Challenger Learning Center
205 Brotherton Lane, Ferguson
Take your family on a mission to outer space at the NASA-funded Challenger Center, where you can ride in a space shuttle simulator, complete fun science experiments and see what it’s like to work in mission control. Two-hour public missions are $15 per person; recommended for ages 11 and up.
Photo: At the Challenger Learning Center, students are “transported” to the Spacecraft where they are engaged in activities similar to astronauts and scientists on a space mission. (Photo by Ron Bookout)
Metamo4ic Math Center
333 N. Florissant Road, Ferguson
Learn to look at mathematics in a whole new way at this colorful, hands-on educational center dedicated to showing kids that math can be fun! All ages will learn something here, even adults. Admission: $1-5
Fort Belle Fontaine Park
13002 Bellefontaine Road, Spanish Lake
Walk in the path of Lewis & Clark, who camped at this enchanting site – the first military outpost west of the Mississippi – in the early 1800s. Nature trails, river banks and historic ruins offer lots to explore.
5555 St. Louis Mills Boulevard, Hazelwood
A day of active fun awaits you at the NASCAR SpeedPark, where a $29.95 wristband allows unlimited access to bumper boats, mini golf, laser tag, a rock climbing wall, and multiple go-kart tracks. Kids must be at least 40” tall.
Bellefontaine Neighbors Mini Golf
9641 Bellefontaine Road, Bellefontaine Neighbors
If family fun on a budget is more your speed, why not play some miniature golf at the Bellefontaine Neighbors Rec Center? For non-residents, a round of 18 holes costs just $3 for ages 2-12 and $4 for ages 13 and up.
Hammer’s Farm Hayrides
15310 Old Halls Ferry, Florissant
Looking for a unique birthday party venue? Come to Hammer’s Farm, where you and up to 24 guests can take a hayride through the rolling hills of North County and then cook s’mores over a campfire.
University of Missouri - St. Louis Observatory
UMSL North Campus, Normandy
Got a budding astronomer in your family? Once a month, the physics department at University of Missouri – St. Louis opens its observatory for free telescope viewings of the night sky. All ages are welcome, and experts are always on hand to answer questions.
Ferguson Farmers Market
20 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson
Honored as the best farmers market in both St. Louis and Missouri, the Ferguson Farmers Market offers 40+ vendors and a festive atmosphere with live music, fresh food samples and hands-on art activities for kids. The Ted Jones Bike Trail, which connects to Metrolink, is also nearby.
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
801 Strodtman Road, Spanish Lake
Come experience one of North America’s most incredible natural wonders: the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. At this 4,000 acre conservation area, you can also hike, bike, fish and often see thousands of migratory birds.
Photo: Stop by Columbia Bottom visitor center and get information about the Confluence Audio Tour and free nature programs for both kids and adults.
Shannon Howard is the editor and publisher of NOCO, the online magazine of North St. Louis County. An accomplished journalist who writes for Better Homes & Gardens and many other publications, she has authored two books and founded two nonprofit organizations, and is a proud resident of Ferguson, Mo.From the calendar