Don't Let the Cold Slow Down Your Family's Fun! Here are 8 Ways to Play in St. Louis in January

The holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean your kiddos’ partying days are all wrapped up for the season! With a lineup of can’t-miss celebrations and carnivals packed into every weekend, you can keep the thrills going strong all January even when the gloom and doom of winter try to threaten your family’s fun.
 
Family Sunday—Unique Techniques at the Saint Louis Art Museum, January 5, 12, 19, 26
For four afternoons in January, the Saint Louis Art Museum will show your kids art isn’t confined to canvas or clay. In the latest Family Sunday series, families will be taken on a 30-minute tour of the Museum before a stop at the new Javanese Batik Textiles exhibit to learn more about these intricate, hand-drawn textiles. Once the inspiration hits, your little ones can try their own skills at pattern building, the resist method of fabric dyeing, and other art activities.
 
Family Sunday-Unique Techniques is free, but sign-up is available only onsite and begins at 1 p.m. Tours leave the Grigg Gallery at 2:30 p.m. More information can be found at slam.org.
 
Mardi Gras Family Winter Carnival, January 11
Yes, Mardi Gras can be alcohol- and debauchery-free, even if it’s just for an afternoon. On January 11, kids get their chance to “laissez les bon temps rouler” with a special free event featuring bounce houses, art displays, a petting zoo, and visits with St. Louis’ first responders. Be sure to hit up the face painting, mask creating and crown making booths to get parade-ready for a 3 p.m. strut down the streets of Soulard to close out the celebration.
 
The Winter Carnival will be held at Soulard Market Park, 9th and Lafayette, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tent activities end at 3 p.m. when the Children’s Parade starts. More information can be found at stlmardigras.org.
 
Curious George: Let's Get Curious at The Magic House
 
Curious George™: Let’s Get Curious! at The Magic House, Opens January 18
Curious George’s inquisitive nature is always getting him into trouble. But at The Magic House, that insatiable curiosity instead opens up a world of learning for every child who joins this mischievous monkey on his whirlwind adventures. Based on H.A. and Margret Rey’s beloved characters, this new interactive exhibit invites kids into the neighborhood of Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat where they can try their hand at science, math and engineering activities.
 
Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! runs through April and is included with the price of admission to The Magic House. Learn more at magichouse.org.
 
Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, January 18-19
Keep your eyes on the skies when our resident bald eagles return to their winter retreat along the Mississippi River. Your entire family is invited to a welcome back party featuring eagle-themed kids’ arts activities, photos with a full-size nest, history lessons from Lewis and Clark reenactors, and educational programs from the World Bird Sanctuary. Trained volunteers will also be on hand to help you spot these magnificent birds of prey in their natural habitat.
 
Eagle Days is free and will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Learn more at greatriversgreenway.org.
 
The Loop Ice Carnival, January 18-19
Bundle up for the coolest event in St. Louis! Once again, The Loop Ice Carnival blows in to the Delmar Loop to celebrate everything frigid, frosty and frozen! In addition to checking out the famous ice carving demonstrations and sculptures, kids can fly the skies on carnival rides, test their skills at frozen turkey bowling and fun-filled games, and get their pictures snapped with their favorite winter-themed characters!
 
The Loop Ice Carnival is free to attend and goes from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day. For more information, check out their event page on Facebook.
 
MLK Community Celebration at the Missouri History Museum, January 18-20
Celebrate the life, the work and the contributions of Dr. King by joining the Missouri History Museum for a weekend of family-friendly events influenced by his legacy. Saturday and Monday feature free yoga sessions set to live gospel music and led by instructors from The Collective STL while Sunday hosts local clergy who will reflect on Dr. King’s sermons. Other happenings throughout the event include movement workshops with Mama Lisa, peace-inspired art activities, and storytelling with the St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature.
 
The MLK Community Celebration is free and runs from Saturday through Monday. For a full schedule of times and events, visit mohistory.org.
 
Circus Harmony: Fluente, January 18-19, 25-26
This January, Circus Harmony’s flying children will take to the water for a whimsical underseas circus adventure where the jellyfish hula-hoop, the sharks ride unicycles, and the octopi go acrobatic! In “Fluente,” the latest full-length production from this world-renowned social circus, each one of the ocean-inspired acts has been choreographed by its talented cast of students as well as Circus Harmony alumni currently performing with Cirque di Soleil and Australia’s Circa Contemporary Circus. Get ready to hold your breath and jump in for a show you’ll never forget!
 
Circus Harmony: Fluente will hit the ring at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays at City Museum. Tickets to Fluent are $20, but if you want to stay and play in City Museum before or after the show, Museum admission is available for a special price of $7 with your show ticket. Get your tickets at circusharmony.org.

Hot! Hot! Hot! at The Butterfly House, January 25-26
Ditch the Midwest chill for a trip to the Tropics! At The Butterfly House, the heat is on when it hosts a tropical-themed celebration to bring a little sunshine to those bleary winter days. Your kids can wade through the Exhibit Hall to check out games, crafts and activities inspired by the swamp, enjoy live animal encounters, and boogie to some great music alongside The Butterfly House’s resident bugs.

 
Hot! Hot! Hot! will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The celebration is included with Butterfly House admission and is free for Missouri Botanical Garden members. For details, visit butterflyhouse.org.
 
Main photo courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum
 
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Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL 

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