It’s not often we get to talk about a site geared toward kids. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of visiting The Magic House in St. Louis with our niece, Starla.
Starla, 5, was spending time with the grandparents, so the five of us ventured off to the unknown of the St. Louis Children’s Museum. The Magic House is located inside a Victorian mansion, built in 1901. The museum in suburban Kirkwood opened to the public in 1979.
The Magic House has several options to challenge children of all ages. I would say it truly focuses on kids under 12, but, as Lisa demonstrated, there’s plenty to keep even adult children engaged.
The lobby sets the tone for a visit. Colorful balloons hug the ceiling. I loved the reflection of the lobby in them.
Just off the lobby is a music play area. The area challenges kids with creating music by turning hand cranks or rolling balls along a frame.
One little kid was excited to play the “Alphabet” song by pushing every letter. It eventually makes the musical notes to the song.
Starla had fun climbing the beanstalk, near the lobby. It runs three floors.
We visited a special exhibit highlighting China. Starla created a paper lantern that she was going to give her dad when she got back home. Lisa helped with the lantern making.
We all had a blast in the Bubble Room. Activities challenge people to create bubbles using different methods. Starla stood in a tube. I pulled a rope slowly to raise a ring with soap hanging from it. The goal was to see how high we could get the ring before the soap bubble popped. We made it a couple of feet.
Lisa created soap bubbles by blowing through a handheld device. We were so proud.
Starla – who is a freaking ball of energy – scampered off to the next challenge. She created air bubbles by playing an organ in a St. Louis Blues hockey-themed room.
I may or not have played a game of putting a puzzle together on a TV screen featuring a Blues ice logo.
After showcasing her musical talents, Miss Starla raced off to challenge her strength. A pulley display encouraged kids to see how high they could raise themselves. With her wonderful uncle’s assistance, Starla managed to reach the highest spot possible. She is one strong girl (of course, her uncle helped).
At this point, the grandparents, exhausted watching, took a beverage break. Lisa thought lemonade sounded good, so I took off for the concession area. The drinks are reasonably priced and you can get a plastic water bottle for future use at the museum.
While there, I noticed a poet tree. Kids write poems and put them on the tree. Very cute.
The Tasmanian Devil twisted herself upstairs to a shadow-making room. She and I posed to have our shadows photographed on the wall.
Starla hopped from one exhibit to another. She landed momentarily to one that created jewelry box music. And then she was gone!
“We” checked out the St. Louis Rams exercise room. Since Sam Bradford is now a Philadelphia Eagle, me thinks the museum will change the uniform in the locker.
Starla was done checking out the inside of the house. Now, it was time to visit the backyard.
The Magic House hosted a special exhibit – Sandcastle Beach. It included a sandcastle created by an artist and a “beach” for kids to play and dig for sea shells. The exhibit – which used 78 tons of sand for the castle and 100 tons for the beach – ran through the end of June.
Starla dug and dug, looking for the perfect seas shell. She put a lot of effort into. She had a serious look on her face several times while digging.
Viola! She scooped up several shells. She was happy to show us her loot. She was sweet and offered to share her shells with another little girl. The girl didn’t want anything to do with the sea shells at first, but her parents encouraged her to take at least one. Starla was a little bummed when she was allowed to keep only one shell, herself. We told her she needed to share the shells with all other kids who soon visit the area.
We had a fun time chasing Starla around The Magic House. Honestly, she is such a good kid that it was a fun time. We recommend checking out The Magic House, regardless if you have kids. The house is beautiful and some of the exhibits would be interesting to anyone. It just helps to have a little kid along to add some fun.
For more information on The Magic House, please visit www.magichouse.org.