Tag Archives: st louis kids

Summer fun for kids at the Sheldon Art Galleries

SheldonArtGalleriesEnjoy “Summer Craft Days for Kids” at the Sheldon Art Galleries, Saturdays through August 9, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Children 3 years old through teens can create crafts and participate in a scavenger hunt in the galleries. Suggested donation is $3 per child for crafts. Admission to the galleries and scavenger hunt are free.

Crafts may include necklaces, bracelets, lanyards with washers and nuts, buttons with paint markers, key chains with beads and plastic cording, and muffin cup flowers.

While you’re there, be sure to view the exhibition, “The City at 250: A Citywide Celebration in Photography.” The show features 100 photographs drawn from a citywide photo contest organized by the Sheldon Art Galleries and the St. Louis Beacon. Amateur photographers, professionals, and children were invited to send in photos in the categories of places and architecture, neighborhood and events, and people.

Questions? Contact the Sheldon Art Galleries at 314.533.9900.

Photo: The Sheldon Art Galleries

Baby Got Bach: February 18 performance

Baby Got Bach is back for another entertaining and free performance in St. Louis on February 18, 2012 at 10:30 am, Centene Plaza, 7700 Forsyth Road. Baby Got Bach is an engaging classical music interactive event for 3 to 6 year olds founded by internationally known pianist Orli Shaham. During the nearly two hour program, kids can explore real instruments, meet musicians from the St. Louis Symphony, sing familiar songs, play rhythm sticks and castanets, and hear a chamber music concert featuring works by Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schubert, Bartok, and more.


The community performance is free of charge thanks to the generosity of The Centene Charitable Foundation. Currently, the organization is accepting reservations from people who signed up for their mailing list last Fall. Online reservations will be open to the general public starting on February 6, 2012. All the spots for the November 2011 performance were filled within two days last Fall, so be sure to make advance reservations on the Baby Got Bach web site. There is a limit of approximately 80 children for the event and there will be a wait list available. Walk-ins without reservations may be admitted, space permitting.


* Parking is available for $2 per hour at the Centene Plaza garage. Street parking is free on Saturdays.
* The St. Louis Symphony, The Centene Charitable Foundation, and many individuals donate their time and funds to the nonprofit, Baby Got Bach. If you are able, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Baby Got Bach.
* The program may be a bit long for some 3 and 4 year olds, but the format is casual, so feel free to take your child out to the lobby for a break or snack if she/he needs it.
* There will be short intermission before the chamber music concert portion of the event.
* Make a morning/day of your outing and eat at the nearby, delicious, and family friendly restaurant, Half and Half. Be sure to try the veggie hash and fresh donuts! Half and Half is open 8 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.
* Questions? Contact Baby Got Bach through their web site.

About Orli Shaham, Artistic Director, Host, and Pianist

Orli Shaham got an early start in her music career. She began playing piano at age four, and got her first music scholarship when she was five. Just a couple years later, she began her studies at The Juilliard School with Herbert Stessin. That was the beginning of a flood of prestigious performances and awards, launching her international career. Ms. Shaham has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras and has been lauded for her recitals at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and Lincoln Center, as well as many other renowned concert halls around the globe. Ms. Shaham has preschool twins Nathan and Alex and college-age stepsons Peter and Jonathan. She lives in St. Louis and New York with her husband, St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson.

Photo: Ali Winberry

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)

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

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.


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.


* 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 Children’s Garden is open!

The adventure filled Children’s Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden opened for the season this month and the beautiful spring weather has made visits to this outdoor gem even more ideal. The Children’s Garden is mainly designed for toddlers up through middle school age. It features elaborate tree house type constructions, rope bridges, a creek with boats and locks, slides, fake branches to hang from, pretend play areas including a general store, an unending amount of structures to climb on, a big sand box, musical instruments, water play, and much more. Plus, you have the nature aspect of the garden as well, so you may find your kids entertaining themselves with piles of bark or fallen leaves.

The Children’s Garden is open daily, April through October, 9 am to 5 pm. The cost varies from free to $5 for ages 3 to 12 (see tip number five below). View a map of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Children’s Garden is number 29 on the map.


1. The bathrooms are conveniently located inside the Children’s Garden and do not have automatic flush toilets (in case your child has a complex about this). There is also a nice frog step stool for kids to use at the sink.

2. You can easily spend a couple of hours at the Children’s Garden with preschoolers. Be sure to bring a snack and drink for your child with you. Technically no outside food is allowed, so be discreet, clean up, and definitely no picnicking. More about the Garden’s rules.

3. The Children’s Garden is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the parking lot (and double or triple that if you have a meandering toddler). So if you anticipate that your child may not walk the whole way, bring your stroller. You can park your stroller near the waterfall by the front entrance of the Children’s Garden.

4. Beyond just running around and going crazy (an important experience in itself!), there are lots of socialization, shape recognition, texture, tempo/speed, color, size, and counting learning opportunities throughout the Children’s Garden for your little one.

5. Although there is a $3 to $5 fee for kids ages 3 to 12, the Botanical Garden offers ample options to experience the Children’s Garden for “free.” Ages 13 and up and 2 and under are free. Garden members Tuesdays all day, and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to noon are free. Family-level members and above are free everyday and St. Louis City and County Residents are free on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to noon. Depending on what membership level you join at, members also receive varying numbers of “Bonus Bloom Passes,” that can be used for a complimentary anytime visit to the Children’s Garden or a tram ride. Memberships start at $65.

6. If you have a child who isn’t taking afternoon naps anymore, the Children’s Garden is less busy on weekday afternoons. This is often a fun time to visit.

7. The Sassafras Cafe located inside the Visitor’s Center is a nice place to eat after a morning at the Children’s Garden. The Cafe serves lunch until 2 pm on weekdays and until 3 pm on weekends. It tends to get very busy from noon to 1:30 pm and the lines can get long so plan ahead.

8. Bring a change of clothes if your child is going to play in the water area. They can get soaked!

Photos: Jennifer Lin

Play at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis started a great program for kids this Fall. Stroller Tour Tuesdays (ages up to 24 months) and Wednesday Morning Play Dates (ages 3 to 5) are engaging ways to introduce your child to art, the museum space, other kids, stories, and yummy pastries generously donated by Companion Bakery.

I attended the Wednesday Morning Play Date in October with my three year old and enjoyed a somewhat overly complicated (but fun!) craft followed by a wonderful story time. It was a small group of about six kids, but I’m guessing that number will increase as word gets out about this creative event. Art critic Jerry Saltz happened to be in the galleries for his talk later that day which made for some laughter when he came over to “critique” the kids’ art projects. My daughter and I ended up walking around in the galleries after the play date was over and enjoyed talking about all the images and then lounging on the lobby furniture.

The complimentary coffee, pastries, and beautiful light in the museum made for a very relaxing morning. These events are free and a delightful arts opportunity for kids and their caregivers.

Free street parking fills up fast when we were there, so make sure you have a few quarters for metered parking.

Wednesday Morning Play Dates (ages 3 to 5)
December 1, 2010  |  10 to 11 am

Stroller Tour Tuesdays (ages up to 24 months)
December 7, 2010  |  9 to 10 am

Photo: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis