The St. Louis Gateway Arch is #YourArch This Summer

The St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation invited my family and I down to get an exclusive tour of the new St. Louis Arch Museum before it opens to the public on July 3rd this summer. Getting a sneak peek of the new museum was something that I could not say no to, so I agreed and patiently waited for the details to arrive.

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Once the details were sent we began scheduling and planning our day. First up was some yoga down at Kiener Plaza for #KienerKids! Several kids and adults participated in an early morning yoga session in beautiful downtown St. Louis. With a fantastic view of the Gateway Arch and some yoga getting us ready and focused for the day ahead of us we were ready for our tour. But first we finished up the awesome #KienerKids activities. A long with yoga, there were a few games, the Kiener Plaza playground, and an awesome story teller that was just fantastic at keeping the kids attention with his stories and songs.

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After story time we took a quick restroom break and took a quick walk from Kiener Plaza to the entrance of the museum. A quick introduction from our tour guide and we were in! A really cool feature to the new museum that we did not try out because, well, we didn’t bring extra clothes and we didn’t think it was “open” yet was this little pond like feature right in front of the museum doors. It isn’t a fountain so much as it’s a water feature that kids can play in and view the amazing light reflections that you will see at various times of the day. It was very interesting to hear about and I cannot wait to see it in action.

Upon entering the museum you are immediately able to see it’s open design. There’s so much space AND light!!! Before when entering the museum you felt as though you were entering a bunker and the sunshine stays behind and never entered, that is no longer the case. The new layout and construction now allows for natural light to spread all through-out the museum, removing that claustrophobic feel that was once there. Check out St. Louis Dad on Instagram or search #YourArch to see more photos!

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Wide open spaces, class rooms, and more, the new St. Louis Gateway Arch Museum is worth visiting again and again. There are many great photo opportunities within the museum as well as from the top of the arch.

The St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation has done a terrific job with everything! The path you take to get to the Arch from Kiener is as simple as a walk in the park, no longer are you needing to cross an interstate to get from one spot to the next! The displays within the museum are all up to date and incredible. Kids and adults will have a blast learning about St. Louis, Missouri, and the rest of the mid-west while exploring the numerous interactive features and displays.

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When you’re done learning and playing with all of those awesome features you can easily grab some tickets to the top of the arch and get that 653 feet view of St. Louis. It is breathtaking looking out over the city, or even spinning around and looking across the river and at all of the action happening everywhere. Maybe you can even see my house!

Our experience of the sneak peek tour was worth every second of time spent at the arch. The kids are already asking to go back, especially my little monument fan. She is so fascinated by our nations monuments that she wants to see them all! We can at least cross the Gateway Arch off of her list. She loved it and so did the other kids. I have a feeling my blogger buddies over at AndHattieMakesThree.com, SippyCupMom.com, and STLMotherhood.com all had a great time as well!

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We always have a blast downtown. From Cardinal games to trips to Kiener Plaza and the various parks all around the city. We even got lucky and were able to stop the ice cream man on our way back to our car. The kids devoured popsicles in the likenesses of their favorite cartoons. That left us with just a few more awesome picture opportunities that we totally took advantage of. So not only does St. Louis have some great parks, great museums, we also have some amazing photo spots all over the city. So come on down and check it all out!

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Last but not least, St. Louis Dad and the St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation wants your help!

The Gateway Arch Park Foundation invites the public to participate in the #YourArch campaign, a one-of-a-kind collaborative photo montage to celebrate the grand opening of the Museum at the Gateway Arch and new West Entrance on July 3. Images will be sourced through social media, Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #YourArch. Photos can also be uploaded through the campaign’s website, www.YourArch.org.

The crowd-sourced and Arch-inspired masterpiece will be unveiled at the Museum at the Gateway Arch grand opening celebration on July 3. The #YourArch photo call is open to lovers of Gateway Arch National Park near and far, and can include both newly-snapped selfies and vintage throwbacks of people with the Arch and the surrounding Gateway Arch Park. A new #YourArch inspired video launches May 4 as part of the campaign, and captures the connection visitors and St. Louisans have with the monument.

