Tag Archives: Museum of Transportation

Creation Station is Open on Sundays

Pretend play, art projects, puzzles, mazes, toy cars, trains, and more are ready for your child (5 years old and under) to explore at the Creation Station, located inside the Visitor’s Center of the Museum of Transportation. The newly redesigned and light filled play room is now open on select Sundays in September, October, November, and December, in addition to regularly scheduled weekday sessions. The open play sessions are first come, first served, and last one hour. The Creation Station is wonderful for play dates as the space is just the right size to keep track of children and most activities encourage a variety of social interactions.

Fall Family Days

Sunday, September 2
Sunday, September 9
Sunday, September 30
Sunday, October 7
Sunday, October 21
Sunday, November 4
Sunday, November 18
Sunday, December 2
Sunday, December 16

Sunday session play times are: 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm, and 3 pm

Weekday schedule (Call to confirm, 314.965.6212. As of this writing, the weekday play times will change again in November, but the schedule has not been confirmed yet.)

Now through September 8
Monday through Friday: 9:15 am, 10:30 am, 11:45 am, and an additional session at 1 pm on Thursdays only.

Starting September 9 (Fall Schedule)
Tuesday through Friday: 9:15 am, 10:30 am, 11:45 am, and an additional session at 1 pm on Thursdays only.

Admission Information

Admission to the Creation Station is extra, in addition to the general museum admission fee. The Creation Station is $2 per person per one hour play session. Ages 1 and older. Members may receive free Creation Station admission depending on their membership level. No reservations or pre-sales accepted.

Admission to the Museum of Transportation is: adults $8 (13 years old or older), children $5 (3 to 12 years old), and members are free.

Tips

* The earlier morning Creation Station play sessions tend to fill up quickly, so try to arrive 20 minutes or more before the session start time to secure your child’s spot.

* The snack bar offers reasonably priced pretzels, yogurt, cheese sticks, hot dogs, chips, sweets, juice boxes, and more.

* The miniature train that kids and their caregivers can ride around the museum grounds runs through November. Tickets are $4 per person, unlimited rides. Train schedule.

* Tickets to the museum, Creation Station, and train rides add up to a pricey visit rather quickly. If you think that you might visit the Creation Station and ride the miniature train more than two times during the year, consider becoming a member. Membership levels and benefits. Your membership gift is tax-deductible. Also, check with your workplace for any matching gift programs.

* The Creation Station is available for birthday parties on the weekends. Book early as many time slots are filled months in advance.

* Take some time to visit the old trains in the area above the Visitor’s Center. These trains offer great rambling and exploration opportunities for kids.

Photo: Jennifer Lin

Creation Station at the Museum of Transportation

Located inside the “vintage” (i.e. a little scruffy and quirky but pretty fascinating) Museum of Transportation is the preschooler fun-filled playroom, the Creation Station. Wooden trains, blocks, play cars, miniature parking garages, magnetic trucks, an enormous pirate ship, dress up clothes, a puppet theater, play kitchen, arts and crafts, books, and more await you and your child (age five and under). The open play sessions are one hour.

Summer schedule (May 1 through September 5)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
9:15 to 10:15 am; 10:30 to 11:30 am; and 11:45 to 12:45 pm

Thursday
9:15 to 10:15 am; 10:30 to 11:30 am; 11:45 to 12:45 pm; 1 to 2 pm

Admission fees to the Museum of Transportation

Adults: $6
Children (age 5 to 12), Seniors, Military, and Teachers with valid ID: $4
Children 4 and under: FREE (two kids free admission per paying adult)
Members: FREE (six guests admitted per visit)

Admission to the Creation Station is extra (in addition to the general admission fee to the museum)

The cost is $1.50 per person per one hour session in addition to regular museum admission. Ages 1 and older. Admission is based on availability, tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations or pre-sales accepted.

Membership

If you plan on going to the Creation Station with your child several times throughout the year, consider buying a tax-deductible membership (and check with your workplace for any matching gift programs). The $60 conductor membership level gives you 35 Choo Choo Choose Stamps that can be used for Creation Station and/or train ride admissions.

Tips

* The morning Creation Station play times fill up quickly, so be sure to arrive early to secure your spots. Especially with school being out for the summer, many of the play times are busy.

* Pack a snack or lunch. The snack bar at the museum is mainly pretzels, hot dogs, and popcorn.

* Encourage your child to help clean up a little before he/she moves on to the next play area inside the Creation Station. During busy play sessions, the place can get a little chaotic.

