Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Vacation - Part 2

Saturday evening since the girls wanted to stay until the zoo closed at 7:30 we didn't get to pick up dinner at the hotel like we had planned so we ate out at Penn Station. After that I took the girls swimming and then back up to the room to get ready for bed. They fussed a little when I told them to go to sleep but they were out almost the instant their heads hit the pillows. 

So here we are on day two of our family vacation to St. Louis. On this day (Sunday before Labor Day) we made our way over to the St. Louis Science Center and Planetarium which is located across from the zoo park area. After a bit of driving we decided to go ahead and pay the $10 for parking (which later we did not have to pay because the guys register broke and he just waved us through). 

Since this was one of the last days for the Lost Egypt exhibit they actually had real camels out in front of the Science Center. It was another cost we hadn't planned for but the girls really enjoyed it and how often can you say you have rode a camel?

When you enter the Science Center this is one of the first things you see! It goes all over the main lobby area overhead. 

And even a bloody dinosaur scene and they move!

There were lots of different exhibits and I will tell you right now that just the Science Center could be a 3 day trip and that's not doing any of the omnimax or special exhibits! It's HUGE. 

 If you want to talk about a learning experience this is the place you go! Everything from touch screen setups to help walk you through the definition of different types of energy to hands on projects that explain what forces are at work!

The Science Center and Planetarium do not allow outside food or drink. We had already planned to eat there so that was another expense we could have avoided with some planning but as like before we hadn't planned anything of the sort. 

  • Money saving tip: Leave a light lunch out in the car because the Science Center area is free to enter so you shouldn't feel trapped there.  

We did have a good lunch though so I'm not complaining. 

 Because we got the package deal with Drury Inns we were able to get tickets for the Omni Theater (note when you go to those it is actually better to sit in the back otherwise you will get a kink in your neck) and also tickets to the Lost Egypt exhibit. We were unable to take pictures other than the one of the girls on the fake camel because these were real artifacts and real mummies!
 There were all sorts of science displays! And several rooms we never even got to see because we just ran out of time! This particular one explained the Organ Printing Process.

There were also lots of booths and things to interact with. I decided to caption this one for my daughter who is turning 13 in 10 days, "Don't every say you didn't hear me, again."

Here are a few large shot pictures though this is just one section of one floor! 

 Again one section of one floor this is part of the Planetarium.

Now the Planetarium does cost if you want to see a start show. It was about $18.00 for all 4 of us but the lower part which is very large is all free for you to go look at and read up on things and after 4pm they open up the upper area for free for people to look at the exhibits up there. 

After the start show and looking at exhibits and truthfully we barely had time to look at many because the girls wanted to go back to the main science area because they had a whole area for engineering. Building bridges, archways, etc. 

We had a lot of fun and Peter and I were talking about how we need to go back sometime because there was just so much stuff we never got to see there. 

We decided to find a restaurant near the Science Center (thank you Garmin) instead of going all the way back to the hotel for the dinner they offered. Once again a cost we didn't quite take into consideration. So after dinner at Denny's we then headed downtown to the St. Louis Arch. 

I'm not sure if you knew this but there is a HUGE museum under the area of the park! Yes it is under ground! We went in there and got the girls all set up with packets and walked around filling out questions so they could become junior rangers! I'm not sure how many parks they have sworn to protect now! There was a lot of this area we did not get to see though! It is free to go to the Museum. Tickets for the Arch of course do cost and I suggest ordering them online a couple days in advance. 

Since you cannot take a picture at the pods themselves they have a sample one set up in the lobby. 

Yes this is technically suppose to sit 5! With the 4 of us it was a little cramped. 

I just had to share this was the only clear picture I could get waiting in line for the arch because the girls were tickling and playing. Love seeing the kids so happy!

Okay I'm a total Dr. Who fan here and this waiting area for our pod totally makes me think of Cybermen! 

 Peter took the camera so there would actually be a picture of me somewhere. But here we are at the top of the Arch! Looking out through the little windows! This was a very cool view of St. Louis.

A picture of the courthouse I took through the window of the Arch.
We got back to the hotel room a little after 10 o'clock. It was a very cool trip even though Peter was a little eh on going up into the arch the girls and I loved it.

The lesson of this day was sometimes less is more. I do believe we could have just paid for our hotel room and spent every day of our vacation down at the Science Center but I don't regret fitting everything in because now we know. It is so hard to get a good review of these places to have any sort of concept of how large the area is. I think this was a learning experience for us and we are already wanting to plan our next trip!


  1. Looks like such a fun trip. Makes me want to give St. Louis another try. We went when my youngest was only about 18months and have not been back (well, I have but it was for a conference thing and I didn't leave the suburb hotel area b/c I was by myself). Of course, next time I think you should just drive on across the state to KC and come see us ;) I can see the Cybermen coming out of those doors (shudder)

    1. There is a lot to do with kids in St. Louis. I wish we lived closer! Sure you can be nickle and dimed if you let yourself like we did but we were never lacking things to do and there wasn't really any 'down time'. I highly suggest the city (other than it's confusing as heck to drive in!)