriorated, and the theater looks like it still has some shows; but diminishing. When I was there, they would not let me inside for even one picture-UGH
Went on a Monday (slower), but still very busy. Early it was okay, but after noon it gets busy and the line waits are long. My kids decided that they didn't want to wait in the lines for the dressing rooms at the waterpark (about 30 feet out the door), so we skipped that area. The rides were fun, but crammed together. The food is outrageous (Family meal at Papa Johns - 1 pizza, cheese bread, 2 sodas, salad =$40). Parking is $15. Okay amusement park, but not even close to as good as King's Island, Silver Dollar City, or other Six Flags.
We bought combo passes for Six flags and a Cardinals Game ($50 each). The game was fun (beat the Astros 3-1). Had read many reviews about the horrible food at Busch (maybe overpriced, but that's part of it). The only true complaint I have was the margarita that i got for my wife. At $8.25 it was the absolute worst tasting thing ever, she didn't want to finish it so I tried it: horrible, I wasted that money as I didn't finish it either. My mudslide was out of the bottle and cost $6, nice markup. We don't drink beer so I can't comment on the high beer prices ($7.75). Below is a list of what we ate, price , and if it was good.
Turkey leg - $8- Moist and flavorful
Pizza (small) - $10 - overpriced and ordinary
Pretzel dog - $6- good
Bratzel (pretzel wrapped brat)- $6 - good
Cotton candy- $6 - kids like it (overpriced)
Ben and Jerrys Ice cream - 2 cones + 2 small cups = $22 (good, but overpriced)
You are allowed to bring in a small soft side cooler, cheaper way to enjoy the park.
Go to the City Musuem.
Much like a giant playground that you might have imagined in you dreams the City Museum will allow any aged kid to have fun. As long as you aren't too "cool" to play you can get lost in the unending amount of places to go and things to do inside the CM. From crazy caves to the mega-Monstrocity, the adventure is wild. A 3 story slide and a 7 story spiral slide await those daring enough to try them. While it may seem a bit pricey ($12 each) and there are other charges that can add to it (Rooftop and Aquarium, we did neither) the place is FUN. It does get packed (we were there on a Saturday). Plan to stay as long as possible. They also offer food so you can stay as long as you want. My kids loved it and I also had a blast (I'm 33 and want to go back).
This is the first time we ever visit such a fun place as Ted Drewes. This is a frozen custard and pretty fresh with no mixture. As the girls (sales) hands this milk shake she or he would turn it over and say loud and clear ! It’s concret! Then again she or he would turn it upside down along with a spoon and sometimes with straw…showing it to you as well as to the public that it will not drop or the custard will not drip!
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