Monthly Archives: June 2014

Missouri Civil War Museum

When you are visiting St. Louis, make sure to stop by one of the top three museums in the city and the best Civil War museum in the state. The Missouri Civil War Museum features historical artifacts and an unbiased narrative told from archival evidence, weapons, equipment, possessions, and uniforms from the soldiers. Everyone in your group will be interested and educated by the plethora of Civil War information.

Located in the renovated Jefferson Barracks, the museum’s facility is even a historical landmark. Built in 1904, the barracks’ original use was as a military athletic center but it was converted in World War I to be used as a barracks. In 2002, the museum was formed in the refurbished building.

Open daily, the museum is a perfect destination for groups of 15-50 people, from military groups to Boy Scout troops and school trips. Employees are available to answer questions and provide enlightened input on Civil War events and the museum’s artifacts. Tour the exhibits featuring artifacts and informational visual aids on your self-guided exploration.

The Missouri Civil War Museum also sponsors research and the Civil War Studies Center is currently collecting Civil War photographs and documents. Their mission is to eventually gather information on every Missouri soldier to have on file. They are also collecting video, audio, magazines, and books on Civil War topics for their study center to better educate the interested individual and avid researcher.

For more things to do, take a short walk down to the Jefferson Barracks Park and National Cemetery to peruse and salute the fallen soldiers and take in the lovely scenery. While you are in St. Louis, take advantage of this opportunity to learn about one of the nation’s most defining wars, the young men who made up the Missouri regiments, and the battles they fought.

Cahokia Mounds State Park

These enigmatic mounds just a few minutes outside St. Louis  – one of them larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza – invariably leave visitors pondering the ancient Native culture that came, grew and eventually flourished over centuries of occupation, calling the six-square-mile plains “city” home for nearly a thousand years before one day vanishing – some say without a trace, though it is likely the departure was gradual, as a starving and weakened people abandoned the once-bustling *world center* of Cahokia for better prospects, however slim. Many theories exist in support of distinct possibilities, including destructive weather patterns that eventually destroyed food sources and decimated the population; documentaries  and discoveries abound that deliver evidence the tribe’s very existence was predicated on a reliance on barbaric ceremonial practice believed to ensure the success of those all-important crops and the futures of the people: the satisfying of blood thirsty corn deities with the regular human sacrifice of young females-possibly captives,  but most probably terrified prisoners selected from the tribe, itself. It is said that perhaps the vanishing of the people from the great City could be explained by the creation of a new, nomadic tribe, who continued with the same crop insurance rituals their forefathers practiced into the mid 19th century when they were forced onto a reservation and the atrocious practice of human sacrifice was outlawed. Whatever you choose to believe when you visit, the common denominator in every guest experience is the awe-inspiring presence of mounds of varying sizes in three distinct shapes created by native workers hauling countless baskets of earth from the surrounding countryside, leaving large depressions in the ground around them called “borrow pits.” Come, see the mounds and other authentic remains of this most sophisticated ancient civilation North of Mexico, and be forever changed by the images you carry away.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour

If you are over 21 and looking for a fun, interactive tour of St. Louis where you can sample some of America’s finest beers, then look no further than Anheuser-Busch’s Brewery Tour. Take part in the Beermaster Tour, the Beer School, or look through the historic Old Lyon Schoolhouse for some interesting facts about one of the largest and most popular beer companies in the United States.

On the Brewery Tour, stop by the Clydesdale stables and see the horses featured in the Super Bowl Budweiser ads. Explore the historic brewery and learn about everything from gathering the ingredients to seeing the Beechwood Aging Cellars and, if you’re of age, sampling the finished product. The complimentary Brewery Tour is offered throughout the year and is available for all ages. End your tour at the new Biergarten for some delicious food and cold beer.

For more in-depth brewing tours, groups over the age of 21 are welcome to take the Beermaster Tour of the St. Louis campus as the guide leads you through the historic Brew House, the Fermentation Cellars, the Bevo Packaging Facility and finally the Finishing Cellars. You may even sample the finished product directly from the Finishing Tank. When you are done, stop by for a quick look through the Schoolhouse Museum, housing over 400 Anheuser-Busch artifacts taken out of their historic archives. The Schoolhouse includes exhibits on the history of brewing in St. Louis, Prohibition, and modern brewing developments.

For those of you who already appreciate beer or who are looking to try some new flavors, check out the Beer School’s appreciation and tasting courses. Here you can sample several different kinds of Anheuser-Busch products, learn how to properly pour a beer, and more from experts.

