Winter Home Woes And How To Solve Them

It’s fair to say that through the winter months can bring numerous challenges for homeowners that you need to be aware of and prepare for. If you do this, you can avoid problems with property damage and expensive repairs. Let’s explore some of the biggest winter woes that you can face and how to handle them the right way. 

Snowed In

It’s possible that you get snow this winter. This can be quite the nightmare because it could stop kids getting to school or you being able to reach work in the morning. To tackle this issue, you ideally need to invest in a high quality snow blower. The best snow blowers will make fast work of snow that’s built up around your property. Of course, you could already have a snow blower that just isn’t working as well as it should. If that’s the case, then you might need to think about fixing it. If you navigate to these guys, you’ll find some great advice on how to make the right repairs here. 

Water Trouble

Alternatively, you might find that there are issues with water in your home. If the rain starts to fall, even the smallest hole or gap in your roof can be a complete and utter nightmare. The good news is that it’s easy to handle trouble like this. You just need to contact a roofer and get them to check your roof before the winter weather sets in. Ideall, you should make sure that you are exploring issues here around the fall to give you enough time to get them fixed. Remember, if you leave this for too long, the problem can get a lot worse. 

Lights Out 

You might find that you have issues with power outages through the winter months. This can occur due to problems with the wind or it might be due to snow falling on the lines. In either case, the power going out can be a massive problem. Particularly, if it occurs at an inopportune moment such as when you’re cooking a meal on Christmas day. That’s why you might want to think about investing in a backup generator. These are a lot more affordable than most people realize and will fit into a typical budget. 

Pesky Pests 


It’s a well known fact that insects in the home become more common through the winter season. However, people do tend to forget that this can also lead to a full blown infestation. You need to be wary of this problem and ensure that you are taking the right steps to prevent it. This can be a case of filling in any cracks along the walls of your property. You might also want to think about laying down some bug spray and traps to ensure that a problem like this doesn’t catch you by surprise. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the common issues that you can have with your home through the winter months and what you can do to solve these problems. If you take the right steps, then you can avoid a lot of problems with property damage and headaches further down the road. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Halloween at Union Station!

All Aboard! The Union Station Halloween Experience brings family fun to the fall season in St. Louis, October 9 – 31.

Created for children 12 and under and their families, the Union Station Halloween Experience is a themed walking journey through the historic railroad terminal’s stationary rail cars. Each train car features a spooky theme including pirates, witches, dark creatures and a candy wonderland. 
Guests can purchase tickets and start their Halloween journey inside a huge tent filled with a not-so-scary maze, a series of boo-rific decorated rooms and a big barnyard where guests 12 and under receive a free pumpkin.
Onboard the rail cars, characters read a story with clues and interactive elements to solve the Riddle of the Werewolf. Kids get a special treat at the end of the journey.

The Union Station Halloween Experience is open daily, October 9 – 31 from 1 to 9 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m.

My two kiddos LOVED the Halloween Experience at Union Station. It was just the perfect amount of scary for them. My son is six and he was holding my hand so tight while walking through the spooky maze. My daughter is ten and wasn’t as scared but just loved how everything was setup.

With a magic show, a balloon artist, and much more, the first part of the Halloween Experience was already worth checking out. The second part, which consists of going through several train cars that are decorated with some crazy Halloween flair was just as fun. Listening to the story and putting together the clues provided a unique experience that kids and adults should really enjoy.

Ticket options allow guests to incorporate package deals with Union Station’s other attractions, adding a visit to the St. Louis Aquarium and the 200-foot-tall St. Louis Wheel at a reduced price.

Timed tickets for the Union Station Halloween Experience are $20 per person and may be purchased on site or online at: https://www.stlouisunionstation.com/halloween-train-ticketing.

With normal Halloween plans changed due to COVID-19, the new event has been created with guest safety in mind. Just 12 people will be admitted to each train car at a time to allow for appropriate social distancing. Masks are required and family groups will be seated separately. The train cars and tent areas will be sanitized throughout the day according to Union Station’s strict safety protocols.


STAY AND PLAY
Hotel room packages with Halloween Experience tickets start at $150/night for families that want to continue the Halloween fun with an overnight stay at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel after the event.
Parking for the event is $5 per car.

ACTIVITIES ON THE PLAZA
A fall festival market tent will house shopping and activities on the Purina Performance Plaza. Halloween items will be for sale, including decorating kits for pumpkins distributed during the event. 

Fun festival-style food and drinks will be available on the Plaza and Soda Fountain, Union Station’s popular retro diner, is adding Halloween Freak Shakes to the menu.


