Monday, June 3, 2013

16 things to do this summer in Southeast Missouri

D-man Bird Watching at the
Cape Girardeau Nature Center 
Welcome to Summer Friends, I know our summer is fully running with softball games, fishing, and summer school.  Yes, I am one of those mean moms that make my kids go to summer school, with good reason of course! 

If you are like me summer means you are trying to entertain a gang on a budget, so I have created a list of a few great places that will keep you and your kiddos intrigued and busy!

Cape Girardeau Nature Center- Rather it is a quick break for the afternoon or check out all the awesome programs they are having the Cape Girardeau Nature Center is often our sanctuary from the heat. We can stop in and check out the animals, entertain ourselves with interactive exhibits, and if I am lucky, my wild ones might actually learn something. The nature center is good for all ages REALLY, even I find myself gazing at the latest artwork displayed.

Cape River Heritage Museum -- Learn the Cape Girardeau River Heritage, the history of what Cape Girardeau use to be, and just check out some awesome artifacts from the Cape Girardeau's past. This museum is good for all curious ages, but it is a museum of history, so your visit is what you make it. My kids loved the Pilot House and Fire Truck, of course who wouldn't be.

Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum -- Discovery stories of the Native Americans, the Mississippi River, the boats, the railroad, and much more. Crisp museum is a great for a short afternoon outing kids are always intrigued by the talking exhibits and you never know they may learn a bit of history.

Discovery Playhouse -- Need I say more than Discovery Playhouse, well of course I do! Discovery Playhouse is full of interactive displays, bright colors, and ways to keep those little imaginations turning. Discovery Playhouse also host weekly programs like music morning, check their website for more information. I am going to throw my Momma opinion here, Discovery Playhouse is PERFECT for my little man that is four, but my little woman who is almost 9 does tend to get bored about thirty minutes after we get there. Now do not get discouraged by that keep in mind that every child is different and if you have never visited your older kids may love it.

LeBounce -- The giant indoor bounce house also now offers Bazooka Ball. Hours of fun, leads to hours of peace and quiet....I speak from experience! Follow their facebook page as they often offer special prices and daily deals!

Southeast Missouri State Aquatics Center -- I know it is summer and we are suppose to be laying beside the pool working on our tan, well let's just face it when it is 106 outside the last thing I want to do is lay on a hot pool deck. Catch your waves inside; they even have an indoor zip line!

Creative Ewe Pottery- Express your artistic side and beat the heat. You set your price and design your own keepsake...this is perfect time to stock up on hand painted Christmas gifts for them special folks in your life.

Bollinger County Museum of Natural History -- This museum is the "little" museum that could, or at least that is what I am going to call it. BoCo Museum of Natural History also known as the Home of the Missouri Dinosaur is more than just a museum this summer, have tons of special programs happening to help you beat the heat. Check their website or facebook page for all the latest information.

Bootheel Youth Museum- This museum is a little bit bigger than Discovery Playhouse in Cape Girardeau and from a Momma's point of view a little more age diverse. Exhibits here are interactive for all ages, but seem to intrigue the older ones just as much as the little ones.

Sikeston Depot Museum and Art Gallery -- located in downtown Sikeston this 1916 depot doubles as the keeper of the area's history and culture. Did you know that Sikeston is the farthest north cotton is grown, or that the mechanical horse was invented in Sikeston? Well you can discover facts like this at the Sikeston Depot Museum.

A few New Places that I have not "adventured" at, but caught my eye in the latest Missouri Tourism Guide.

The Space Museum in Bonne Terre, MO -- Open Friday & Saturday 9 am -- 5 pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission is FREE (donations accepted) and features interactive displays on space exploration.

Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield, MO -- Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 2 pm, Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm. In 1861 Stars and Stripes newspaper started here, the museum focuses on the people who produced this legendary publication over the years.

Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in Altenburg, MO -- Open daily 10 am to 4 pm Admission is FREE (donations accepted). This museum interprets the 1838-1839 Saxon Lutheran immigration.

MO-Ark Regional Railroad Museum in Poplar Bluff, MO - Open weekends only 1 pm -- 4pm, not sure on admission call ahead at 573-785-4539. This museum preserves and displays the history of the railroad in Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas. Housed in the historic 1928 Frisco Depot has a 30-foot model train layout, train shop, two cabooses, and a baggage car.

Of course, there are the everyday places that we all often forget it about, or pass by and don't realize that we could hide out stealing their air conditioning and wasting our kid's precious time.

The Library- you would think I am a schoolteacher (I am not) as many times as I hound people to take their kids to library. Well my reason is it is pretty much free plus you get the rewards of educating your kids without them know it....shhhh don't tell them. All surrounding counties have a local library and most of the libraries have some awesome summer reading programs.

The Art Gallery- Depending on where you live and the age of your kiddos, but the Art Gallery can be a great stop in to enlighten those little brains. I have happily taken my kids to many of the local galleries especially ones that offer programs for youth, your best way to discover if your area has, an art gallery is check with the visitor's center or local chamber of commerce.

Happy Adventures,

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