We spent a delightful labor day weekend in Kentucky. We went to Mammoth Cave National Park River, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace, Churchill Downs, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. I was hoping to do a tour at Fort Knox but shockingly they don’t do tours there. We stayed at a Marriott in Bowling Green, Kentucky for one night. We even had KFC in Kentucky (we are high class we know).
I have heard that the Omaha zoo is one of the best in the country. I’ve been to lots of zoos across the country including the San Diego Zoo and the DC zoo and thought how could it be so good? We had been living in St. Louis as well and the zoo in St. Louis is free and the thought of paying to visit a zoo didn’t exactly thrill me. I mean we were at the zoo in St. Louis a few days before and then we drive to Omaha to pay to visit a zoo?
However, my friend Marissa said that if we’re visiting Omaha then we MUST visit the zoo. Marissa lived in Omaha for four years so she knew what she was talking about. She also recommended to spend the whole day there. I read some things about the zoo ahead of time and thought I was prepared for the zoo. However, I was totally blown away with how amazing it is. I knew to pack swim suits for my kids because I had heard there was a splash pad there. We were visiting in the summer time so we also packed lots of drinks, sunscreen and snacks. There are not more animals or more exotic animals there than other zoos but each exhibit is thoughtfully done.
An example of how the zoo’s exhibits are enriched is the elephant area. There is an elephant crate that you could walk through. I felt like I could get a good sense of how large these animals were. There was also a safari jeep and helicopter that the kids could climb in.
My son was reading the zoo map and his eyes immediately locked in on the children’s zoo area and it says “learn through play”. He kept saying we need to go to the children’s zoo because we learn through play. We came early and stayed till the end and we could have stayed longer at the zoo.
The St. Louis playgrounds are some of the best. One year was not enough to spend in St. Louis to experience all of the amazing playgrounds the city has to offer. I think the best way to describe the playgrounds in St. Louis is thoughtful. They aren’t just a swing and slides but a lot of them are themed and unique. We loved exploring some of the playgrounds that St. Louis has to offer.
Before we moved to St. Louis two different people told me the playgrounds are awesome. Little did I know how diverse and how many amazing playgrounds there would be. One of them told me there favorite one was Deer Creek Park or Rocket Ship playground. The little bit of creativity in the playgrounds ignited my own kids imagination and I could hear them fantasizing themselves in outer space.
Good People in St. Louis
Not only are the playgrounds fantastic but the people in St. Louis are so good. One of my favorite playground stories that exemplifies this is from a little playground in Richmond Heights- called Highland Park.
When we arrived on a warm summer day there were water guns all over this little playground. There was only two other moms there and I asked them if they were their water guns (because my kids were looking at them longingly). One of the moms said they were hers and that they were for everyone to use. She said, “it’s not fun if just my kids have super soakers to play with so I just bring a bunch for all of the children to play with”. She had a little cart that she puts them in and wheels them all to the playground from her home. These are the type of people I met in St. Louis. My kids of course were very quick to enjoy the water guns. St. Louis has been the best city to live in.
I tried ranking the playgrounds but I had such a hard time. They all had their unique qualities to them so aside from my favorite playground the rest of the playgrounds are not in any particular order.
Favorite St. Louis Playgrounds
This is my absolute favorite playground in St. Louis. The gardens and playground are free for St. Louis residents on Saturday mornings until noon. There are a few week nights in the summer where the gardens and playground are free for everyone (The Whitaker Music Festival). The playground is large and has so many different areas to go in. There are Music area, art out of nature, (Climatron kid area), Sand box, Puppet Theater, Water area, Tree house, store, Caves, Rope bridge, Slides, and splash pad.