4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), April 3, 2016 - Huge crowds celebrated the Missouri Botanical Garden's seasonal openings during the "Meet Me Outdoors in St. Louis Opening Festival".
Activities included the seasonal reopenings of the Doris I. Schnuck Children's Garden, Tower Grove House, Café Flora and tram rides.
The newly renovated Brookings Exploration Center and the new PlantLab, a greenhouse-like space for hands-on learning, also opened.
The new facility was a pleasant discovery for many parents attending the festival. "This place is so cool," remarked on young father. Surrounded by comfortable low stools, kids quickly dove into the boxes with costumes to enjoy pretending to be a butterfly. Other kids quietly made things at the craft/coloring tables, read books or played educational games.
The renovated Brookings Exploration Center (formerly Brookings Interpretive Center) is located between the Climatron© and Shoenberg Temperate House in Edward Jones Hall and features a 4,300-square-foot space for children and families to explore, create, discover and connect with one another..
The new space houses state-of-the-art exhibit space and a brand-new PlantLab. A new vestibule area, designed to make the family experiences more comfortable and accessible, features barrier-free restrooms, a family restroom, vending machines and a Calming Corner that serves as a place for families with children needing quite time and a comfortable room for nursing mothers.
Families also explored the great outdoors and experience all the Children's Garden, including a waterfall, steamboat, cave, rope bridges and tree house.
Exhibitors in the Ridgeway Center offered information on a variety of nature-related topics, including composting and worms and creating Monarch Butterfly garden. Families were able to sign a pledge to encourage them to explore the outdoors this spring and summer at the Garden and its family of attractions, as well as other sites in the St. Louis region.
Admission to the Children's Garden is $5 for children ages 3 to 12. Adults are included with general Garden admission. St. Louis City and County residents receive free admission to the Children's Garden on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Missouri Botanical Garden, fondly known as Shaw's Garden to St. Louisans, contains a formal English garden, traditional Japanese garden, Margaret Blanke Grigg Chinese garden, the Flower Trial Garden, greenhouses and extensive landscaping. The garden also features the Climatron Complex, water lily reflection ponds and the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening.
The Climatron® geodesic dome and rainforest conservatory was dedicated 40 years ago in October 1960, replacing an old house built in 1913. The structure incorporates principles established by innovative architect R. Buckminster Fuller and was the first application of geodesic engineering for a greenhouse. The St. Louis architecture firm of Murphy & Mackey developed plans for the facility with Garden director Frits W. Went, who coined the term, Climatron.
The dome is 70 feet high and 175 feet in diameter, permitting tall palm trees to tower majestically above the tropical vista of streams, waterfalls and 1,200 different species of exotic trees and plants. Temperature ranges from 64 to 74 degrees and average humidity is 85 percent.
Visitors can enjoy a sense of being in a jungle while making their way by orchids, passion flowers, hibiscus flowers, cycads and a number of endangered species. In 1976, the dome was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history.
The Garden, covering 79 acres, is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd, just south of Hwy 44 between Vandeventer and Grand. Extended summer hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays only from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Free parking on premises, as well as an extensive gift shop and restaurant with patio dining. For more information, call the GardenLine at 314-577-9400 or 800-642-8842.
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