Tag Archives: kirkwood

Upcoming book sales

Celebrate the joy of reading with your children! Pick up some new, entertaining, out of print, and well-priced reads at these upcoming book sales. Note: the preview days for both of these sales mainly tend to attract book sellers.

Friends of Kirkwood Public Library Annual Book Sale, April 24-28, 2013
Olympic Oaks Shopping Center, 12145 Manchester Road, Des Peres, MO 63131
314.821.5770 x1023 or KPLFriends@kirkwoodpubliclibrary.org

Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 1 to 8 pm: $5 entry fee, Wednesday ONLY. Line tickets given out starting at 8 am.
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 9 am to 8 pm
Friday, April 26, 2013, 9 am to 8 pm
Saturday, April 27, 2013, 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday, April 28, 2013, 11 am to 5 pm, Bag Day: a bag of books for $5 (bags are provided)

Over 35,000 Books. Thousands of fiction and nonfiction books at bargain prices in a wide variety of categories. Hardcovers, paperbacks, CDs, DVDs, audio books, old/rare books. Proceeds benefit the Kirkwood Public Library. Cash and checks accepted, no credit cards.

Greater St. Louis Book Fair, April 25-28, 2013
Macy’s at West County Center
80 West County Center, St. Louis MO 63131
East Parking Garage, Lower Level
314.993.1995 or info@stlouisbookfair.org

Thursday, April 25, 2013, Preview Event, $10 General Admission, 4 to 9 pm
Friday, April 26, 2013, FREE General Admission, 10 am to 9 pm
Saturday, April 27, 2013, Shopping for persons with disabilities, 9 to 10 am
Saturday, April 27, 2013, FREE General Admission, 10 am to 9 pm
Sunday, April 28, 2013, FREE General Admission, Half-Price Day, 11 am to 6 pm

Greater St. Louis Book Fair is one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most popular charity book sales. For over 60 years, book lovers and collectors have enjoyed bargain prices on a diverse and quality selection of new, gently-used, and rare books, as well as records, CDs, DVDs, comics, and more. Fair proceeds benefit local nonprofit education and literacy programs for underserved individuals in the St. Louis region. Most items are $1 to $5 each. Cash, check, and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, and Discover) accepted.

Craft Caboose in Kirkwood

Sparkle glue, foam stickers, paint, rubber stamps, popsicle sticks, colored sand, beads, paper flowers, clay, string, and more await you at Craft Caboose, a young children’s art studio located at 105 East Argonne Drive in Kirkwood. Fueled by the imagination and enthusiasm of owner Sharon Crnko, Craft Caboose is a relaxing and fun place to create art projects such as necklaces, spin art, animal puppets, clay figurines, wreaths, hats, flower pots, sand art, bracelets, crowns, bird houses, and more. The studio fee is $6 per visit (you can stay as long as you like) and art projects cost $1 to $8 each. If your child is more free form, you can also just mess around with more basic items like paper, scissors, markers, crayons, and paint. Doing a more open ended project like that costs starts at $1.50 depending on how many plastic jewels or foam sticker animals your little one decides to stick on his/her paper. Craft Caboose also offers classes and birthday parties in addition to walk-in visits.

My four year old daughter and I have visited Craft Caboose two times this summer and have typically spent $10 during our visit and stayed for about an hour each time. They also have a play area filled with puzzles, plastic dinosaurs, cars, blocks, matching games, books, trains, magnetic builders, and musical instruments. This is an excellent way to spend some time with your child while your paint laden projects dry a bit.

The staff at Craft Caboose is incredibly warm, encouraging, and inviting. In addition to having a great deal of knowledge about child development and art, they seem to intuitively know if your child loves to be squishy in paint or needs multiple paper towels to wipe goopy fingers in between paint strokes!

Craft Caboose Hours

Note: Be sure to check their web site for scheduled closings for booked birthday parties.

Sunday: noon to 4 pm
Monday: closed
Tuesday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am  to 5 pm
Thursday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Friday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am to 5 pm


1. During the summer, Craft Caboose can get busy in the mornings. The space is quite small, so if your child functions better in more quiet settings, consider going around lunch time or in the early afternoon when some kids are napping.

2. Considering the cost of paying for studio time and art projects, Craft Caboose is probably best suited for three year olds and up.

3. Thinking about bringing your infants with you while your older child creates? The small and very clean bathroom does not have a changing table, so try to arrive with a clean diaper on your baby if you can.

4. Free parking is readily available on nearby streets and the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market is across the street on Argonne Drive if you want to have a nice picnic lunch after your Craft Caboose visit.