* There is a nice miniature train that you can ride around the museum’s large parking lot. The scenery is kind of blah but kids love riding the train. The $4 train ride (buy your ticket at the front desk inside the museum) lets you go around a loop two times and you even get to ride a tram to the train. There’s no food or drink on the tram or the train, so make sure everyone is post bathroom and snack break. The train leaves on the hour, and 20 and 40 minutes after the hour. Detailed train schedule.

* Explore the old train cars in the rail yard. Our favorite is the Monsanto tank. My daughter calls it an echo chamber, so break out the Broadway tunes inside!

* There is an old bookmobile located outside of the museum that sells used books for $2 and under. It has odd hours, but take a peek if you catch it on an open day. We’ve found some wonderful out of print children’s books.

* The Creation Station is available for birthday parties on the weekends. Book early. Most time slots are filled two to three months in advance.

The year-end ask (not from your kid).

Your mailbox is probably overflowing with letters from nonprofit organizations asking for year-end donations. If you don’t already have a personal connection to a cause, what to pick? Who is more worthy than the rest?

Tough call. It’s particularly challenging at the end of the year for cultural¬†organizations to compete with other nonprofits whose missions involve urgent and tangible needs like feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, advocating on behalf of battered women, giving medicine to needy children, and more. But as you know, cultural organizations can also feed the mind, offer solace, inspire, and bring joy (and of course contribute to our economy in a major way). Please keep them in mind as you consider donations this month.

Here are a few recommendations that focus on family friendly places in the St. Louis region and whose memberships include useful benefits that can save you money on your visits. Donations to these companies are tax-deductible (check with each membership level for the exact amount). Do you work for a mid to large size for-profit company? Ask your human resources department about matching gifts. You can often double your donation and the nonprofit typically bumps you up to the next membership level with the match.

Missouri Botanical Garden: Memberships come with complimentary tickets to The Children’s Garden (open April-October), an incredible place for kids to run around, engage in pretend play, climb, play with boats, hang from ropes, slide, stack, play with musical instruments, and more.

Museum of Transportation: This museum is a little on the scrappy side, but perfect for your little one who loves things that go. A membership includes visits to the Creation Station (a wonderful indoor play area that is great for infants to 5 year olds) and train rides that go around a big parking lot two times (kids still love it!). There are great old trains to ramble around in on the museum grounds as well.

The Magic House: People travel from all over the country and beyond to delight in The Magic House, a fantastic children’s museum that caters to infants through 9 year olds (or so). Most museum memberships offer complimentary admission, free visits for playdates, cafe and class discounts, and more. We’ve been visiting The Magic House for the last year and my three-year old often ends up crying/whining about leaving. She has way too much fun. There is an enormous amount to play with and it is all smartly designed. Admission is usually $8.75 per person above one year of age (including you!), so if you end up being a frequent visitor, a membership is definitely worth it.

St. Louis Zoo: Yes, it isn’t exactly warm weather to be romping around at the zoo, but there is an indoor area of the Children’s Zoo as well as some other indoor animal exhibits. With a membership, you get passes for the Zooline train (regularly $5 per person over the age of 2), parking (comes in handy when there is no street parking for blocks and your kid is saying “hold me!” The parking lot is regularly $11 per car.), the Children’s Zoo (regularly $4 per person over the age of 2), and the carousel (regularly $3 per person over the age of 2, that includes a caregiver who is holding the child on the carousel animal).

St. Louis Science Center: If you have a high energy child who likes a little “organized” chaos, this place is for you. The free areas of the Science Center are fairly limited. Special exhibitions, the Discovery Room, the OMNIMAX, and the planetarium among other activities, require admission fees. Parking is $9 per vehicle. Membership benefits include free or discounted admission to all of these and parking passes. If you have a 3 to 7 year old who likes things a little calmer (the rest of the Science Center is really loud on a busy day), the Discovery Room is perfect. Interactive magnet exhibits, a water table, reading areas, pretend play and more help your kids learn a bit about science. The Discovery Room sessions are 45 minutes each and start at the top of the hour.

Opera Theatre of St. Louis: This professional opera company is nationally and internationally respected. It is fiscally sound, bursting with creativity, and produces some fantastic productions. Opera Theatre of St. Louis also has an extensive education and artist training program. About 26% of Opera Theatre of St. Louis’s income comes from ticket sales, so they rely heavily on donations to make their magic happen. We are very lucky to have them in Webster Groves.

Naturally, any of these memberships/donations can be given as thoughtful gifts.

Want to check on these nonprofits’ fiscal management? Check guidestar.org for more or contact the organization directly.

Happy Holidays and enjoy the gift of experience!