St. Louis Toddler Adventures {Part 2}

Top St. Louis Toddler Activities: The Magic House, Butterfly House, and St. Louis Carousel at Faust Park.

Baby and I took a Thanksgiving trip to St. Louis, where “we” deliciously indulged in some dream pie, oreo cake, gooey butter cake and gooey butter cookies. Between sweets, I tried to keep Baby active and entertained as we worked our way through St. Louis’s top toddler attractions.

Our early excursions included visiting our animal friends at the incredible St. Louis Zoo and searching for paranormal activity at the haunted Lemp Mansion Restaurant and Inn {see Part 1}. Later in the week we made it to a few more toddler fun zones: The Magic House, Butterfly House, and St. Louis Carousel. All three kept Baby very busy, which is why most of the pictures caught the back of Baby’s head.

The Magic House ~ Engage in hands-on learning, explore their creativity, and develop problem-solving skills in a place of wonder & joy.

I have always wanted to go to The Magic House. There were so many different things for Baby to do there. He played and experimented with lights, magnets, a ball maze, musical instruments, and a huge sand table. There was a water room with a big water wheel to watch plus lots of little gadgets to play with as water flowed from one table to another.

In the toddler area, there was a play kitchen, a scale, giant mirrors, a ball pit, books, and lots things to climb on or through, including tunnels, balance beams, slides, and spiral staircases. Baby especially loved the alphabet wall near the entrance, where he lifted up each panel to see what was hiding inside.

We did so much, and yet there was still so much more to see and do when we needed to leave (naptime was calling). Yet all of the different activities felt a little random, especially without any explanations about how things worked, why they mattered, or how to replicate them at home. I guess that’s what made it “magic.”

The $10 ticket price for ages one and up was a little steep, especially when we could only be there for a couple hours between Baby’s naps. Still, it was such an awesome place for Baby to play and explore, that I would begrudgingly pay it again on future trips.

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Entering the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House was like walking into a magical wonderland. Located in Faust Park, this gem was an island of tropical warmth, even while it was snowing outside the glass conservatory. I could have watched the butterflies listened to the waterfalls all day, if it wasn’t for the whole toddler wrangling thing.

Walking through the green house, there were hundreds of butterflies flying about, eating nectar from the many beautiful flowers, and even hanging out on the pebbled walkway. “Watch your step” took on a whole new meaning.

Baby swatted at a few butterflies, but was thankfully missed in each time. Overall, he was more interested in the plants and scooping up fistfuls of dirt. I loved all of the butterflies, especually the ones with bright blue wings. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to catch a picture of one with my iPhone. They were pretty.

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After the Butterfly House, we bundled up and walked across the parking lot for Baby’s first ride on the St. Louis Carousel. I was surprised and delighted to find Hanukkah candles and Star of David decorations on the door as we walked in. The carousel music at that moment was also song from Fiddler on the Roof. It was like someone hit a pause button on Christmas.

When it was our turn to ride, Baby was a bit skeptical about the whole sitting on a horse thing. As soon as the carousel began to spin, he started to relax and enjoy himself. He looked around constantly to take it all in, and only lost his balance once (poor guy). After that he held on very tightly.

Taking Baby on his first carousel ride was so much more fun than I imagined it would be. I hope to remember that moment forever. Luckily, a great friend came with us and caught it on video.

 

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What are the best toddler activities in your home town?

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St. Louis Toddler Adventures {Part 1}

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Baby, Sirius, and I traveled to St. Louis for Thanksgiving to see my family. It’s a big event, with three turkeys, lots of cousins, and more desserts than I could count. Sadly, my husband had to stay behind to work. Thanksgiving is the restaurant’s busiest day of the year because of the Plaza Lights Festival. We missed spending the holiday with him, but loved the chance to spend some quality time with our St. Louis clan.

On previous St. Louis visits with Baby we stayed close to home, hanging out with family and going out to eat. However, this time around I had an active toddler in tow. I did a little research ahead of time to scout out some toddler fun so that we would have plenty to do when we arrived. Continue reading

Emerald City: Our Newest Haunt

Parent-Tot Open Gym at Emerald City: The perfect Kansas City toddler activity.

It is always hard to find places where a young toddler can play. This was even more true on Halloween. Every event was either all about candy, during Baby’s naps, or after bedtime. Halloween was my favorite holiday, so missing out on all the fun was beginning to bum me out. A few days before Halloween, however, a friend shared an event on Facebook that looked like it was created specifically with Baby and me in mind: Emerald City’s Parent-Tot Halloween Party.

Emerald City Gym is a gymnastics center with an incredible set up for kids of all ages. They have a huge play area with in-ground trampolines, slides, balance beams, a rope swing, a rock wall, and more fun things to do and climb on. Outside of open play, they also have traditional gymnastics equipment for recreational and competitive training. Continue reading

SITS Day Celebration + Giveaway!

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Hello Friends! Today I am very excited to be the featured blogger on The SITS Girls, an incredible website and network that has meant so much to me since I first began blogging.

For those unfamiliar, SITS stands for the secret is in the sauce, and it is all about helping bloggers find their tribe and grow their audience. The SITS Girls blog, weekly SITS Sharefest linky, and #SITSBlogging chats on Twitter have been wonderful ways for me to share posts, connect with other bloggers, learn new skills, and collaborate on fun new projects.

If you’re new to Reflective Mama, this blog is all about the everyday adventures of being a new mom, friendships, a touch of fitness, and books I read along the way. Fifteen-month-old “Baby” is often the star of the show. My posts are honest, sometimes humorous, and always written from the heart. Here are some of my favorites: Continue reading