Thanksgiving can be many different things to families. Typically, most families spend their time with family around the dinner table enjoying a typical turkey dinner. Thanksgiving dinner with family can be a great tradition and for extended family to see everyone.
While our family has spent many years doing the traditional, we have also found it an ideal time to travel. One, paid days off work mean less vacation days for extended travel plans. Two, depending on where you travel, we have historically had pretty good luck with milder temperatures. Three, while crowds can still be an issue since kids are off school, one can still deal with less people than during peak summer months.
That is why for the past at least 5 years we make an effort to “get out of town” for Thanksgiving. While we have nothing against the traditional holiday with families, we prefer to take advantage for the reasons stated above.
For 2015, we decided to take a second trip this year out to St Louis to visit and stay with a friend of ours. The family friendly city provides plenty of activities to keep the busiest of families like ours trying something new.
The first major task of any adventure is to figure out where you are going, and there is nothing like having an old-fashioned map available.
To beat the crowds on Black Friday, you need to get off the beaten path and blaze your own trails.
However, if you need to bargain hunt, get on your running shoes and make a sprint for it.
As a last resort, you can always implement measures to make the crowds follow you while your brothers make a dash for the high end items.
Once you stuff yourself from Thanksgiving dinner, there is always room for dessert, and nothing beats the original Ted Drewes Frozen Custard shops!
Once you have everything in order, and are ready to venture out into St Louis, it becomes a family tradition to visit the Magic House.
After a trip through the tall grasses of the Eric Carle exhibit…
…there was time for painting.
…and teaching life skills like how to be a veterinarian.
Once the lessons of the day have been learned, one needs to travel right down the street to Crushed Red. The freshly prepared salads are fantastic, and the build your own pizza allows you to experiment with a variety of flavors.
When everyone is rested up, one can take the family over to the City Museum. At first discovery, the City Museum can be very intimidating as it promises tight spaces and lots of crawling. However, once inside there were plenty of open spaces to mix in with the unique surroundings.
Don’t worry about tying your shoes, as the City Museum can make your own right in front of you.
As shocking as the experience at the City Museum may be, it is hands down one of the best museums we had ever been. Beautiful, creative, unique, and a wonderful experience for the kid in all of us.
After dispelling so much energy, to refresh, head over to St Louis’ famous Hodak’s Chicken for a terrific home cooked meal. Though the fresh chicken is way better than some of the non-homemade side dishes.
Lastly, light up the night by taking in two fantastic Christmas light displays within the vicinity of St. Louis. The first is the Way of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. The free event is filled with thousands upon thousands of lights with the display ending with a nativity set inside a cave.
The second event is Santa’s Magical Kingdom taking place at a Jellystone Resort at Six Flags campground. While a vehicle load of guests cost $20, the event is a fantastic display of lights that one wonders how many man-hours go into setting up such a great display.
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