The Magic House is bleeding blue today for a special hockey-centric event: Kids wearing apparel with a Blues logo get in free when accompanied by a paying adult (one child per adult). It’s puck-drop time for a new exhibit about hockey, courtesy of the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund, featuring a regulation-size net, locker (minus the smell, let’s hope!) and computer games.

The Blues mascot, Louie, will be there from noon to 2 p.m., and fans can get their faces painted from noon to 4 p.m. Best of all, the Soulard Blues Band will play in the lobby area from 2 to 4 p.m.

For more details, check out the e-mail announcement here.

And though the Blues are on Olympic break, you can see two of the team’s players, defenseman Eric Johnson and forward David Backes,  in action in the big game against Canada tomorrow (Feb. 21) from 2 to 5 p.m. on NBC.

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My holiday shopping is right on track, but I’m seriously considering using one of the many “Drop-N-Shop” dates at various venues around town just for some time alone — I mean, they can’t make me shop while my kids are there, right?

If you haven’t heard of this new trend yet, check out the Magic House (members only, kids must be potty trained,  Dec. 7 and 14) the South County or the Chesterfield Bounce U (Nov. 24, Dec. 23 and 24 ) or  the JCC (ages 4 to 10, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, and 20) or Spirits Gym (kids must be potty trained, Nov. 27, Dec. 12, Dec. 23) … there are lots of them around town, typically ranging in price from $15 to $35 for the first child in a family (with sibling discounts), four or five hours in duration, usually with snacks included.

It’s gonna be crazy at the Magic House this weekend: FREE admission all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday in honor of its 30th anniversary. Donations at the 1979 admission rate ($2 for adults, $1.50 for children) will be accepted, toward the museum’s programs for kids from disadvantaged areas.

For more info, visit the museum’s homepage.

M.’s spring break hasn’t even started yet and already I’m stressed about it. Anyone up for a playdate swap? If you’re on break this week, knee deep in bored schoolchildren, you have my sympathy! And, like you, I totally hope it rains in Florida, California, the Caribbean, North Carolina and every other spring break destination that I’m not at!

But enough bitterness. The folks at The Magic House are here to help us out, with extended hours (Mondays! Mornings! Friday nights!) throughout the next two weeks. For a detailed list, check the homepage.

You’ll also be relieved to know that City Museum is opening seven days a week starting next Monday (March 16). Check its events page for the new hours.

If you have to ask, “Expansion of what?” you probably haven’t been to The Magic House in a looooong time! My boys have been asking nonstop for months what will be in it and, now that they can tell it’s nearly completed, when it will be open. The answer is: Saturday (Dec. 20). The boys are stoked; S. asks at least five times a day when we’re going. Luckily for us, their grandparents also arrive that day, so perhaps they’ll forget about the new-and-improved Magic House for a day or two.

I have to admit, though, that it sounds pretty great. I’m sure the new conservatory where kids can test out instruments will be a favorite, although it might be rivaled by the exhibits about air or the enormous beanstalk climber. The new cafe, too, will be very welcome.  The only thing I’m not excited about is that it’s 25,000 more square feet in which to lose track of S. when he dashes off somewhere!

From now untilJan. 4, the museum will have extended hours (until 9 p.m. most nights) so as many kids as possible can stay as many hours as possible.  For exact times, click here. Admission will remain the same for now ($7.50 per person), but look for it to jump by a dollar after the first of the year. This is a good time to buy a $60 membership, before those too increase in price.