From the calendar
The Wild Life
Saint Louis Zoo
"At the Saint Louis Zoo, we are looking forward to opening some great new habitats in River's Edge for our Andean and sun bears and for a species that has not been at our zoo for many years — painted dogs. Expected to open in late spring, Andean Bear Range, Sun Bear Forest and the Painted Dog Preserve will offer varied environments and climbing opportunities for the zoo's animals. Our Andean bears will be able to splash about in a natural stream that will offer underwater viewing for visitors. The painted dogs will explore grassy open spaces and termite mounds — plus a pool and a stream. Here, too, a viewing pavilion will place visitors right in the middle of the action. A new habitat for the Malayan sun bears near the Asian elephants will provide varied environments and climbing opportunities for these active bears."
Saint Louis Zoo Curator of Mammals/Carnivores
>> Read more about expansion plans at the Saint Louis Zoo.
World Bird Sanctuary
"This year, we are collaborating with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (Onondaga State Park), the Missouri Department of Conservation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Missouri Bat Census to present Midwest Batfest 2014. This event is a three-day multi-site event, from Friday, April 4, to Sunday, April 6, with activities planned to raise awareness about bats in Missouri, their value to our ecosystems and the threats that they face. Activities include public bat mist-netting demonstrations, environmental education programs featuring live bats, discounted cave tours at Onondaga Cave State Park, bat-house making seminars and various presentations throughout the weekend."
World Bird Sanctuary
>> Read more about what's happening at the World Bird Sanctuary.
The Endangered Wolf Center
"The Endangered Wolf Center has restructured all of our Wolf Camps for 2014 and will be offering a camp for each season. We are so excited for the new opportunities our campers will have this year, including the end-of-the-year party for any camper who attends at least three of the four camp seasons. We also have restructured our evening howl programs so there's something different going on every single weekend. The calendar is already up on our website, and we have started taking reservations for all 2014 programs!"
Education Coordinator, Endangered Wolf Center
The Science Scene
Saint Louis Science Center
"The Science Center is excited to unveil some new additions in 2014. A new Maker Space exhibit area is planned for 2014, allowing our visitors to come together to share resources and knowledge as they tinker, build and make. We're also looking forward to beginning construction on our new outdoor exhibition space (opening in 2015). This project will be our largest expansion since 1991 and is something we are enthusiastic to share with the St. Louis community. We are also bringing in two great special exhibitions this year – Dinosaurs In Motion coming in March and another world-class exhibition opening this fall."
President & CEO, Saint Louis Science Center
>> Read more about what's happening at the Science Center.
The Magic House
"The Magic House is excited for the opening of our newest exhibit, "Sid the Science Kid: The Super Duper Exhibit!" on Jan. 25. There is no better way to get children excited about science than through interaction and play. We look forward to seeing visitors' reactions as they explore Sid's house, school, playground and more, and use scientific tools and thinking to explore the world around them."
Director of Communications, The Magic House Children's Museum
>> Read more about the Sid the Science Kid exhibit.
Challenger Learning Center
"We are over-the-moon about our Boeing Family Workshops, which are being offered as a part of the Challenger Learning Center's 10-year anniversary. Parents will be able to work with their children to make and take home rockets, robots and remote-controlled airplanes."
Tasmyn Scarl Front
Director, Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis
>> Read more about the Challenger Learning Center's 10th anniversary.
History and Education
Missouri History Museum
"The Missouri History Museum has several exciting exhibits coming up in the new year. In February, we are opening '250 in 250: 50 People, 50 Places, 50 Moments, 50 Images, 50 Objects.' This exhibition is the Missouri History Museum's birthday gift to St. Louis. This 6,000-square-foot exhibition showcases 250 fascinating stories of people, places, moments, images and objects that reflect the richness, diversity, and complexity of St. Louis' unique history. Visitors will find stories of murderers and musicians, prostitutes and poets, Cardinals and clowns. They will find artifacts ranging from the period before the city's official founding to objects that are still used today. They will see images of how everyday St. Louisans lived, worked and played through the years.
"In March, the museum will debut 'History Clubhouse: Let's Build It.' We have big plans to open a new space that's just for families. The History Clubhouse will open in 2015, and we want St. Louis families to help us build it. We want to give kids a chance to step back in time and explore local history in a way that is active and fun. That's what 'History Clubhouse: Let's Build It' is all about. In the galleries opening in March 2014, we'll give St. Louis families a taste of some things we hope to include in The History Clubhouse and tell you why we think it's important to have this kind of exhibit for area families. But even more important, we'll ask for your ideas. Together we can build a great Clubhouse."
Assistant Director of Communications, Missouri History Museum
>> Read more about '250 in 250.'
St. Louis County Library
"The St. Louis County Library has some big things in store for 2014. We're rolling out several new programs for preschoolers with an emphasis on reading and creativity, such as the Budding Artists program, the Discovery Club and Read & Play kits. SLCL's capital improvement campaign — Your Library Renewed — will also launch in 2014. The plan calls for new buildings and renovations to existing facilities. All of the new building projects will feature open floor plans, comfortable seating, enhanced children's areas, abundant natural light, study areas, meeting spaces and a technology-friendly design."
