A-List Awards 2017: Kids & Family

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Inclusive Play

Sensory Saturdays at the Zoo

When the Saint Louis Zoo gets too wild—noise, big crowds—children with special needs can find refuge on Sensory Saturdays. The program began last October and is held monthly at the Wild Wonder Outpost. While kids are enjoying self-guided exploration and play, such accommodations as reduced sound, dimmer lighting, and a “sensory-break” area with pillows and self-regulation tools are made available.

Isaac Stork

The dapper 6-year-old, who recently sold bowties at March for Science in honor of his idol, Bill Nye the Science Guy, shared his own A-List.
★ Gateway Arch: “It represents St. Louis. It’s beautiful—I love its shape.” ★ James S. McDonnell Planetarium: “It lets me feel like I’m exploring space. It’s great!” ★ Donut Drive-In: “The blueberry cake doughnuts are the best! My sister likes the chocolate sprinkle ones, though.” ★ Hartford Coffee Company: “They have the best scones! I really like the feta-and-onion scone.” ★ Tower Grove Park: “It’s my favorite park. I love all of the nature. The creek is the best place to explore.” (Photo by Matt Marcinkowski)

Adorable Footwear


Baby shoes alone have a firm foundation of cuteness. Even cuter? When they’re handmade fringed leather moccasins. Based in Ste. Gen, Chérubin offers collections of bright patterns and whimsical designs often created by local artists. It’s all-around adorableness for little ones on the go. (Photo courtesy of Cherubin & Cheree Berry)

Outdoor Expo

Life Outside

Spend a day on the banks of Creve Coeur Lake climbing, biking, doing yoga, paddleboarding, walking the dog, and learning about all that the St. Louis region has to offer. Great Rivers Greenway gathers local businesses, nonprofits, and clubs to offer crash courses in the outdoors. (Photo courtesy of Great Rivers Greenway)

Public Space

Kiener Plaza

The ambitious overhaul of the Arch grounds brought a $19 million makeover to Kiener Plaza, which reopened this year. Kiddos will love the playground and water features, similar to Citygarden. With outdoor seating and flowering trees, it’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind with the family.

Children's Theater

★ Shooting Star Productions: Artistic director Marty Strohmeyer often brings in St. Louis theater pros to guide and inspire—and parents are usually inclined to do more than drop-off duty.

★ Metro Theater Company: For more than four decades, the company has produced thought-provoking shows. It’ll debut its new digs—in the Grandel Theatre—this fall. metroplays.org.

★ Ignite Theatre Company: Along with private instruction and full-scale productions, Ignite gives back. They’ve performed for Kingdom House, Needy Paws Rescue, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and more. ignitewithus.org.

★ Muny Kids & Muny Teens: This longtime performing troupe—an institution in St. Louis—prepares a 30-minute musical revue of songs from the season’s Muny shows, then takes it on the road, performing at such local events as Fair Saint Louis. muny.org.

Purposeful Reading Program

We Stories

After the unrest in Ferguson, two moms with social justice backgrounds launched this nonprofit to encourage conversations about race and racism. Families receive age-appropriate books written by authors of color and featuring protagonists of color. It’s a way for children and parents to strengthen their understanding of community. (Photo by Michele Verna)

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