5. Don’t feel restricted by the set art projects (e.g. make a bracelet, animal puppet, wreath). In some ways, they are there to jump start your imagination or to reduce the endless art creation choices if you and your child don’t know where to begin. As I mentioned above, you can also create free form artworks with the studio’s ample supplies. Just ask for assistance.

6. Birthday parties at Craft Caboose start at $150 for 8 guests. These are becoming very popular so book well in advance for your special date.

7. We really like the puzzles, games, cars, and trains in the play area adjacent to the art studio tables. If you have the time, allow a half hour or so to enjoy this cozy spot.

8. Are you and your child a little frazzled today? A visit to Craft Caboose can be a nice quiet and not too expensive dose of art therapy. It’s always a beautiful thing to see a kid work out their frustrations or anxieties with markers, paint, crayons, clay, or pencils. Plus, a new setting can help clear your child’s head.

9. If you’ve been to Yucandu, a wonderful art studio in Webster Groves, please note that Craft Caboose caters more to the under six year old set. Yucandu has some gorgeous and truly unique options for decoupage projects and mosaics, but is more expensive than Craft Caboose and in general the projects require more dexterity and patience–perfect for older kids. I took my then three year old daughter to Yucandu last year and we were there for over two hours creating a small painted paper house. She had fun but she almost fell asleep while I was glazing and blow drying the piece!

10. Be sure to pick up your Craft Caboose Studio Pass on your visit. After four paid studio visits, you get a fifth studio visit free ($6 value).

Photos: Jennifer Lin

Staying in ballet shape during the “off-season”

It’s that in-between season for serious ballet classes in the St. Louis area. If you’re an adult/teen ballet student looking for drop-in classes, many studios in the area are on break or have changed over to their summer intensives which require enrollment for the entire workshop. Here are a few suggestions to keep your technique strong until your regular ballet classes start up again. The ballet studios I mention here offer drop-in classes. COCA in University City does have some great adult/teen ballet classes right now, but you need to register for the entire summer or be a student or professional dancer to purchase a class punch card.

1. East West Ballet (Crestwood)
Kay Tabisaura-Hahn owns and runs this excellent studio located inside Crestwood Mall. Kay is a certified Royal Academy of Dance teacher and previously performed with Ballet Philippines and Singapore Dance Theatre. On Saturdays she teaches a beginning class from 8:45 to 9:55 am. On Sundays there is an intermediate class from 2:30 to 4 pm. Class cards are $53 for 5 classes or $12 drop in rate. If you’re new to the studio, there is a $5 trial class rate. Kay is also offering an adult ballet workshop on Saturdays from 1 to 3 pm (June 25 through July 30). The workshop includes strengthening floor exercises, a regular ballet class, and a variation. If you’re interested in the workshop, be sure to email info@eastwestballet.com to register. East West Ballet has a great noncompetitive environment, beautiful floor, and quality teaching. Your turnout will thank you! There are also spots available in the kids summer camps.

2. Caston Ballet Academie (Webster Groves)
Caston Ballet Academie offers adult/teen intermediate classes from 6 to 7:30 pm, Monday through Thursday, from now until July 21. The classes are taught by Lynette Khoo-Summers, Shannon Caston, or Akari Manabe (they rotate, so contact the studio if you’re interested in a particular teacher’s class). Akari’s classes are particularly comprehensive, well-paced, and full of smart corrections. The only drawback on these classes is that the drop-in rate is $20!

3. Dance Center of Kirkwood (Kirkwood)
This gem of a studio has a dedicated group of adult ballet students and a wonderful teacher and owner, Kathleen Massot. The studio is currently on break but will be open July 5 through August 15. The adult ballet classes are offered on Wednesdays at 9:30 am and Saturdays at 1:15 pm. The drop-in rate is $12 per class. The adult classes are mixed levels, but tend to be geared towards advanced beginners and early intermediate students. These classes are a perfect place to gain some strength, back flexibility, musicality, and a clean tendu.

4. Bikram Yoga
What? That’s not ballet. And why would I want to get heated to 105 degrees inside when it’s hot and muggy already outside? I recently returned to Bikram yoga classes after several years off from it, and am happy at how it is affecting my ballet strength, flexibility, and endurance. The 90 minute sweat fest is not necessarily something I look forward to, but Bikram yoga’s 26 postures definitely work your body thoroughly in parallel (even turned in), your mid and upper back, and your core. There is a tough mental aspect to Bikram yoga as most of the teachers tend to be boot camp-ish in approach. Regularly practicing this type of yoga can build your self-reliance and focus, both great skills for ballet. Bikram yoga studios in St. Louis include Yoga St. Louis and Prana Yoga. Both studios offer a $18 drop-in rate.

Are you an obsessive adult ballet dancer with a crazy work/family schedule in the St. Louis area? How do you get your fix in the summer?