St. Joseph, nestled along the Missouri River in northwestern Missouri, is known as the beginning location of the Pony Express. Today, this busy city is home to more than 76,000 residents. There are a variety of activities that parents can do with their kids in St. Joseph throughout the year.
Take your kids to The Pony Express National Museum (ponyexpress.org). Kids will learn all about the Pony Express through hands-on, interactive activities. There are special events planned during the year, like Pumpkin Fest and Days of the Pony Express. You can also visit one of the other Saint Joseph museums (stjosephmuseum.org). St. Joseph Museum features the natural and cultural history of the city. Tour the Wyeth Tootle Mansion, a Gothic style mansion, to see what life was like back in the late 1800s. The Black Archives Museum has exhibits to teach visitors about the Underground Railroad, desegregation and other topics related to black history.
Check out all that the St. Joseph YMCA (stjoymca.org) has to offer kids in the area. Kids can attend day camps, resident camps and even a boot and saddle camp. Sports leagues teach kids about a variety of sports, including basketball, baseball and soccer. Not only will your child learn the fundamentals of each sport, he'll also learn about working as a team and how to be a good sport. Student enrichment programs are offered to children as well, to support children's character development and build positive social skills.
Take your child to the St. Joseph Aquatic Park (no website; South Noyes Blvd; St. Joseph; 816-271-5500) for some water fun in the summer. There is a zero-depth beach entry area and a lazy river for your and your child to float down. Smaller kids can splash and play in the kiddie or play area, with interactive water spray features. There is a cascading waterfall to swim under and two giant enclosed water slides for some thrills.
Enjoy some nature activities at the Remington Nature Center of St. Joseph (stjoenaturecenter.info). This 13,000-square-foot facility displays natural animal habitats, including a real beehive, a beaver dam and a 7,000-gallon aquarium filled with native fish species. Your child can check out the fossil and rock display or the humongous woolly mammoth. Kids can also participate in events, like a monthly scavenger hunt, craft times, fish feeding frenzy or eagle watching. Step outside the center and enjoy views of the Missouri River and the gorgeous gardens. Families can also enjoy the urban trail systems (ci.st-joseph.mo.us/parks/urbantrailsystem.cfm) in St. Joseph, by taking a hike or riding their bikes along the miles of trails connecting area parks, neighborhoods and schools.