2022 Spring Break Staycation Part Two

Previously, I wrote about the first part of our 2022 Spring Break Staycation, camping at Hawn State Park, and today I’m going to cover the other big thing we did during break, visiting St. Louis Union Station!

HBW Hubby and I hadn’t been down to Union Station in years, and it wasn’t really someplace to take the kids back then. I mean, sure there was the Fudgery, now gone, but that was about it. It was run down and all but deserted of anything to see/do within. Then a couple of years back, we heard they were remodeling it and putting in an aquarium. I was so excited to hear that they were breathing new life into this historic building. It opened in December of 2019, and we didn’t have the chance to get down there before Covid, but with the kids vaccinated and things opening up again, it was time to make it happen.

I was pleasantly surprised to find how interactive the aquarium was! I was prepared to view everything from behind glass, but there were tons of interactive exhibits, shows, and opportunities to get hands-on! From the tickle of the doctor fish who will nibble the dead skin off your hands to the archer fish who shoot water with amazing accuracy at the food held by one of the aquarium staff, there’s plenty to hold the attention of the littles. There was also a virtual show called Tommy Talks, featuring a talking otter named Tommy, and just when you think that it is a pre-recorded, scripted show, he starts talking directly to the audience, teasing and cajoling while giving out some fun aquarium facts. Did I mention getting hands-on? We were able to touch urchins and anemones and starfish in the invertebrate pool, touch sting rays swimming past us, move sand in an interactive exhibit to make land masses and rivers, and dip our hands in for a manicure from the doctor fish.

My favorite part was going to Shark Canyon, where you can see several species of sharks swimming in large tanks shared with all kinds of other fish. I could stand there watching the schools swim and swoop for hours, it was so peaceful. Same with the jellyfish in the bioluminescence area. I got some of this on video if you would like to see for yourself.

The entire facility was bright and engaging and thoroughly entertaining for all ages. In total, we spent 2 hours there, just taking our time checking things out, and we still didn’t see quite everything. There were shows we missed and a creative area my kids didn’t feel like doing, but we had a blast. The staff was generously accommodating and knowledgeable, happy to answer any questions at any time.

The newly renovated Union Station facilities houses not only the new aquarium, but several other fun attractions like a mirror maze, ropes course, carousel, and of course the St. Louis Wheel! We didn’t do the maze or ropes course this time, but we already have plans to go back over the summer for those. We did, however, take a ride on the Ferris Wheel for some panoramic views of the city.

You can come along with us on our trip to Union Station in the video below!

I’m so lucky to live in my favorite city in the U.S. There’s just so much to see and do no matter what you enjoy! If you’ve never been to St. Louis, I hope you give it a chance and come for a visit. You won’t be disappointed!

xx

A white polaroid-style frame lays on top of a close-up image of a jellyfish with writing on the frame saying "The St. Louis Aquarium and Wheel."
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