Stop by St. Louis’s famous Anheuser-Busch Brewery, learn about its historic legacy, and sample some excellent brews with your group.

Alton Museum of History and Art

Founded in 1971 with the intention of preserving the contributions of the Alton community, the Alton Museum of History and Art is devoted to its citizens and their history of the town’s development. Located in the Koenig House, built in 1887, the Alton Museum is also a historical landmark. Visit this concisely focused museum dedicated to the local people that made this community special over its historic life.

Not only is this museum preserving a piece of state and national history but, unlike many other museums, it devotes much of its mission to conserving and educating the public on the fascinating history of the Alton people over the years. Tour with your own pace exhibits featuring local history such as the Legend of the Piasa Bird, the Confederate Prison at Alton, and the Alton giant, Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man who stood at a staggering 8 feet, 11 inches. Other exhibits focus on Missouri and Illinois history like explorers Lewis and Clark, the Wood River Massacre, the Lincoln and Shields Duel, and Black Pioneers.

Interact, experience, appreciate the art, and learn about history from passionate and devoted individuals. This museum is a special and interesting opportunity for your group to learn about another community. Tour groups are welcome and invited to explore the exhibits stationed throughout the house museum. The gift shop is stocked with books and DVDs with more information about the exhibit topics if you are still craving deeper knowledge after your tour. If you have questions, ask any of the helpful, informative staff for illumination. The Koenig House also hosts festivals and regular events such as trivia nights and the annual Miles Davis Jazz festival and celebration.

For an informational and fascinating tour of Illinois history, come down to the Alton Museum of History and Art.

Holocaust Museum

Tour a museum with cultural significance and historical importance at St. Louis’s Holocaust Museum. The museum was established in 1995 by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis by leaders and Holocaust survivors with the intention of preserving the history of the Jewish people’s terrible struggle and remembering the sacrifices of those who perished. Walk through the facility and experience the painful past, the hardships and discriminations culminating in the genocide of the Jewish people, and the final hopeful liberation and justice after the war’s end.

Tour the 5,000 square foot interactive museum’s many photos, visuals, audio, text, and artifacts from the camps, historical records, and survivors. Learn about the chronological history from pre-war Jewish life in Europe to the rise of Nazi power and the Holocaust which lasted from 1933-1945. Follow the events post-war at the Nuremberg trials and Jewish life in Europe after World War II. Experience the popular and poignant new exhibit, Change Begins With Me – Confronting Hate, Discrimination and Ethnic Conflict which explores post-Holocaust hate and prejudice issues.

For more information, peruse the video library including more than 500 titles or the 150 personal testimonies from survivors. Attend the monthly film series, lectures, events, teacher-training workshops, or the annual reading of the names at the Yom HaSoah Community Commemoration. The museum bookstore stocks informational texts for further study and employees are available to answer questions. After your tour, stop by the Garden of Remembrance for tranquil meditation to recall those who were lost.

Guided tours may be booked in advance and the museum is, of course, available for self-guided tours for groups and individuals. Audio tours are available for self-paced tours with informational guidance.

Bring your group to a meaningful, educational, and interesting interactive museum where the past is remembered with heartache and hope for a better future.

The Cleveland Play House

The Cleveland Play House is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It was established in 1915. It was America’s first professional theater company. The Play House produces comedies, drama, and musicals throughout the year. There have been several big names that have performed at the theater. These individuals include: Hal Holbrook, Tom Hanks, and Ed Asner. The Play House is more than a theater. Adult acting classes are offered. There is also a Children’s program called “Curtain Pullers” that was founded in 1933. The building houses several different theaters. Visitors can view art exhibits located in the rotunda lobby of the building. Featured theaters include: Bolton Theatre, Drury Theatre, Brooks Theatre, and the Baxter Theatre. The Play House also hosts a festival. It is called the Ground Theater Festival. The event showcases new theatrical works. Visitors will see a variety of new work from nationally acclaimed recognized artists. The Play House produces a centerpiece production. Come enjoy a performance with your group today!

