St. Louis — JULY 25, 2023 — It’s Christmas in July — the time when many people think about the upcoming holidays just five months from today.

In St. Louis, one of the most popular holiday traditions is a family excursion on The Polar Express Train Ride.

If you’d like to be among the first to get tickets for this year’s events, sign up for notifictions today at

The real train rides — a St. Louis holiday tradition — are rolling to the North Pole again to tell the magical story of a boy’s search for the real meaning of Christmas. The train rides begin at St. Louis Union Station on November 17 and continue through December 30, 2023. Early ticket buyers will have the best choice of available dates.

Trains will depart St. Louis Union Station at 4:30, 6:00 and 7:15 p.m. every night during the season except Thanksgiving. Trains also run at 8:30 p.m. on selected dates.

The beloved story of The Polar Express comes to life when the real train departs for a round-trip journey to the North Pole led by a cast of talented characters, including the Boy, the Hobo, the Conductor, dancing chefs and Santa and his elves. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away for a one-hour trip to meet Santa. It’s an immersive, family-oriented experience that will create lasting holiday memories. 

St. Louis Union Station is located at 201 S. 18th Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. Follow on social media @unionstationstl. Phone inquiries: (314) 942-6942.


St. Louis — July 20, 2023 — Discovery Channel’s wildly popular Shark Week turns America’s attention to the ocean’s most popular predators each summer. The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is celebrating this pop culture phenomenon, July 23-30 with a variety of shark-related opportunities for guests.

Pop Culture’s Favorite Predators are Celebrated, July 23-30, 2023

“We are excited to help people learn about these apex predators and develop a respect for them,” said Tamil Brown, executive director of the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. “Once you know more about sharks, you’ll understand they aren’t the crazy attack animals they’re portrayed to be. It’s important to develop a respect for them and their natural behaviors.”


Shark Canyon is the largest habitat at the St. Louis Aquarium. At 250,000 gallons, it is home to a wide variety of shark species as well as stingrays, sea turtles and fish. Visitors can enjoy a Dive Show at Shark Canyon’s large viewing wall every day but Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. Divers wear a special scuba mask that allows them to talk with visitors and answer questions about caring for and diving with the sharks.


At the Touch Pool on the second floor of the St. Louis Aquarium, visitors can reach into the water and touch a Bamboo Shark or a Coral Catshark. the habitat also is home to a variety of stingrays, horseshoe crabs and other marine animals. Guests may even by able to feed the friendly stingrays during their visit.


Young visitors can make their own paper shark hats in the Kids Zone where they also can color a fish and launch it into the virtual water, read boks about fish and play games.


Guests can walk the rope bridge across the top of Shark Canyon behind the scenes — if they dare. Stretching over Shark Canyon, the hand-knotted rope nridge is 15-feet-long and hangs 7.5-feet above the water of the Aquarium’s 250,000-gallon habitat for sharks, rays, sea turtles and thousands of fish. Like all of the best and scariest rope bridges, it shakes as visitors cross the span. The bridge crossing is part of the Aquarium’s behind the scenes tour add-on experience, open daily during normal operating hours. The tour also includes a visit to the Life Services area where salt water is created, monitored and filtered to keep the marine animals healthy; a stop in the veterinary lab; and a look at the kitchen where restaurant-quality food is prepared for the animals.


Visitors to the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station can see the following species;

— Sandbar/Brown Sharks

— Blacknose Sharks

— Zebra Sharks

— Whitetip Reef Sharks

— Black Tip Sharks

— Nurse Sharks

— Bonnethead Sharks

— Bamboo Sharks

— Cat Sharks


During Shark Week, Aquarium fans can touch replicas of shark teeth and jaws and will get in depth information on shark species living on site. Examples include:

Blacknose Sharks

A lot of guests think these are “baby sharks” but they are getting close to full grown. They’ll grow to about four feet long and weigh between 15 and 24 pounds at maturity. They get their name from the black spot on the tip of their snouts. Blacknose sharks are quick swimmers, so in the wild, they would eat small fish like anchovies or porcupine fish. At the Aquarium, they are fed them sardine, capelin (a schooling fish), squid, herring, or mackerel. All of the sharks are target fed to avoid competition over the food and to train them where to go to seek food when they want it.

