Happy Birthday St. Louis! Here's How to Celebrate in Style at the Missouri History Museum

The city of St Louis is celebrating a very special birthday this year, and the Missouri History Museum has big plans to commemorate the city’s 250th anniversary in style.

250 in 250: 50 people, 50 Places, 50 Moments, 50 Images, 50 Objects, a 6,000 square foot exhibition designed to showcase 250 of the most fascinating stories in St. Louis history, opens on February 14 and will remain open to visitors through February 2015. The exhibit won’t necessarily focus on our city’s “most important” or “best known” moments, but instead will highlight people, places, moments, images and objects that reflect the richness, diversity and complexity of our local history.

Visitors to 250 in 250 can expect to see images of how everyday St. Louisans lived, worked and played throughout the years. For example, Dred Scott – the local slave whose appeal for freedom went all the way to the Supreme Court – is included as one of the 50 people who shaped St. Louis, and Gaslight Square is among the 50 places that helped define the city in its early days.

The Founding of St. Louis in 1764 is, of course, one of the 50 moments in history that earned a place in the exhibit too.

Throughout the year, the Missouri History Museum will also host a variety of family-friendly events, where children and adults can learn more about some of St. Louis’s most popular attractions, including Soulard, Downtown, the World’s Fair and Cahokia.

And 250 in 250’s Opening Weekend – which kicks off Friday, February 14 and lasts through Monday, February 17 – promises plenty of excitement for St. Louis families too. During the fun-filled weekend, parents and kids are invited to tour the brand new exhibit AND participate in activities like cupcake decorating, make-and-take workshops, puppet play, musical performances, face painting, horse-drawn carriage rides and more. Visitors can even step inside a historic image and have their picture taken!  

Admission to 250 in 250 (and to all of the Opening Weekend events) is free. The Missouri History Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Here is just some of the fun waiting for you on opening weekend:

  • Friday, February 14 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Have your picture taken inside one of the historic photographs of the city, cupcake decorating, make-and-take crafts, childrens' musical performance by Kristin Tanner (with a St. Louis-inspired version of Skip to My Lou!), and a puppet play.

  • Saturday, February 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Horse-drawn carriage rides, cupcake decorating, balloon artists, Hokey Pokey movement workshop, puppet plays, live music by Mark-O-Polo and Half Deaf Jeff, make murals with artist Cbabi Bayoc for the upcoming History Clubhouse exhibit!

  • Sunday, February 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Step inside a historic image, Theater in the Museum.

  • Monday, February 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Have your picture taken inside one of the historic photographs of the city, Radio Disney, cupcake decorating, make-and-take crafts, childrens' musical performance by Mark-O-Polo, balloon artists, face painting, Sensing St. Louis workshop, make a St. Louis Skyline or Chuck Berry guitar craft and lots more!

More information about 250 in 250's Opening Weekend, a complete schedule of events and specific times for events can be found here.

To learn more about all the ways in which the Missouri History Museum will commemorate this special anniversary, visit www.mohistory.org.

Image: iStock

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Alyssa Chirco is a freelance writer, mother and margarita lover, not necessarily in that order. In addition to writing for STL Parent, she is Contributing Editor at Parenting Squad, and covers parenting, health and lifestyle topics for publications across the country. She recently moved from the suburbs of St. Louis to a small town in rural Jefferson County, where she is learning to survive with no Target or Starbucks in sight. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaChirco


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