St. Louis

We spent the weekend in Saint Louis visiting my sister, Jenna, and her new hubby, Steven.

I found a good deal on a suite in a Hilton hotel and booked train tickets. No rental car was needed since Jenna drove us around. I’m so lucky to have a sibling live in an awesome city to visit – even if there was freezing temperatures and an ice storm. We definitely want to go back to see some of the downtown highlights. We saw the arch in the distance lit up at night.

Amtrak – I thought this would be a good way to travel with kids. It was about an hour longer than driving but the kids could get up and use the bathroom, get a snack from the snack cart. Outlets were available at every seat to charge phones and ipads. The train tickets are dirt cheap – we would have spent more money on gas driving.Β It was different….

Scott hated it. He vowed never to ride the train again after the St. Louis trip. This was not the same type of train he and I took from New York to Washington DC a year and a half ago. The train from NY to DC was a high speed train. We had internet access. We were also in the “quiet” car. No kids. Our seats were massive and could lay all the way back into a bed. Huge difference than the KC train.

The KC to STL train was smaller, louder, wobblier. It felt similar to being in coach on an airplane for 5 hours. It was either the train or strapping the kids down to car seats for 4 hours. Pick your poison. I don’t think it was as bad Scott makes it out to be. It’s nice to know that is what a train ride with kids is like, for future reference. The girls liked the train. They didn’t really screaming/fight/cry at all so it was a success in my eyes. Probably drive next time though. Although, now I can argue to Scott that the girls did wonderful for 5 hours on a train – they can easily last on a plane ride to say…oh I don’t know..Hawaii?

Kids Museum – While in Saint Louis, we found a children’s museum called The Magic House. It was freaking awesome. I would go back to St Louis just to take the kids here. It’s inside a mansion-sized house. I can’t even begin to tell you everything they have. It really reminded me of the Smithsonian but for kids. They had a bubble room; a giant 3 story slide; a story-room where the books are oversized and the pages spilled into the floor with interactive historical pieces (like trains, teepees, a civil war hospital tent); a huge “town” (similar to Exchange City, for those in KC) that had a bank, a pizza shop, a market, a whole house with bedrooms, kitchen, and living room; a fake library, a fishing pond with a stream where you could release your “fish” into and watch the fish swim under the glass you walk on; a mini version of the President’s office; a mini stage to speak to Congress; one of those metal balls that you touch and your hair stood straight up.

Every thing was educational and hands-on. One thing I noticed is they have staff everywhere always teaching and asking if they could help or answer any questions about an exhibit. If I lived there I would take my kids there at least a couple times a month. I feel like we didn’t even get to see everything. We didn’t get to do all the outdoor stuff because of the temperatures. One of the outside exhibits was a fake construction zone where the kids could interact all the way from the planning to the (fake) vehicles to the interior design of a house! The girls didn’t want to leave after spending all afternoon there. If you’re ever in St Louis, please take your kids to this place!!!

NHL game – We also went to an NHL game. The St. Louis Blues play downtown. Scott splurged on nice seats about 4 rows away from the glass. Since I grew up in KC, I am not very familiar with hockey. I knew Scott was on KC’s traveling junior league in high school and have been told he was very, very good (and a fighter). So this experience was a little different for me – I was amazed at the amount of people that actually like hockey. I was shocked how many people like and encourage fighting. Scott was getting annoyed with me at the game – I kept pronouncing the opposing team, the Sabres, like “Sah-brays” (it looks like a Spanish word!). I kept forgetting what the ice cleaner vehicle was called…knew it started with a Z…Zebroni…Zambabwe…Zambezee Zinger…Zlamboni…Zamboni, that’s it. Zamboni. The girls loved the game simply because it was like a giant dance party. They played a lot of dance party music in between plays. The mascot, “Louie”, the bear, came over and played with Emma and Kate. Louie put on a big peek-a-boo show with Kate. The whole section was watching.

It was a fun little action-packed trip. First trip of the year for us! Many more planned, many more to be blogged about….

10 thoughts on “St. Louis

  1. If you go visit in the summer, take your kids to a Gateway Grizzlies game. It is a semi-pro team just across the river in Collinsville, IL and it is really fun! It’s a very nice stadium and is very kid friendly. We loved going there with our kids!
    We are from the Kansas City area, and also have lived on the Illinois side of St. Louis-agree that the Magic House is awesome!! I have yet to find another that good, and we have lived in many places with children’s museums.
    Found your blog from a facebook post about your daughter’s opposition to coloring the Jayhawk-funny! We are KU fans here, but have a family divided-my grandfather went to K-State and brother went to KU. My hubby and I actually went to Emporia State, but it’s not like you’re going to see those games on tv! We live in Husker nation now, but you will find KU flying high on game day here!!
    Tracey Young


  2. Hi. I saw your story about Emma and the Jayhawk on MSN. She sounds like a terrific girl who’s got great parents! I was so taken with the story I clicked on a link that took me to your blog. At the bottom of the post I saw “St. Louis” and clicked out of curiosity. (I’m from St. Charles.)

    On your next trip, check out the City Museum ( You loved the Magic House, you will be blown away by this. I’ve never seen anything like it.

    Take care! πŸ™‚ Kathleen


  3. Julie,

    I saw your mention of the Smithsonian. Did you know that you can donate tax-deductible gift subscriptions to Smithsonian magazine to Emma’s school, your high school, etc.? For $18 bucks a year (about two weeks’ worth of hair gel for Scott), you can gift a subscription for their library. I do this for my hometown, which needs a lot of culture (ever listened to my brother Ward speak?).


  4. Hello! I tried posting before but not sure if it went through (I thought maybe you have to “approve” and so I waited awhile to repost). Anyway, like Kathleen, I had read the story about Emma and clicked a link to your blog. And just like Kathleen, I saw the post St. Louis and wanted to read about your trip (we live in Shiloh, IL – just over the river πŸ™‚ ). Anyways, imagine my surprise when reading your post I see a picture with my family in it!! LOL We are in your first hockey picture – we were sitting a few rows in front of you decked out in Buffalo Sabres attire πŸ™‚

    I love your style of writing and jealous of all the memories you have “stored”. Your girls are a riot!!


  5. Thank you, ladies for the suggestions on what else to do in St. Louis! Now I want to go back again! And Brooke, that is sooo funny I caught your family in my picture! What are the chances of THAT?! Sorry, I had to hide all comments last week, people were getting mean about Emma. I’m just now catching up on comments. Thanks again, St Louis friends!


  6. I’m disappointed some people are rude and mean. Especially towards a little girl. I think the whole thing is hilarious myself (I also have a sassy 5 yr old daughter). I am SO glad that you didn’t let this whole thing “get” to you and stop your blog – I know some people might have just decided to stop the blog all together. I think the way you handled the whole thing from dealing with Emma’s teacher to your family’s newfound celebrity(?) – however long it may last – is amazing. Great job to both you and your hubby! Maybe we’ll run into each other again the next time you are in STL πŸ˜€


  7. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to STL! The Magic House isn’t my favorite place since they don’t serve beer, but the kids like it. I’m glad I read this because we were wavering about whether or not to take the train from STL to KC next month with the kids and I think this sealed the deal for driving. I wasn’t sure the 2 year old would be pleasant for 5 hours. I’m going to run some Waddell and Reed 1/2 marathon Oct. 19th. Good times I’m sure.


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