Zebra Sharks

Zebra sharks have stripes when they are juvenile and as they grow older, the stripes turn into spots. They can grow to be nearly eight feet long and their tail can be about half of that length, so the Aquarium’s sharks still have some growing to do. Zebra Sharks are one of the few species of sharks that can breathe without swimming, so sometimes guests will see them hanging out on the sandy bottom or even on top of one of the viewing windows. They live in shallow coral reefs in warm tropical water in the Indo-West area of the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, East African and Australia. They are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. In the ocean, they would hunt for small fish, snails, sea urchins and crabs that hide out in the coral reefs. Those “whiskers” or barbels at the front of their snouts help them to locate their prey and they can wriggle into tight spaces where these small fish often hide. They also have strong gill muscles so they can suck up prey. At the Aquarium, they are fed a variety of fish, including capelin, squid (their favorite), mackerel, and salmon.

Nurse Sharks

Nurse sharks grow to 7 to 10 feet and can weigh 200 to 330 pounds so they will definitely be the biggest sharks at the Aquarium. They are nocturnal like the Zebra Sharks. No one is entirely sure how they got their name. It could come from the sucking sound they make when hunting for prey in the sand, which sounds like a nursing baby. Or it could be from an old word that isn’t used anymore “nusse” which means cat shark. But the most likely reason is that it comes from an Old English word for sea-floor shark, “hurse.” They eat off the bottom like Zebra sharks, but they use their strong jaws to crush shellfish and even coral but they prefer small fish, shrimp and squid. At the Aquarium, they eat mackerel, herring, salmon, squid, or bonito. Both the zebra sharks and nurse sharks get clams and mussels to hunt for and crush up along the bottom of the exhibit.

Sandbar or Brown Sharks

They average about 6 feet long and weigh between 110 and 150 pounds when they are full grown. At the Aquarium, the Sandbar sharks eat large fish like mackerel, bonito, and salmon. In the wild, they are what’s called “opportunistic” feeders, which means they aren’t very picky. They prey mostly on small fish, eels, stingrays, octopus, shrimp and crabs. These sharks can be found all over the world. They are a shallow coastal species that likes warm tropical waters and they are bottom-dwelling. They can be found in the western and Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific, ranging from south and east Africa to the Hawaiian Islands. 


The St. Louis Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The attraction is part of the St. Louis Union Station family entertainment destination in downtown St. Louis at 201 S.18th St., St. Louis, MO 63103. Timed admission tickets can be purchased online at Find the Aquarium on social media at: @aquariumstl.

Tickets are available combining Aquarium admission with other attractions at Union Station, including the 200-foot-tall St. Louis Wheel, mini-golf, the St. Louis Carousel, the St. Louis Ropes Course the Mirror Maze and the newly opened Selfie Express. Buy online to take advantage of plan-ahead pricing.

Restaurants on site include the retro-style diner Soda Fountain, Train Shed, The Pitch Athletic Club & Tavern and the 1894 Cafe. Fire and light shows are set to music and play on the Union Station lake throughout the day and evening.

The St. Louis Union Station Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton, can be booked with an Aquarium Package at

New Music from St. Louis Dad!

Do you hear that? What’s that sound? It’s new music from St. Louis Dad!

In case you missed me mentioning it in the past, along with the St. Louis Dad blog, I also create music for my production imprint Missouri Mobile Productions. Last year saw the release of two new instrumental albums, JELLY-Fi and The Long Way to Mars EP. With neither reaching critical acclaim, nor receiving barely any streaming numbers, this dad figures why not keep the beats going and release another EP!

