Visiting St. Louis with Children
Fun with Grandma and Grandpa
Each summer our granddaughters from Atlanta come to stay with us for a week or more. We love having this special time with our two oldest granddaughters and take the opportunity to show them a bit of our city. It is also a great time for us, seeing places we haven't seen in years and there is nothing quite like seeing them with our granddaughters..
In addition to touring the area we try to share our interests with our granddaughters. When Rachel, the oldest, was small she started having donuts with Grandpa as a special treat. We have carried on this tradition and now they call him their "Donut Buddy" and when they are at our house they always have donuts with Grandpa. They also love to do card tricks with Grandpa and learn a few new jokes.
I love photography and enjoy sharing this hobby with the girls. This works well when we visit places in St. Louis and talk about the best ways to take photos. I also enjoy crafts so we always have a few craft times during their visit. This year they painted mini birdhouses and made some owl ornaments.
On this page, I will share some of the photos the girls and I took and tell you about the places we visited this year.
photos by Marybeth, Rachel and Ella
Camp Grandma and Grandpa Activities - 2013
This is the 4th year our granddaughters have stayed with us during the summer. Each year I find it a challenge to come up with ideas of things to do that will interest them. They are now 7 and 9 years old so there are some new activities that they were not quite old enough for in previous years. Of course there are always some old favorites they request like the Zoo and the Butterfly House.
In addition to these items we left plenty of time for playing at a park with their younger cousins, going to a waterpark, having donuts with Grandpa, and doing crafts with Grandma.
Here is our list of activities for 2013. I think they enjoyed all the different activities and when asked they had a hard time deciding on their favorite.
- St. Louis Cardinal Baseball
- The Butterfly House
- The Magic House
- The St. Louis Zoo
- Crafts and Show at Nursing Home
- Mary Poppins at the Muny
St. Louis Cardinal Baseball - building memories
Rachel and Ella are big baseball fans and often attend Braves games at home in Atlanta. This was their first time to attend a Cardinal game. They were able to attend it with some of our families biggest baseball fans; their aunt and uncle, their Mom's cousin and of course Grandpa! It was a fun experience for them and they had great seats just a few rows above the Cardinal dugout. This gave them great opportunities to try to catch foul balls and meet Fredbird (the team mascot).
This photo shows Ella and Rachel with Fredbird in between them.
Rachel and Ella have a Fredbird stuffed toy that they brought with them on the plane from Atlanta. I was so glad they got to see Fredbird at the game. It was fun for them.
A Fredbird doll is a wonderful remembrance of a day at the ballpark.
The Butterfly House
a favorite of Rachel and Ella
When I asked the girls where they would like to go, the first place they mentioned was The Butterfly House. They have gone there every year since they were quite small and they never seem to tire of seeing the beautiful butterflies.
This year they wanted to go to practice their photography skills. During their visit in 2012 I taught them a bit about photography and then for Christmas they each got a small digital camera. We started practicing on the flowers in my backyard and then we took a trip to The Butterfly House for them to further practice their skills.
It is great to be able to share my love of photography with the girls. They both have quite an eye for taking a good shot. This card was made from photos Ella took of flowers at The Butterfly House
Photographing a Butterfly
The Magic House
The Magic House in Kirkwood is a truly magical place for kids. We spent about 4 hours there exploring all of the different exhibits. The girls spent time climbing up and down Jack's Beanstalk, slid down the slides, acting in the theatre room and enjoyed the Fairytale room. They also spent some time in the art studio making some creations of their own.
One of the displays they really liked was the village where they could try their hands at everything from being a store clerk to a construction worker. They enjoyed the area where they could pretend they were a judge, the President, or be a member of a Jury.
The photos below show just a few of the many activities that were available.
Childrens Museum - The Magic HouseClick thumbnail to view full-size
St. Louis Zoo
St. Louis has a world class zoo and I have taken the girls there every year. The zoo has free admission so you feel free to stay as little or as long as you'd like. We got there when they opened one morning and stayed for about 3 hours. This year we rode the train, petted the StingRays, and visited penquins, bears, zebras, sea lions, and monkeys. We also stopped at the Zoo "Build a Bear" where Rachel made a Guinea Pig and Ella made a Spotted Leopard.
Petting the StingRays
Lending a Helping Hand
visiting a nursing home
Rachel and Ella's greatgrandmother (my Mom) is in the Alzheimer unit of a local home. The girls enjoyed visiting and we went there 3 times during there stay. One time we brought an Owl craft for the girls to work on with the residents. This photo shows Ella helping her Greatgrandma Ann with the craft.
On their last visit the girls put on a show for the residents of the home. They sang some songs, did some dancing, and showed a bit of their acrobatic skills. The girls loved performing and the residents really enjoyed watching them. It was a real Win-Win for everyone!
Guidebooks for St. Louis
Prepare your child for their visit to Missouri.
This is a great guidebook for St. Louis. It includes a section on St. Louis with Children.
Mary Poppins - outdoor theatre
St. Louis has a wonderful outdoor theatre that has a different production each week from mid June till mid August. It is called the Muny and is the oldest and largest outdoor theatre in America. The Muny is located in Forest Park and has over 11,000 seats.
During the week the girls were in town Mary Poppins was showing at the Muny. This was the perfect production for the girls. They enjoyed every minute of it. The photo above was taken outside the Muny before the show started.