St. Louis: Discover What’s New At Area Attractions

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - by Donna Andrews

Each and every new year brings exciting additions to the St. Louis scene--improved attractions, expanded attractions, new attractions. But 2014 promises to be a new year like none other in St. Louis for the city is celebrating a birthday that few American cities have reached thus far--its 250th.

Attending a St. Louis Cardinals game is exciting whenever it happens but in 2014 the excitement is getting cranked up a few notches. A spanking new Ballpark Village (first phase) on the north side of Busch Stadium will greet Cardinal fans attending the Opening Day 2014 game. They will have a tough time deciding where to eat with the multitude of choices the 10-acre mixed-use entertainment plaza will offer.

Fans will also no doubt delight in Cardinals Nation -- a combination Cards-themed restaurant, rooftop deck with great views inside the park and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum with team artifacts. To get in touch with their cowboy side, visitors can prance over to PBR: A Cowboy Bar featuring the cowboy cool excitement of the “toughest sport on dirt,” professional bull riding. Anchoring the Ballpark Village complex is Budweiser Brewhouse with a beer garden, German-inspired food and displays on the brewer’s long history in St. Louis. And all year long visitors can enjoy a lively baseball audio-visual experience at Ballpark Village Live!

For a high adventure experience, visitors can soar like birds on a thrilling zip wire ride across the wooded ravines of Creve Coeur Park at Go Ape, Missouri’s only treetop adventure course and the Midwest’s first skateboard zip line. It’s an adrenaline rush as visitors dangle 100 feet in the air and fly over 2,624 feet of zip lines and obstacles in this high-flying course.

New at the Saint Louis Zoo are three habitats – Sun Bear Forest, Andean Bear Range and the Painted Dog Preserve – all open in the River’s Edge area this spring. Malayan sun bears will roam in their new habitat near the elephant preserve. The zoo’s Painted Dog pack is in charge of a spacious area near the black rhinos complete with a pool and stream. A new viewing pavilion puts visitors right in the middle of their playful action. The Andean bears will enjoy climbing across from the capybaras and giant anteaters to an area where they can splash in a natural stream with underwater viewing areas.

New at the Zoo for kids ages eight and under and their adults: the Monsanto Education Gallery in the lower level of The Living World where the Wild Wonder Outpost will present animal and environmental themes, and kids can make crafts to take home. Puppets, costumes, a backyard habitat and play areas encourage young children to experience the world of animals. Highlights include an interactive playhouse and back yard, the Animal Care Corner where youngsters can pretend to be zookeepers and a Wildlife Theater for creating animal puppet shows.

The Gateway Arch grounds are getting an enhancement with “CityArchRiver 2015,” a project that will connect downtown St. Louis with the national monument and the Mississippi River. Work will be underway in 2014 so the project is completed in time for another significant St. Louis birthday in 2015 -- the Arch’s 50th anniversary. When completed, visitors will enjoy a wide, landscaped park over nearby highways and a safe and beautiful walkway between the Arch and downtown. The tram to the top and most Arch attractions will remain open during construction. Also planned is the refurbishment of busy Kiener Plaza and renewal of exhibits inside the Old Courthouse and at the Museum of Westward Expansion under the Arch. 

Art lovers continue to regale in the 200,000-square-foot, light-filled, airy addition to the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park. Designed by British architect Sir David Chipperfield, the new wing is marking its first full year in 2014. With 30 percent more space in 21 new galleries, visitors can view more works from the museum’s vast collection. A spectacular new Grand Staircase connects the museum’s main and lower levels. And, as always, admission to the Art Museum, considered one of the top 10 comprehensive art museums in the country, is free.

The Tsunami Soaker makes its debut at Six Flags St. Louis this summer. This interactive attraction allows riders to spray each other while turning and spinning ‘round and ‘round. Nine boats, with six passengers each, sit atop a circular floor that lowers into the water until it disappears, allowing the boats to float and rotate.

With these and other new and expanded attractions -- many of them with free admission – St. Louis is waiting to give you a vacation to remember that’s also easy on your budget.

For more information about St. Louis’ Biggest Birthday Bash, vist STL250


Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority Celebrates National Park Week

Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority (SMTDA), the tourism entity of Blount Partnership, joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage individuals and families to find their park during National Park Week  April 18-26 . National Park Week is America’s largest celebration of national heritage. The National Park Service is partnering with the ... (click for more)

New Nashville Festival Will Be World's Largest Derby Viewing Party On May 2

A huge Southern celebration of quality bourbon, craft beer and horse racing, Frontstretch Fest—the world’s largest Derby viewing party—will feature a stellar lineup of food, drink, and music as it prepares to bring the excitement of the most famous horse race to the Nashville Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 2  from 1- 6 p.m. Key brands at Fronstretch Fest in Tennessee ... (click for more)

Erlanger's Good Financial News Continues With $11.4 Million Profit For Past 3 Months; Profit At $25.3 Million After 9 Months

Erlanger Health System's good financial news keeps coming - with the announcement on Monday of a profit of $11.4 million for the past three months. Brit Tabor said the hospital has a profit of $25.3 million for the first nine months of the fiscal year. Kevin Spiegel, hospital president, said more good news is projected for the fourth quarter. Mr. Tabor said, "Our market ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Get $100 Million New Electronic Medical Records System

Erlanger Health System will be getting a new electronic medical records system costing just short of $100 million, Erlanger CEO and President Kevin Spiegel said Monday. He said the old Legacy IT system was the hospital's #1 dissatisfaction source. The hospital board is to be asked to approve the system, which will be paid for over several years, at the May board meeting. ... (click for more)

Shock Should Be At Low Teacher Salaries - And Response (4)

In a recent article, Commissioner Tim Boyd is quoted as being shocked at the "high" salaries of central office personnel. While I agree that their salaries are significantly more than what a classroom teacher could ever hope to make, I believe that his shock and disgust are misplaced.  Those salaries, when compared to private-sector jobs, are hardly out of line. Superintendent ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Licker’ Gets 55 Counts

In what was described as “a scene from some sick horror movie,” Giles County sheriff’s deputies and animal welfare officers raided the farm of known “Big Licker” Jeffery Alan Mitchell near Pulaski, Tn., last week and confiscated 55 Tennessee Walking Horses, all horribly malnourished and some that were so emaciated they could no longer walk. By Sunday, the horses were receiving medical ... (click for more)