Rotting Planets EP

At the start of the summer I started working diligently to release the Rotting Planets EP. Another experimental instrumental album to add to the growing list of albums released through-out the years at MMP. The cover is a mash-up of two drawings completed by my son and daughter. This EP has a length under 20 minutes and is filled with little sounds and moments of “what was that?”.

While many artists release through Spotify, Bandcamp, SoundCloud or other social streaming sites, I would rather not. Some of those sites charge you to post your music, others take a cut from the ad revenue. To keep costs down I have decided to just keep releasing music directly to my listeners at for free. My music isn’t for sale, it’s just for listening. I don’t plan on going on a tour or performing in front of a crowd, so I think my release model works well for what I am doing. The music I produce is an experimentation in creating art by using various sounds, samples, and other weird techniques.

The initial cover for the project was also completely produced by artificial intelligence. It was the first time I have ever used ai to create any sort of artwork for me. The results are pretty incredible and I can see myself using ai to create other pieces of art and incorporating them into the various projects I participate in over time.

The Columbia Sessions

The Columbia Sessions is an odd experimental release I put together sitting late night in a quiet hotel while out of town. Featuring just five tracks, this short 10 minute EP explores the sampled sounds of child making noises, screams, and strawberry bananas. It’s a weird release but a MMP release nonetheless.

So if you are interested in hearing some weird music, head on over to my production / portfolio and start streaming! There’s more than just the Rotting Planets EP and the Columbia Sessions, all of my releases are available for free!

Now that these summer EP(s) have released it is time to start planning the next project! I have a few ideas but I’m not going to announce anything until we’re closer to release. Ya know sometimes things just don’t plan out and I would not like promising something that doesn’t plan out. With that being said be sure to watch this space, along with my various social media channels for all things related to St. Louis Dad and Missouri Mobile Productions.

4 Helpful Tips For Finding Your Teen’s Perfect First Car

Driving is a pretty essential part of life in this day and age. it’s not something that you absolutely must do in life, but it really does help you out in so many different ways. It can help you to get that job you desire or it can do wonders for your personal life. Even if there’s just a particular area that you’d like to visit, you absolutely have the potential at your disposal. Once you learn how to drive, you really do have the freedom that you may have always desired.

 When it comes to your kids, you’ll want to do whatever you can to put them in the best possible car after they have learned to drive. There’s nothing wrong with having a relatively cheap thing and keeping them modest, but you’ll want to ensure that they are satisfied with what they have.  If motor vehicles are somewhat of a hobby for you, this kind of decision won’t exactly be too difficult. if you want to be able to find the perfect thing for your teenager, here are a few tips: 

Look At The Safety Aspects

Your kids will probably think otherwise, but safety is paramount and should be the main concern regarding getting a car. your priority should be looking for cars with excellent safety features. if they have advanced driver assistance systems and automatic emergency braking, for instance, they will be a lot better behind the wheel. It’s also wise to check out crash test ratings. You might think this kind of thing is pretty tedious and even minimal, but it could really save them;

 Think About The Maintenance Costs And Overall Reliability

At the end of the day, owning a car costs money. You want to make sure that you have a reliable car as this will minimize the likelihood of breakdowns. Breakdowns will lead to very costly repairs. choose cars that have a good reputation for longevity and dependability. If you have time, it’s good to also explore the maintenance costs associated with the kind of vehicle you are looking for. Heading online and looking for a service center such as hyundai garage near me, for instance, could be helpful when looking for reliable maintenance options for their car.

 Don’t Ignore Insurance Costs And Affordability

We’ve just talked about finding a car that fits your budget. you also have to think of the insurance premiums as well as the overall costs and maintenance. particular car models will likely have higher insurance rates for teenagers. If you can strike a balance between a forward ability and reliability, you will have hit the right kind of area.

 Look At What Is Both Practical And Suitable

Think about what they do each day when selecting their first car. Do they need more seats than usual or more space, for instance? If they will be commuting quite often, a fuel-efficient compact car is likely what they will be after. Taylor the choice to their specific needs.