Did you have a disappointing spring break? Did you miss it altogether? Was the weather dreary? Or did you have so much fun that you want more? I say, do it again! Logistically, you may not be able to luxuriate for a week at a beach, especially if you live in Missouri, but you might be able to squeeze a little extra fun into a weekend. So set the bar a little lower than snorkeling in Cancun, and head somewhere closer to home.
Did you know about the World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Cuba, MO? What about Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence? Maybe you would like to visit the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph. Missouri is full of surprises.
Do you enjoy spelunking? You’re in luck! Missouri has over 6,300 caves, second only to Tennessee. Approximately two hours southeast of Columbia, you will find Onondaga Cave State Park. It is one of the most beautiful caves in the state due to its variety of cave formations and its well-placed lighting. Plus, if you are in the area, you are very near plenty of floating and camping sites. Spend a day relaxing on the Meramec River.
How about a glass of wine (or two)? Designate a driver because nearby St. James, MO, with a population of only 4,000+ people, has at least FOUR wineries, a wine museum and a brewery! If you are so inclined, you can spend some time sobering up at the Vacuum Cleaner Museum and Outlet. Located on historic Route 66, this museum has 800 working vacuum cleaners collected by Stan Kann, vacuum cleaner (and organ) aficionado.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the German village of Hermann in the beautiful Missouri River Valley. Hermann has a wine trail along which visitors will find seven wineries to visit for tastings and tours. If you are hungry, you will find several German restaurants serving various wurst and cheeses. Just to be safe, you might pick one of the many charming bed and breakfasts or German Inns in the area so you can enjoy the sunset without worrying about the drive home.
Are you a teetotaler? Maybe you’re not terribly outdoorsy? Don’t even get me started on the crazy number of museums available, a mere two hour drive from Columbia, in Kansas City or St. Louis. One that I enjoyed is the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City. The antique and retro toys are fun, but the scale miniatures BLEW MY MIND. There are perfect replicas of furniture and everyday objects that are impossibly tiny. They have a violin full of increasingly smaller violins. They had tiny socks and sweaters knitted with pins!
Finally, a museum I have been eager to visit is the City Museum in St. Louis. It sounds strange and wonderful by all accounts: housed in a former shoe factory, the museum is four stories high. The exhibits are made from architectural salvage, among other materials, and include tunnels, caves, a life-size whale, a tree house, a rooftop school bus, a Ferris wheel and a giant metal praying mantis. This is my grand finale suggestion.