Director, St. Louis County Library
Jefferson National Parks Association
"As the nonprofit partner to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, we are excited to see improvements planned for the Arch and Old Courthouse in the coming years. We will be busy designing our new stores at both sites, and we look forward to offering unique gifts and educational products, which visitors and residents alike will enjoy. We also look forward to helping our other St. Louis area partner sites: the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and National Great Rivers Museum, with even more educational programming, site improvements, and exhibits in 2014."
President and CEO, Jefferson National Parks Association
>> Read more about improvements to the Arch grounds.
Parks and Recreation
St. Louis County Parks
"Due to the passage of Proposition P this summer, we are looking forward to being able to make repairs and improvements to our parks that have been on hold for several years. We are also really excited about two big projects that we are partnering on with the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and the St. Louis Port Authority. The first is the addition of a new aquatic center at our North County Recreation Complex which should be opened in June 2014. The second is the brand new, state-of-the-art Lemay Community and Aquatic Center that is currently under construction inside Jefferson Barracks Park and should be completed in 2014. Both of these facilities will be great summer destinations for our community and fun ways to keep the kids active during summer break."
Acting Director, St. Louis County Parks
>> Read more about the Lemay Community and Aquatic Center.
St. Charles Parks and Recreation
St. Charles Parks and Recreation will celebrate its Illumination Centennial Celebration (1914-2014) Sept. 12-14, 2014: "The 100th anniversary tagline is 'Celebrating the Past ... Soaring into the Future!' More details will be announced in the coming months, so please visit the parks department online at www.stcharlesparks.com and stay tuned."
Director, St. Charles Parks and Recreation
The Great Outdoors
Missouri State Parks
"We're starting the year with a happy, healthy First Day Hike at several St. Louis area facilities including Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial, Castlewood, and Route 66 state parks. Also in 2014, we are excited for plans to enhance our facilities in the area with new playgrounds and amenities, as well as beginning development of one of our newest parks in the area, Don Robinson State Park."
Division Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Missouri State Parks
>> Read more about Don Robinson State Park.
Missouri Department of Conservation
"The Missouri Department of Conservation is looking forward to offering families many fun and educational ways to discover the wonders of nature throughout 2014. In winter there's Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and Rockwoods' Maple Sugar Festival. Spring and summer bring Wetlands for Kids Day and many fishing opportunities, including Free Fishing Days. And this autumn, the bi-annual Prairie Day celebration returns. The great outdoors is open year-round!"
Regional Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation
>> Read more about Eagle Days.
St. Louis Symphony
"Enjoy the sounds of the St. Louis Symphony for the final two family concerts. First up, the long awaited performance of the classic, 'Peter and the Wolf' will take place on stage at Powell Hall, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, at 3 p.m. The symphony has partnered with STAGES St. Louis for this performance including narration and movement. Finish out the season with 'Choose Your Symphonic Adventure,' where the audience will pick the program during this interactive fun-filled journey through the history of classical music, featuring the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and many more. As always, come early and enjoy hands-on exploration of the instruments at the Instrument Playground. We hope to see you there!"
Director of Education Programs, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
>> Read more about "Peter and the Wolf" and other shows coming to St. Louis theaters.
Saint Louis Art Museum
"We've renovated The Farrell Auditorium at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and we're really looking forward to being able to plan more family performances, films and other fun events in there. We'll also have a big floral project for kids when Art in Bloom, the Museum's annual celebration of fine art and fabulous flowers returns, after a five-year hiatus, in late February."
Associate Educator, Saint Louis Art Museum
Six Flags St. Louis
"We are really proud to be able to say we are the Coaster Capital of Missouri with nine gut-wrenching, intense roller coasters, and we are equally as proud to offer our guests an incredible water park and the only free water park with theme park admission in Missouri. But we also offer a great lineup of thrills for our families. Next season we will introduce Tsunami Soaker, which honestly I think everyone is going to love because not only do you get to twist and spin but you get to soak fellow riders in an epic water gun fight. The addition of this ride will really change the layout of the Chouteau's section in the park and give it a whole new look. We think guests are really going to like the changes we make in 2014."
Six Flags Park President
>> Read more about the Tsunami Soaker.
Hidden Valley Ski Area
"This year we spent our time tweaking the new West Mountain Area and Quad Lift as well as tweaking the Polar Plunge Tubing Area! I believe that our guests will find the improvements to their liking! We also plan to start working now on improvements that will impact our Rope Tow Two Beginner's area for the 2014-2015 season next year! We have had that area serviced by the existing rope tow since our initial opening back in 1982. We plan to work with the city of Wildwood starting after the first of the year and hopefully have this ready for the anticipated 85,000 skiers and boarders
that visit us in the 2014-2015 ski season."
General Manager, Hidden Valley Ski Area
"Unlimited Play is committed to providing opportunities for children of all abilities! Everyone is welcome to our Playday for ALL program that runs one Saturday a month from April through September. Admission is free. You are not going to want to miss our Superhero Dash, 5k and 1 mile Run, Walk and Roll on June 7 at the Mueller Sports Complex in St. Charles. Grab your cape and your favorite superhero costume. If you capture the villain, then you receive a special prize."
Victoria Schmitt Babb
Community Engagement Director for Unlimited Play