Take a Break for Family Fun and Adventure, St. Louis Style

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Although we spend the majority of our time here at the Starkloff Disability Institute working with students on serious topics like college preparation, career planning and crucial aspects of self-advocacy, we also recognize the importance of scheduling the occasional break for family fun and relaxation. What better opportunity than August, which is National Family Fun Month!

Fortunately, St. Louis offers a vast array of recreational opportunities for children of all ages and their parents! Check out these five suggestions for finding your next family adventure.


Gateway Arch Museum

An exemplary representation of universal design, the Gateway Arch Museum offers a truly unforgettable experience for young people with disabilities and their families. Documenting the history of westward expansion and the role of St. Louis as a bustling port city, each exhibit includes artifacts and features that can be examined by hand.

The Gateway Arch Museum is an award-winning U.S. National Park because of its Universal Design (UD) features. SDI Co-Founder, David Newburger served as the lead of the Universal Design Group who helped designers find opportunities for UD features in this museum. Displays are equipped with large print information cards, as well as audio and American Sign Language in some cases. Additionally, all exhibit spaces are designed for seamless wheelchair access and unobstructed views.


Saint Louis Science Center

From ancient artifacts to the latest advancements in virtual reality and space travel, the Saint Louis Science Center promises worlds of discovery and entertainment. Exhibits like Mummies of the World, Ecology and Environment’s Dig Sight and Paleo Lab, and Artifacts of Wonder tell fascinating stories of species and civilizations from the past, while Experience Flight Simulators and Game Exploration feature more modern developments in technology. Attractions like the Omnimax Theater and McDonnell Planetarium also bring science to life in stunningly rich detail.


Saint Louis Zoo

Home to more than 12,000 animals, the Saint Louis Zoo has delivered smiles and fond memories for guests since 1910. Zoo habitats like Red Rocks and River’s Edge are home to a vibrant diversity of exotic wildlife. Other kid-friendly attractions include the 4D Theater, the Conservation Carousel and Zooline Railroad. As part of its constant commitment to providing the best possible experience for all guests, the Saint Louis Zoo recently earned the Sensory Inclusion Certification from KultureCity, a national leader in sensory inclusion training. The Zoo is one our Dream Big partner companies and  employees now receive ongoing training on how to assist guests with sensory processing needs.


St. Louis Scavenger Hunt: Gateway to the West

Guided by an app on your phone, Gateway to the West provides an immersive tour of the city’s most iconic landmarks and best kept secrets. Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get the family together and explore the best of what our city has to offer. Accumulate points by completing photo challenges, answering trivia questions, and solving riddles as you visit famous local attractions along the Gateway to the West by Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts.


St. Louis Fantasy Maps

St. Louis Fantasy Maps presents Escape the Empire, a collection of Star Wars-themed games and activities everyone will enjoy. Complete with five missions and two team challenges, Escape the Empire keeps the entire family busy cutting out props, assembling objects, and navigating a variety of logic puzzles and mazes.

Sometimes the sweltering St. Louis heat discourages us from leaving the house at all. But having spent so much time in our homes over the past year and a half, ideas for indoor entertainment may be running thin. Escape room kits are one possible solution.

With the help of St. Louis Fantasy Maps, you can transform your living room into an intergalactic adventure zone. For less than $20, Escape the Empire kits can be purchased as a printable download or as a physical package delivered straight to your door.


These are just a few examples of the many entertainment and recreation options available in St. Louis. As summer draws to an end and another school year begins, be sure to take advantage of the various opportunities for family fun.

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