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A-List 2016: Kids & Family

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    Playground: Zachary’s Playground at Hawk Ridge Park

    Natalie Blakemore’s son Zachary had to sit idly in his wheelchair at the playground while his siblings and friends shot down slides and swung on monkey bars. So in 2003, she raised $750,000 to build Zachary’s Playground in Lake Saint Louis. Its expansive play surface seamlessly melds climbing structures that would challenge the most athletic kid—for instance, the Octa Net climber—with equipment specifically designed for wheelchairs, so no one is left on the sidelines. The family’s nonprofit, Unlimited Play, has since built accessible playgrounds across the country. Read more

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    Courtesy of HealthWorks! Kids' Museum St. Louis

    New Museum: HealthWorks Kids’ Museum St. Louis

    How do you get kids to care about their health? How about a 55-foot-long human skeletal structure/indoor playground with a leg slide, an electronic eating game in the digestive tract, and a skull filled with brain-function exhibits? The “Interactive Dude” is just one element of the new exhibits at the HealthWorks Kids’ Museum St. Louis, a $2.5 million, 12,000-square-foot facility. (We imagine that the Dude’s “all about poop” panel that passes gas will be a big hit with kids.) Read more

  • Kids’ Clothing: Dandelions

    Tykes’ swimwear, formalwear, casual wear; Easter dresses and winter snowsuits from name brands, including polos, shorts, and slacks from renowned West Coast mini-prepster outfitter Johnnie-O; accessories of every kind. If you have kids 14 or under, this Ladue children’s clothing boutique has them covered—literally and stylishly. Read more

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    Agricultural Addition: Saint Louis Science Center’s GROW

    In April, five 15,000-pound glulam (glued laminated timber, reportedly stronger than steel) beams sprouted from the ground beside the Science Center to support a new pavilion to house GROW, an exploration of food’s farm-to-table journey, featuring a greenhouse, animal corral, simulated milking parlor, and (this being St. Louis) a beer-brewing fermentation station for the parents. Read more

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    Literacy Program: Born to Read

    We are born with certain unalienable rights, and the St. Louis County Library thinks Thomas Jefferson left one off his list. It’s working with hospitals to provide every newborn with a library card. More than 15,000 families will go home with a toy, a board book, and the right to check out Green Eggs & Ham as many times as they want. Read more