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“The Arch is part of so many shared memories – grade school field trips, an iconic backdrop for stunning wedding photos and those first futuristic tram rides to the top revealing a spectacular view of St. Louis,” says Eric Moraczewski, executive director of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation. “We see millions of visitors, from St. Louis and around the world, taking their photos with the Arch. The #YourArch campaign celebrates that shared pride and awe of the monument and reminds us that the Arch belongs to everyone.”

To enter photos, use #YourArch on Instagram or Twitter (profiles must be public), or visit www.YourArch.org to upload them directly to the campaign. For more information, visit archmosaic.yourarch.org.

About Gateway Arch Park Foundation: The Gateway Arch Park Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that the Gateway Arch, its grounds, neighboring public space, and attractions are a vital, active, welcoming, well-supported resource to the community and nation for generations to come. The Foundation is part of an alliance that helps meet this mission, which includes the National Park Service, Bi-State Development, Great Rivers Greenway, Jefferson National Parks Association and the City of St. Louis. For more information, visit www.ArchPark.org.

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The Polar Express at Union Station 2017

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The start of this holiday season has been fantastic so far. Great weather, family, friends, and life! Each year we like to take our kids out to see the holiday lights, shows, and other festivities that are happening in the area, and this year we made our way back to Union Station for a first class ride on The Polar Express.

IMG_0354Our previous ride on The Polar Express can be read here. When we arrived I learned that they completely changed the setup from our previous visit. Upon arrival you will go to the ticket booth where you will be provided a bracelet which indicates which train car you will be riding in. It also allows entry and reentry into The Polar Express wonderland.

Inside is filled with Christmas galore! I would recommend arriving about an hour before the time listed on your ticket so you can see all of the awesomeness! Outside there were fire dancers. Two wonderfully talented individuals performed a number of tricks with fire. Definitely check it out if you have time.

Another fun fire filled activity was a fire show sync’d to music. It was incredible. Inside there were coloring pages, plenty of photo opportunities, games, jugglers, and more. If you arrive an hour beforehand you will have plenty of time to do everything.

The fire show at #unionstationstl #stlpolarexpress

A post shared by Richie Williams (@dadstl) on

An announcement will be made to start getting ready for boarding. This is where your bracelets really come in handy. You will be lined up according to your train car and from there you will wait just a bit for the Conductor to let everyone know it’s time to board the Polar Express to the North Pole.

IMG_0069You grab your seats and get your golden tickets checked by the Conductor and the fun just keeps rolling down the track. A nice cup of hot chocolate is delivered to your table along with a cookie. The chefs are bringing some serious energy with that hot hot chocolate! The music and dancing had everyone enjoying the fun. Once everyone had their drinks and cookies that’s when the story of The Polar Express is read. The kids relaxed and listened as the chefs walked up and down the aisle turning pages of the book.

After story time it was time to sing and dance! The kids marched up and down the aisle singing many favorite holiday songs. Just when we thought it was over, Santa got on board! He visited every child and asked them what they wanted for Christmas and then gave them a special bell as their first Christmas present. My kids want a new iPad and LEGO sets. So hopefully Santa comes through this year. Check out St. Louis Dad on Instagram and Twitter for more Polar Express pictures!

The Polar Express is at Union Station in St. Louis November 24th through December 30th. So be sure to book your tickets today. Coming from a out of town? You can stay at the grand St. Louis Union Station Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton. Your rate includes Deluxe accommodations for the complete holiday experience.

Did you ride The Polar Express? Comment below and tell me about your trip!

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St. Louis Dad was compensated tickets to ride The Polar Express in exchange for an honest review.

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St. Louis Sports Trivia Game

stlouistriviaHey all you St. Louisan holiday and birthday shoppers! I grabbed this great game called You Gotta Know St. Louis Sports Trivia Game. It is perfect for any St. Louis sports fan, or any sports fan in general. It is a great gift that this St. Louis Dad recommends picking up this holiday season.

There are so many great questions to keep everyone entertained for hours. The game is pretty simple, it’s trivia! There are 125 cards with 500 questions. You ask questions and other people answer them. Keep track of the points and whoever gets to 21 or whatever number first wins.

