Finally, some summer fun with Niki at the garden (Wednesdays)

May 28, 2008

We finally made it to the Missouri Botanical Garden to see the Niki exhibit.  (“See” is the operative word, because really only a few of the sculptures are open for frolicking, and it drives me a little nuts to see parents ignoring the “do not touch” signs while I’m trying to explain to my own kids why they can’t play there.)  The boys’ favorite pieces were the guardian lions, which were perfect for both 5-year-olds and 2-year-olds at different levels.  M. and S. always have a blast at the garden, but today was particularly fun because the weather was perfect for running around — not too hot, not too cold, not raining!!

Did you happen to hear we got FOUR INCHES of rain over the weekend?  If you’re keeping track, we’re now at around 28 inches for the year, about 12 1/2 above normal.

Because I love free, we entered the garden just before noon to take advantage of the free admission for city/county residents Wednesday mornings (the deal is in effect Saturday mornings too).  I didn’t realize it applied to the whole group, but I was happy that not only did I get in free and the kids get in free because they’re under five, but the two other adults in our party got in free too.  Whoopee!  That made the prices at the cafe seem a little less stiff when we indulged in lunch there.

All adults are free to the children’s garden too, as is S. because he’s not 2 yet, so for $3 total we spent a wonderful two hours chasing all around the garden.  It’s really beautiful this year — the newly planted look is gone, probably thanks in part to all the rain.  We saw quite a few adults without kids exploring the new areas too, which I thought was nice.

It wasn’t quite warm enough for me to let the kids get soaked in the water play sprinklers, and the garden hadn’t turned on the pop jets yet.  However, I’m fully expecting Friday to be our big, breakthrough all-the-water-you-can-handle day.  We’ll most likely go to Tower Grove Park, because those fountains and pop jets have been on since May 1.  I also swear that I saw water in the wading pool Saturday when I was at the farmers’ market, but the homepage says it doesn’t open until June 14.  I forgot to call and check it out during business hours today, but if you want to know for sure before you go, try this number:  314.771.2679.

But I digress — I meant to add that tonight is the first of the botanical garden’s late-evening hours:  Admission is free on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The children’s garden has free admission for kids from 5 to 7 p.m.  Next week (June 4), the Whitaker Music Festival kicks off with Erin Bode at 7:30 p.m., and it runs through Aug. 13 — but one need not picnic at the concert area to experience a lovely Wednesday evening at the garden.

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