A-List 2015: Kids & Family


Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop | Photo by Jennifer Silverberg

Candy Store

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop

6303 Delmar, 314-833-4614

rocketfizz.com

Warning: A visit to this shop may cause tykes to experience an increased level of excitement, followed by a significant sugar high. Then again, you’ll also likely feel a surge of adrenaline while perusing 500-plus varieties of said soda pop (with such flavors as peanut butter and jelly) and more than 100 types of candy (including lollipops and saltwater taffy)—plus gag and novelty gifts (e.g., fake mustaches). The retro-style shop is the perfect pick-meup on the Delmar Loop.

Revived Tradition

The Muny

1 Theatre, 314-534-1111

muny.org

Since taking the reins at The Muny in 2012, executive producer Mike Isaacson has enlivened the outdoor theater’s lineups, mixing new musicals (Dreamgirls, Into the Woods) with perennial favorites (Grease; Hello, Dolly!). Among the premieres are some family favorites, such as Shrek the Musical and Seussical. As the latter show’s lead last summer, actor John Tartaglia danced on a giant turntable and ran into the audience, bringing new energy to the historic stage—just as Isaacson has brought new life to the historic venue.

Holiday Fun

Brewery Lights

brewerylights.com

During the holidays, Anheuser- Busch is transformed into a sort of grown-up’s Willy Wonka factory, with the smell of hops filling the night air and thousands of twinkling lights illuminating the brewery’s red bricks. Already a longtime tradition, the festivities have expanded in recent years. From late November to early January, walk through the brewery with loved ones, stop to roast s’mores, and pose with a Clydesdale. Then, enjoy a cold, frosty one inside the heated Biergarten.

Entertainment Meets Dessert

Ices Plain & Fancy

2256 S. 39th, 314-601-3604

icesplainandfancy.com

This creamery is part ice cream parlor, part magic show—and all amazement. The key ingredient is liquid nitrogen, loudly poured from a tap into a mixing bowl containing ice cream base and add-ins. Steam bellows out as the creamy dessert forms. The contents are so icy cold, a plumber’s torch is needed to extract them. The process is almost—almost—as good as the result.

Magical Memories

Missouri Botanical Garden’s Lantern Festival

4344 Shaw, 314-678-7442

missouribotanicalgarden.org

Nighttime isn’t when you’d typically wander a botanical garden, considering how hard it is to admire all of those gorgeous blooms. But as anyone who visited the Lantern Festival in 2012 will tell you, the garden has a way of capturing the imagination after nightfall. Inspired by China’s lantern festivals, MoBot hosts 22 elaborate sets made of silk and steel, with glowing dragons and fish that are larger than life. The $22 cost of admission might cause you to hesitate, but trust us: It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Missouri Botanical Garden's Lantern Festival | Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden

The Best Things in Life Are Free
➜ The Magic House
The Magic House Kirkwood’s famous children’s museum is free on what are known as Emerson Free Family Nights, every third Friday of the month, 5:30–9 p.m.
➜ Saint Louis Art Museum
During Family Sundays, the kiddos can try their hands at arts activities, then enjoy a free tour, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
➜ Saint Louis Zoo
The best time to visit the zoo is the first hour it’s open, when the crowds are sparse, parking is free, and families get free admission to the Children’s Zoo, Conservation Carousel, and stingrays at Caribbean Cove.