The Art of the Family Vacation
Families who visit St. Louis are in luck. Rather than being forced to seek out the local Chuck E. Cheese outpost, parents can introduce their kids to wonderful cultural activities. St. Louis’s thriving art scene is kid-inclusive, thanks to places like the Craft Alliance (6640 Delmar Blvd.).
Just down the street from the Craft Alliance, the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Ave., University City) offers dance and theater workshops and a student acting company for the younger set. COCA’s many performances are open to the public; affordable tickets make a COCA show the perfect choice for a family outing.
In Maplewood, Piwacket Theatre (2810 Sutton Blvd.) produces amazing shows. This performance company puts unexpected twists on classic tales (consider the upcoming Alice [at] wonder [dot] com), often with the help of gorgeously made puppets. If the kids dig the fanciful shows at Piwacket, they’re sure to also love Bob Kramer’s Marionettes (4143 Laclede Ave.). Kramer’s beautiful marionettes — each of which takes nearly 1,500 labor hours to create — come to splendid life in offbeat shows like The Enchanted Toyshop.
If your kids aren’t yet keen on “traditional” museums, take them to an out-of-the-ordinary place like City Museum (701 N. 15th St.) or the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog (1721 S. Mason Rd.). Kids who grew up with Thomas the Train will definitely want to check out the Museum of Transportation (3015 Barrett Station Rd., Kirkwood), which is chock-full of model trains, automobiles, trolley cars, and full-size locomotives (there’s even a mini-train on which kids can ride). At the Saint Louis Artists’ Guild (2 Oak Knoll Park, Clayton), the Monsanto Children’s Gallery always displays artwork by local students. Kids are sure to be inspired when they see their peers’ work in such a beautiful setting.
© Brooke S. Foster from Moon St. Louis, 1st Edition