St. Louis Staycation for the Family
If you've followed along in my stories (where all the good content is) you already know that recently my fam and I were hosted by Drury Hotels and the City Museum for a Staycation in our very own city. We already know that the pandemic has hit small businesses extremely hard but this is especially true for some of our downtown favorites.
We are a loud and proud St. Louis fam. Before Dom and P came along, Ben and I would spend our weekends trying new restaurants or visiting new attractions. We always said that if you ever found yourself bored in this city, then you weren't trying hard enough. There are so many fun family-friendly, FREE options to make any outing a great time.
All throughout the pandemic, we'd been reading Goodnight St. Louis to Dom at bedtime. As we read about the City Museum, the Arch, and Forest Park, he quickly became just as obsessed with our city’s attractions as Ben and I were. We knew he was going to absolutely lose his mind when he was finally able to see some of these places in person.
Friday Night – Ladies Night
The Drury Hotel St. Louis at the Arch hosted us for an amazing three-night stay complete with parking, comfy beds, a view of the old courthouse, an indoor pool, and my most favorite thing of all, evening happy hours. Yes. Happy hours!!! Every Drury hosts a kickback from 5:30-7 every night where guests can get up to three (YES THREE!!) complimentary drinks and snacks.
Given the weeks I’d been having battling sick kids – my husband included – Ben and I settled on me spending the first night in the hotel solo for a much-needed break. I opted to have a girlfriend meet me downtown for a little girls’ night. We started with the Kickback and then hit up one of my favorite pizza spots, Pi Pizza. Post dinner we treated ourselves to prosecco atop Three Sixty and then I bided my friend farewell. I hit up the Drury market for an ice cream sandwich and a rosé then spent the next 30 minutes enjoying my wine, ice cream and goodie bag from The Garden District while jumping on the bed.
Saturday Adventures and Toddler Tantrums
On Saturday morning my fam joined me for breakfast at Drury before we embarked on our adventure. Since Dom was most pumped to see the Arch up close and it was right next to the hotel, we started by letting him run wild all over the Arch grounds. Dom was utterly delighted by literally everything. The Arch, the buildings, the scooters, the people, the river – all of it. The pureness of his happiness was so good for my soul.
After the Arch, we hit up Union Station for our first Aquarium visit. The line to get in was a little long so I was afraid we were going to lose Dom’s attention. Luckily the gift shop was next to the line (like they planned that, huh?) so we grabbed a few pieces of candy to hold his attention until it was our timeslot. Once inside, Dom’s delight continued. He was especially excited about the “train” to get in, which I will say even as an adult was pretty cool. It looked, sounded, and felt like a real train but of course, didn't actually take us anywhere. His favorite part was Shark canyon, which I mean….same!
After the Aquarium, we paid a visit to the St. Louis Wheel. I was a little worried the height would scare Dom a bit but he was a total champ. It was a clear day so we could see for miles. Also, to MY delight, the compartments were air-conditioned, so 10/10 would recommend the St. Louis Wheel even in the middle of a sticky St. Louis summer.
Due to toddler tantrums and baby naps -iykyk- we had to cut our day a little short after lunch at the Soda Fountain. We spent the afternoon splashing in the pool and seeing the Arch from the observation deck and then grab takeout from Medina Mediterranean and called it a day.
Saving the Best for Last
Sunday morning brought the thing Dom was the most excited for – The City Museum. Specifically, the rooftop bus. The bus on the roof is his favorite part of Goodnight St. Louis so I’m sure you can imagine his little head exploding when he saw it in person. I absolutely loved the City Museum as a kid so to get to take my kids there was honestly a touch more emotional than I thought it’d be. It has changed so much in the years since which was also really cool to see. Dom wasn’t quite ready to tackle too many of the tunnels, which I wasn’t surprised by, but he was so sweetly amused by and in awe of all of it. My favorite part of the entire weekend was the ginormous smile on his face while he climbed the stairs to the bus. Dom has been obsessed with buses since he was six months, so this was a monumental moment for him. So monumental that we had trouble getting him to leave the bus and the City Museum altogether. After the museum, we were treated to an amazing lunch at Hi-Pointe Drive-In where we ate (and drank) our Sunday Scaries away.
So, in Conclusion
After 18-months of sticking super close to our bubble taking a staycation was truly wonderful. It was our first big outing as a family of four and getting to ditch our routine for a bit without a long car ride was perfect for us. Showing Dom areas of the city that we’ve always loved, just haven’t visited in a while was really fun, made magically by Dom’s happiness. Thank you, Drury and City Museum, for gifting us these memories. You’ll be seeing us again. And again. And again.
But…Where was P?
Where was P during this weekend you might be wondering? She was mostly just along for the ride. As a pandemic baby, this was her first big outing and she crushed it. She took most of it in from her stroller, sweetly smiling at her brother’s exclamations. She did do a little exploring at the City Museum which honestly scared me more than it did her.