Perfect 'tween Girl's Birthday Party!
St. Louis Union Station Mall
Girls, Girls, Girls
I have three daughter's. Each year, I try to come up with a special plan for their birthdays. They only get one birthday per year so I always want to make it memorable for them and their friends. I don't, however, enjoy hosting the birthday party in my home. So much.
I have a lot of things that are made of glass. Furniture, table tops, the entertainment center, statues - you know stuff. The main floor is designed, smartly, with a restroom in the center except all the kids love to run around the house in circles. I imagine one skidding on the hard wood right through the entertainment center doors. I'd just be crushed if someone broke my perfume bottle from Egypt. I bet their moms would be more upset about the gashed up kid but unless it is my child - I don't want it breaking my stuff!
So, now you understand, I am not the "have 30 kids in my house," type of mom? Right!
My kids each have a few best friends that are regulars at my house. They are well behaved and I adore these girls. Ava, Hannah and Chloe have been friends with Madison since Kindergarten. They are girls that have it all - cute, funny and just a little bit mischievous.
This year, I planned our party on the road so that everyone could have fun and I could let someone else clean the mess up this year! I had no problem planning the perfect birthday party for my 'tween girls.
St. Louis Union Station
Happy Birthday Girl!
Spend the night at the mall!
All 'tween aged girls love shopping! Justin Bieber and shopping are a given. Rather than have the party at my own house I decided to just book hotel rooms at The Marriott at St. Louis Union Station. What little girl doesn't dream about spending the whole night in a mall after every one else is gone?
Union Station is an awesome place to visit in St. Louis. It is rich with history, contains a mall with shops and cafe's. The Marriott is also part of the old train station. If you are a guest in the hotel it gives you access to the inside of the mall after hours! The shops are closed but it is awesome to walk around late at night. With the hotel inside there is constant traffic so no matter what time of day or night there is some activity going on.
The view from the hotel room is awesome. You can open the curtains and window shop! Literally! We shopped until we dropped.
Union Station - The Mall
Memories Museum - St. Louis Union Station
Memories Museum - St. Louis Union Station
Union Station began operations in St. Louis in 1894. Jean Pierre Chouteau and his brother, Auguste, both acclaimed river barons and fur traders became two of St. Louis' most promising citizens in it's earliest days. They owned a huge lake that people began to settle around. Cholera broke out and the water was highly suspected as the cause so it was drained and is now the location where Union Station sits today.
Trains were becoming a more popular method of travel. Dining and sleeping cars were added as the passenger numbers increased. Waitresses were hired who were called "The Harvey Girls," to serve food and provide guest services on the trains. They were paid an enormous salary for those days and were expected to be graceful, respectful and they had to sign a contract agreeing NOT to get married for at least one year because the manager had such a hard time keeping the gorgeous ladies from hitching up with the cowboys and riding off into the sunset.
Union Station now has a "Memories Museum" that is free to the general public. Original clothes, newspaper articles, china and memorabilia from history are on display.
The Harvey Girls - Behind the Scenes
Need a job?
History of The Harvey Girls
- The Harvey Girls, a Slice of American History
The Harvey Girls--those Harvey Girls were the unique way the American West was won by women. They went west to serve in the Harvey hotels, all along the railroad west.
The Arch - St. Louis
The St. Louis Arch Monument
The St. Louis Riverfront area is not to be missed if you visit St. Louis. The streets are paved with old cobblestones, riverboats are docked for dinners, cruises and tours. There are usually horse drawn carriage rides offered and we were planning to take the girls again but it was too hot for the horses.
The Arch is always fun to visit. It was designed by Eero Saarinen who won a contest to build a monument to represent westward expansion. The arch is 630 feet wide at it's base and 630 feet high. Each leg is constructed of an equilateral triangle that is 54 feet on each side. You can enter through the base where you will find a museum that contains many early Indian Artifacts and displays. There is a snack counter and gift shop as well. You can ride a crate that looks like an egg to the very tip top. Small windows are at the center in the top of the arch for a spectacular panoramic view.
St. Louis Riverfront
Marriott Pool - Union Station
Leave the mess...
Marriott St. Louis Union Station
After we toured the riverfront we headed back to the Marriott. The girls changed into their suits and cooled off in the pool. The pool closed at 9pm so they only had an hour before closing time. They enjoyed the paddle boats that can be rented for just $4.00 per person. They tooled around the pond, feeding the gigantic gold fish. The pond is huge and this took quite a bit of time for them to tire of and the entire time my husband and I sat on a bench in the shade talking about how worn out they were going to be.
We talked about how many good memories we had of bringing our girls here. The time the small child fell in and the waiter was going to save the child and to his credit, he dove into the water without much thought! He would have been such a hero if the water wasn't only 2 feet deep!
Another time, my husband and I ordered drinks at Houlihan's. The waitress quickly delivered our drinks to the table and something in my brain recognized that Dave, who ordered Jack and Coke had a RED straw and little five year old Maddy had a coke with no straw. I glanced over a bit later and a silent alarm went off in my head when I saw Maddy sucking the coke down that RED straw! "NOOOOO!" I yelled scaring her half to death! "You are swigging daddy's drink! Doesn't that taste horrible?" I asked. "No," she giggled. Uh oh.
I brought Madison's presents and one of them was a manicure set. I knew the girls could all paint and decorate each other's nails. We filled their adjoining room with snacks and junk food and Dave and I watched a movie and listened to their pillow fight.
No one got much sleep. The girls were knocking on our door every ten minutes all jacked up on soda and sugar! I didn't care - it was a blast and the only birthday party Maddy would have as an eleven year old girl. I am sure none of the girls will ever forget it.
One of the great perks at the Marriott is that check out time is 12:00. We slept late, shopped and had breakfast before we left. When we got home, we had a nice frozen ice cream cake from Baskin and Robbins. My house was still clean and intact when the mom's picked up the girls. The next best thing about the Marriott is that they have housekeeping.
Baskin and Robbins Ice Cream Cake!
Union Station Information
The St. Louis Arch Monument
- The Gateway Arch | Core of Discovery | St. Louis Family Attractions, Events and Activities District
The Core of Discovery is a downtown St. Louis attractions district that offers a wealth of fun activities to explore, experience and discover.