We made our first trip to Grant’s Farm with our three year old and had a great time. Although the park is “free,” note parking is $11 per car, goat bottle feeding is $1 per bottle, and the carousel is $2 per ride. Oh and food is kind of priced like airport concessions so be prepared to spend about $9 for a sandwich, fries, and drink. You’re not supposed to bring outside drink or food into the park either.
The required tram ride through the farm and to the main zoo/play area takes about 15-20 minutes. If you have squirmy kids who don’t like being on trains at other zoos or malls, I’m not sure that Grant’s Farm is a good option. Once you get on the tram, you can’t get off, and I’ve heard from other parents that their train phobic kids really hated the tram ride.
Feeding the baby goats is fun and different if you haven’t grown up on a farm! If you have little ones under the age of 5, I would recommend feeding the goats through the fence since the animals can get quite aggressive about feeding. I noticed that only bigger kids were in the pen with milk bottles and they were surrounded by 8 or 9 hungry goats.
The carousel ride is cute although short. Just be sure to remind your child of how many times you can ride it before it starts.
Grant’s Farm has some incredible turtles, camels, and birds. The elephants were pretty interesting as well.
The main cafeteria area had a huge line when we got there–around noon. Plan ahead if you know you’ll have hungry kids. I would recommend sending someone ahead to get in line and place your order. There is only one cash register but lots of food prep guys. We waited in line (with a hungry and whiny child) for about 20 minutes.
Surprisingly, the restrooms were pretty clean and no waiting.
On your way out, be sure to visit the Clydesdale horses. They are enormous.
Once we further figure out the babysitter situation, we hope to get out to experience more of the rich arts resources of St. Louis. World class music, opera, and visual arts flourish in the region. Some arts organizations you should check out if you haven’t already:
Opera Theatre of St. Louis
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (great summer programming for classical music newbies)
Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Touhill Performing Arts Center (Spring to Dance Festival opens May 27)
We’re almost done with our first semester of Kindermusik with Lori Burkhardt in Webster Groves. Lori is really great with the kids, keeps them engaged, focused, and learning(!) for 45 minutes. We’ve been taking Kindermusik classes for about a year now (previously in California). The classes really help toddlers with musicality, socialization, counting, rhythm, concentration, following directions, listening skills, and movement.
The Webster Groves location inside the Presbyterian Church is rather dreary but the good spirits of the class and other kids/parents makes it livelier. Kindermusik is rather expensive as far as kids activities go, but Lori’s class is very well grounded in a sound curriculum and pedagogy–your kids will really grow from these classes.
Oh, don’t be misled by the crazy layout of Lori’s website. She’s very organized with materials and class progression.
If you have a 2 to 6 year old, be sure to visit The Magic House’s new Super Kids Save the World exhibit. It runs through December 31. Kids can dress up, play thrift store, superhero, gardener, farmer’s market, kitchen, and more. Our little one especially liked the recycling area where you can sort paper, cans, and plastics. We went once on a Friday and it was crazy busy, but earlier in the week was much better and less waiting to play at certain stations. Very friendly staff as well. We love The Magic House. Memberships are well worth it.
Enjoyed a cloudy (but no rain) day at the St. Louis Zoo. What an incredible resource for the city. We became members when we moved here. Great perks and benefits. Don’t waste one of your free parking passes though when there is street parking within a couple of blocks from the zoo entrance. When the parking lot is busy you end up walking almost the same distance to the entrance.
Friendly volunteers throughout the zoo as well. We got to pet turtles, goats, and snakes today.