HALLOWEEN ON THE WHEEL
Scan the skies for witches and ghosts from the top of the St. Louis Wheel. The 200-foot-tall observation wheel at Union Station will be lighted in Halloween color themes during the event and a scary soundtrack will play on the Plaza. Hourly fire and light shows will entertain families on the Union Station lake. 


UNDERWATER SCARES
The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station gets in on the Halloween fun with underwater pumpkin carving. The Aquarium’s talented divers will create Jack o’ Lantern treats for the fishy residents of Shark Canyon. Carving demonstrations will take place on Saturdays and Sundays during dive shows at 11 a.m. and 1:30 and 4 p.m.

The Union Station Halloween Experience is located under the historic train shed at 201 S. 18th Street, St. Louis, MO 63013.

Hiking Through a Pandemic

What do you do when everything is shut down and there is nowhere to go? You go hiking over the hills and through the woods, that’s what you do.

With playgrounds, skateparks, businesses, and just about everything else shut down during this pandemic we had to go elsewhere to keep from getting cabin fever and that elsewhere was the various parks that were still open that had hiking options available… and apparently, just about everyone else had that idea too. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

We went everywhere that we could and a few places we weren’t suppose to visit, but I won’t list those. It is such a major accomplishment when you knock out a trail. Especially when the kids come along with us. They are great hikers and love finding and identifying rocks, plants, and other things found out in the woods. We have been using the app All Trails to find cool spots to hike and explore and we have been using the app Seek to help us identify plants along the way.

We also have started taking grocery bags with us and picking up liter that we find on the trails as well. It is astonishing how much trash people will just leave on a trail. Did you really think taking a 32 ounce styrofoam cup with you on a 3 mile hike was a good idea? Apparently so, which is why we are now cleaning up after you.

Read up on the 7 principles of the Leave No Trace project. It is a great resource and helpful guide on how best to mind your manners while out exploring.

So where have we gone? Well, all over. We want to explore more, so if you have a recommendation please share in a comment or reach out on social media. Here is a list of just a few of the trails we have checked out this year.

Loutre River Trail
Saint Stanislaus Trail
Connors Cave
Spring Brook Trail Loop via Devil’s Icebox Trail
Castlewood Loop
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
Fort Bellefontaine Loop Trail
River Scene Trail Loop
Spring Branch Trail
Wildflower Trail
Mina Sauk Falls Trail
Rock Quarry Trail
Hogsback Trail
Trail Among Trees
Klondike Park Katy Trail
Elephant Rock State Park

Like I mentioned, we started to use the app All Trails this year to keep track of the trails we have rocked. It is a handy app that gives you some nice GPS data and other information about the trail you are on. It’s not a bad tool to have when you are out there in the wilderness. It also helps keep track of other cool stats over the lifetime of using the app. I kind of wish we started using it sooner as I think my stats would be much higher had I did.

All in all hiking has become one of our families go to activities. We just love getting outdoors and exploring the world around us. I have some video and photos from some of these hikes that I hope to put together at some point, but most importantly with all that is going on, getting out and getting back to nature this year has been a perfect way to be mindful and balance yourself.

Stay tuned for a future post where I share what I have in my hiking bag and why my wife thinks it is way too heavy!

Flat Tires? No Problem

Every dad needs a garage filled with tools. Without those tools you would probably need a handy-man to get things done. A garage full of tools allows a dad to connect with his children as well. You can show them how to fix things, have them help with various projects, and best of all you can keep their bikes, balls, and other inflatable items filled with air.

Air compressors have been very handy in this St. Louis Dad’s garage. Having an automotive air compressor has been a life saver in more ways than just filling up the air in our car tires. During the long winter months tires on the kids bikes go flat and who really wants to take the bike up to the gas station, find a couple quarters and fill them up with air when you can do it right from your own garage. I’ve learned this the hard way, and because of that I got myself an air compressor. So not only can my car tires be filled at the proper level, so can my kids bike tires.

Inflating a basketball, soccer, or football is also a good use for an air compressor. There have been many times where we find our basketball is just bouncing a little more flatter than usual. So we will get out the compressor, plug it in, and get that ball bouncing like it should be.

Riding bikes, playing basketball, soccer, or football is a staple of being a kid, and having dad help getting those items ready for play is the perfect reason to keep one of these bad boys in the garage. Your neighbor may appreciate it too!

So, before the winter hits, and you have to check your tire pressure at the local gas station, why not just invest in a shop air compressor from Best Buy Auto Equipment and make your life just a little bit more easier. It’s a lot more handier than you realize!