You can pick this game up from Amazon for pretty cheap. It’s a nice bargain for some great trivia questions specific to St. Louis.

So much history has happened here in St. Louis and wrapping it up in a game like this is a fantastic way to preserve that history. Over 500 questions that are about hockey, football, baseball, and more! You Gotta Know St. Louis is a perfect gift to add to your cart this year.

You Gotta Know St. Louis is the addictive sports trivia game made just for the St. Louis sports fan. With 500 questions, there’s something for everyone from the casual fan to the obsessed sports geek. Baseball. Hockey. Football. Basketball. Players. Coaches. Trades. Draft picks. Numbers and records. Buildings, ballparks, and arenas. It’s all here. Each card has a point value (based on difficulty) for easy “race to 21” game play… or just ask the questions to your buddies while you’re drinking beer.

If you are looking for something for that sports fan, or you’re curious to know what unofficial mascot appears on the 2011 Cardinals World Series rings prompted by its dash across home plate during the NLDS? Or what St. Louis native claimed the undisputed heavyweight championship with a split-decision win over Muhammed Ali in 1978? This game is for you.

My wife, she doesn’t know much about St. Louis sports trivia, but my buddies do. So this game will be great to play when we get together. Maybe my wife will learn a few facts as well. Who knows, I’m just excited to play!

This blog post was sponsored by You Gotta Know St. Louis Sports Trivia Game. St. Louis Dad was compensated for the content in this post.

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Shopkins are Coming to St. Louis!

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If your kid is anything like mine than the word Shopkins has been thrown around your house like crazy these last few years. Season 1, season 2, season3 etc, etc. I have heard about them all. Not only from my daughter, but from my son as well. The little characters are pretty cute and the names are hilarious. Taco Terry anyone? We have hundreds of these little plastic toys and the checklists to make sure we have those ultra rares in our sights. So when the kids heard about the Shopkins stage show they asked when it was coming to our town and without even realizing it, it’s this month!!!

While Shopkins might seem like a total girl toy, my son loves them just as much and I have heard of other boys liking them as well. They are really cool and a great idea for kids to start learning about collecting. I love the checklists and the mystery figures. I only wish I had thought of Shopkins!

Shopkins Live on Tour will be pushing their cart through St. Louis on November 26th at the Fabulous Fox Theater at 1PM. There is only one showing for this amazing event so be sure to purchase your tickets soon before you miss out!

Want a chance to win four tickets from St. Louis Dad?

All you have to do is do two very simple things…

1) Share this post on Facebook! (I will be checking)

2) Comment on this post with your favorite Shopkin’s name!

3) Include a valid email when you comment so I can contact you if win. The winner will have 24 hours to respond with their details to claim their tickets. If you do not respond in 24 hours another winner will be selected.

Shopkins Live! is finally here! The #1 kids toy in North America is live and on stage in Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! Your beloved Shoppies make their theatrical debut in an original new live show featuring musical performances by Jessicake, Bubbleisha, Peppa-Mint, Rainbow Kate, Cocolette, Polli Polish and more! The fun and fashionista Shoppies are joined by the Shopkins – the grocery store-themed mini collectable toys – Apple Blossom, Strawberry Kiss, Lippy Lips, Kooky Cookie, Poppy Corn, Slick Breadstick and Shady Diva. An ensemble cast of multi-talented performers brings the show to life on stage through urban style music, song and dance.

All of Shopville is in a tizz as preparations get underway for the annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.” Shady Diva showcases her latest fashion designs; Lippy Lips gives colorful advice at the nail salon; Kooky Cookie tries to get in a beauty nap! But wait – no event is complete without a few hiccups! Who has high-jinxed the fashion pageant? Where is the super-secret celebrity guest? Will Slick Breadstick ever find a dance partner? The Shopkins and Shoppies need your help – the show must go on!

Shopkins Live! immerses audiences in the world of Shopville using custom-designed theatrical costumes, creative onstage characters, state-of-art video and set design, and original pop songs and music! Grab your besties and check out Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! Check ya later!

St. Louis Dad was compensated with complimentary tickets to the show in exchange for promotion of the event.

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