Drove two days into a Missouri firestorm
December 25, 2011 9:58 AM   Subscribe

What is there to do in St Louis over the holidays?

We just drove into a major family meltdown. We're holed up in a hotel near the St Louis zoo avoiding a screaming match over iPod setups. ms scruss and I are introverts and really can't cope with this until the new year. We're on the verge of just driving back it's so toxic.

What can we do to cope and keep us out of the firestorm?
posted by scruss to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Blueberry Hill is a quasi-famous restaurant on the Delmar Loop that is open every day of the year, so that's a possibility. I believe the Boathouse on Forest Park is also open every day. Both have a pretty good menu, a casual atmosphere, and aren't particularly expensive.
posted by jedicus at 11:33 AM on December 25, 2011

Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park isn't too far from where you're staying.
posted by rglass at 11:42 AM on December 25, 2011

Today'd be tough, though you can always explore Forest Park – there are various trails and such throughout, there's Art Hill with the Art Museum building, the statue of Saint Louis and the large pool and fountains at the bottom. The riverfront and Arch grounds are interesting to check out as well and don't require anything to be open. You could also take a drive or walk around Laclede's Landing, just north of the Arch. Tower Grove Park is a nice always-explorable park a bit south of your current location. There's a diner called Courtesy Diner on Hampton just south of the park (and another location a bit farther south on Kingshighway) – one or both of those may be open today.

As for tomorrow and the rest of the week, everything should be open as normal, I believe, so if you're looking for coping strategies for normal business days, more detailed preferences/likes/dislikes etc would yield better results. Generically, nearby you've got the Forest Park institutions to check out (the Zoo, Art Museum and Science Center are all free). The Botanical Garden is cheap, near Tower Grove Park, (and even moreso if you can get a City or county resident to accompany you).
posted by brentajones at 11:47 AM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you didn't see it, you might see this previous Ask with a similar "help me escape from family" bent: http://ask.metafilter.com/150601/Distractions-from-a-family-wedding-in-St-Louis

One of the answers there also suggests that Coffee Cartel in the Central West End (likely to the east and slightly north of your current location) is open 24/7/365, so you'd be able to grab some coffee, food and wi-fi there. Also they sell booze and ice cream.
posted by brentajones at 11:55 AM on December 25, 2011

Pick up the Sunday St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Local papers have lots of what-to-do info.
posted by Carol Anne at 12:48 PM on December 25, 2011

Probably closed today, but there's a neat Star Trek exhibit at the Science Center.
posted by Occula at 12:59 PM on December 25, 2011

The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the best in the world, and the Japanese garden in winter is not to be missed. Good luck!
posted by cyndigo at 2:11 PM on December 25, 2011

Best answer: Good suggestions all. As to this evening, if you're up for also-introverted company, from about 7pm on i'll be pinning down a table at the Hampton Ave Denny's, which is right down the road from the zoo. There will be other nerds and weirdfolk of my acquaintance wandering in and out, but it will all be very low key, and there will be pie! I realize you don't know me from Adam's off ox, but you would be genuinely welcome. if you show up, I'm in a berry-colored v-neck sweater.
posted by adrienneleigh at 2:20 PM on December 25, 2011

Don't forget the fabulous City Museum!
posted by naomi at 2:23 PM on December 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

Definitely the museums if that's your thing- they're free and you could easily spend all day. And this is actually a great time of the year for the zoo, since seveal of the furry animals that are lazy and reclusive during the heat and humidity of the summer will be more active. If it happens to snow while you're there, go see the snow leopards- they seem to really enjoy themselves in that weather. Bonus- there won't be many other people there.

Of course, it wouldn't be right to not stop by Ted Drewe's on Chippewa near Hampton... I think they might have some radiant heaters outside that you can stand under.
posted by Dr. ShadowMask at 3:05 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, check out the Hi-Pointe Theater if you'd like to catch a movie. It has a nice old-timey movie house feel and doesn't show the typical Hollywood movies, plus you can get a beer or wine while you watch. This one's also near where you're staying.
posted by Dr. ShadowMask at 3:18 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Looks like the Forest Park Steinberg Ice Skating Rink is open until midnight, including tonight.
posted by Dr. ShadowMask at 4:02 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Try a great pizza place which is open today... Pi. Obama's favorite.

Delmar location is open today.
posted by kdern at 4:47 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Get dim sum at LuLu on Olive Boulevard in University City. That's a good St. Louis experience.
posted by limeonaire at 6:01 PM on December 25, 2011

Seconding LuLu - was coming here to suggest it myself, and limeonaire beat me to it!
posted by rdn at 6:47 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I do this every time in what-to-do-in-St.-Louis threads, and naomi already mentioned it above, but here goes: absolutely do not miss the City Museum.
posted by zsazsa at 9:40 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Send a Mefimail to everyone who responded to this and demand some sort of calm, casual, GRAR-free meetup.

Hell, you're like a mile and a half away from me - I'll come give you a hug RIGHT NOW! if it would help.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:03 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: OK, in the cold light of day not full to brimming with Christmas spirit, I realize that having a big hairy guy from the internet come give you a hug at 1:00 am is deep into "a dream to some, a nightmare to others" territory, but seriously, having done the drive from here to Nipissing once, you shouldn't have to put up with any crap after that kind of drive, especially on Christmas.

What, sorts of things would you say you're into?

Looking at your Flickr and YouTube pages, you might enjoy Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Or, on the more commercial, non-touristy end of the spectrum, you might like Gateway Electronics. Or maybe Music Folk in Webster Groves.

If an independent coffee shop is more your thing, there's one a block south east from the location pointer in my profile at Lyndover and Sutton called Stone Spiral.

And seriously, if you need a native guide or a jump start or hot cocoa or something, I'm in the phone book.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:46 AM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

The museum under the Arch.
posted by LonnieK at 4:49 PM on December 26, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks to all - especially Adrienne, whose merry band were pleasant company last night.

I think we've taken some of the heat out of the situation, basically by taking on family feeding duties and travel logistics. Sucks, but has cooled things off for today at least. Have already been to Pi, will be going to the Science Center, done Arch and City Museum before, and will likely look at some of the other places.

I'm too quiet to demand meetups of all you all. But it's good to know people are out there.
posted by scruss at 7:18 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

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