Meramac Caverns

Visitors to the Meramec Valley, just an hour away from the St. Louis Arch, may be surprised to know The Show Me State is also known as The Cave State, boasting almost 6400 surveyed caves scattered throughout its rolling green hills, winding rivers and lush, fertile valleys. Four are open for public exploration, and Meramec Caverns, discovered in 1720 by French Explorer Phillip Renault, is the largest of the commercial cave attractions in the state. Open to guests year round, the Caverns offer a fun, affordable vacation excursion for visitors of all ages, and well-trained rangers can accommodate groups of any size. Mile-and-a-half tours of the amazing cave complex depart every thirty minutes or so and take approximately an hour and twenty minutes to complete. Learn how the ancient Wine Table (the World’s rarest cave structure) was formed completely under water and marvel at rare and stunning mineral formations in an array of mind-blowing colors and surreal shapes and sizes as you explore this miraculous natural wonder! Exclusive 80-minute tours invite you to trip the light fantastic ( hand-held lantern light, that is) through the caverns; be prepared to encounter a gracious host of historical characters along the way – an Osage Indian, a Civil War soldier, and the infamous Jesse James regale guests with fascinating folklore and tales of courage and high adventure, and even provide a little intriguing cavern history – no secrets spilled here! When all your spelunking has you hankerin’ for some yummy vittles, the Caverns’ on-site restaurant promises hearty Classic American fare certain to satisfy as well as 28 flavors of ice cream to top it all off; a fully-stocked gift shop tenders truly perfect souvenirs of your amazing Meramec Caverns adventure!

Exploring America > U.S. Cities > St. Louis Tours

St. George Street

Groups on Sunshine State escape enjoying beautiful, historic St. Augustine will want to stroll the oldest street in the Oldest City; a whimsical, wonderful melting pot of quintessential “Colonial Florida” flavor awaits visitors to this popular – albeit touristy – main thoroughfare, lined up and down both sides with wonderful galleries, intriguing museums and colorful and eclectic shops tendering everything from excellent coffee and delectable sweets to treasures, trinkets and luxury treatments. Fabulous eateries serving up diverse menus of casual to world class fare, amazing bakeries and historic “tabernas” and pubs tempt you in out of the Florida sun at every turn. Hoof it and wing it – or hop a trolley and see the stars of St. George Street; drop by the Oldest Schoolhouse, tour the Old Jail, duck into Gator Bob’s Trading Post or spend an hour or two exploring the Colonial Quarter; everywhere you go you’ll delight to the sounds of talented street performers, vendors and costumed characters hawking their tricks, trades and wares mingled with the laughter of happy wanderers trickling in and out of storefronts and ogling notable points of interest. It helps to know a little of the area history before embarking on your St. George Street excursion, so brush up a bit before grabbing your group and heading downtown; you’ll enjoy the updated historic architecture and the authentic cobblestone beneath your flipflopped feet that much more! Take that traditional tapas break, then head over to figure out your family crest. (No cars allowed in this designated “walking mall.”)

Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is located in Virginia Beach. The location offers group tours and features several animals and exhibits. You can explore the marsh lands and outdoor aviary as well. There are various animals and exhibits to observe. Featured animals include the following: Cownose Rays, the Great Horned Owl, Harbor Seals, Loggerhead Turtles, North American River Otters, and Sand Tiger Sharks. Exhibits include: Blue Crab Corner, the Chesapeake Bay Touch Pool, the Chesapeake Light Tower Aquarium, Indonesian Volcanic Island, Malaysian Peat Swamp, Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea. Visitors can enjoy food and also purchase Merchandise at the museum. There are two stores in the Aquarium. They offer the following: unique merchandise, local handicrafts, and “green options.” Food options include the following: the Aquarium Cafe, and the IMAX Snack Stand. Types of food include: sandwiches, salads, hot entrees, desserts, and beverages. Come visit this interesting location and see the different animals, exhibits, and stop to shop or enjoy an IMAX film during the visit!

Exploring America > U.S. Cities > Virginia Beach Tours

Virginia Air and Space Center

The Virginia Air and Space Center is located near Virginia Beach. The museum is close to the Hampton River and offers a spectacular view. Your group will learn about aviation and space during the visit. The location features various galleries and exhibits to explore. Featured exhibits include: the Adventures in Flight Gallery, the Images main Gallery, the Ham Radio Exhibit, and the Space Gallery. The Space Gallery has several exhibits on display. Exhibits include: Our Solar System, Mars and the Moon, Living and Working in Space, and Visions of Space Exploration. The Adventures in Flight Gallery features the following: the 1903 Wright Flyer, a recreated Jenny bi-plane, a B-24 Liberator, and Commercial Aviation Exhibits. The museum hosts science camps and other events. They also have an IMAX Theater. Some interesting facts about the aircraft on display include: the Wright brothers 1903 Flyer achieved the “first flight” in North Carolina on December 17, 1903. The Apollo 12 Command Module was launched on November 14, 1969. It traveled over 960,000 miles on its lunar mission. Come experience this one-of-a-kind attraction and enjoy the interactive exhibits with the group!

Exploring America > U.S. Cities > Virginia Beach Tours