Step Back in Time with a Night at the Museum! | Kids Out and About St. Louis <

Step Back in Time with a Night at the Museum!

By Chelle Dohrmann                                    

Did you know … the Gateway Arch Museum of Westward Expansion will be closing around summer’s end for an extensive renovation? As part of the CityArchRiver 2015 project, the Museum will spend 1 ½ - 2 years undergoing a complete overhaul with an expansion as well as all new, interactive exhibits (the Arch itself, movies and Old Courthouse will remain open).

Maybe you’re thinking:  

  • “But wait! I LOVE that museum! I haven’t been there in ages! My kids don’t remember going there!” 

  • “My family loves it there, we’ll miss it!”   

  • “I never got around to taking my kids up the Arch and to see the museum as it is yet!”

Well, lucky for you, there’s an event coming up to solve your problem! On Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 6-9pm, the Museum will play host to the 4th Annual Night at the Museum!

Stacy Speas, Supervisory Park Ranger, spent some time talking to me about why this event is so much fun for families:

“The goal is education. The event is based on the movies where the characters come to life to provide a ‘Living History.’ It’s an opportunity to meet people from the past tied directly with the history of the park.”

Tickets for the event are $15 (2 and under free) and include; hot dog dinner, tram ride up the Arch and meet & greet with historic characters and hands-on children’s activities.

Who are some of the celebrity characters on hand?  

  • Antione Riviere, one of our Founding Fathers who came to St. Louis with Laclede.

  • A 49er – those who headed west in the gold rush originated from St. Louis

  • Deputy US Marshall Bass Reeves – learn how a man originally born into slavery eventually came to be the Deputy of Indian Territory

  • Lucy Meriwether Marks – Mother of Meriwether Lewis

  • 1876 Frontier Soldier – demonstrating weaponry and drills used from that era

  • Music Lady  - Sing-a-longs were a way of telling stories and one of the main forms of entertainment

Fun Old West-themed activities for the kids includes, but not limited to:  

  • Buffalo Chip races

  • Bandanas to color

  • “Build” the Arch

  • Keel Boat Cordelling (this is the type of boat used by Lewis & Clark)

  • Explore a tee-pee

  • Make Branding Irons out of pipecleaners


There is even an incentive for participation! Upon arrival, kids ages 3-15 will receive a booklet and then gather stamps from each of the the characters and activities in which they participate. This can be used to earn a pass for a future Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruise.

And don’t get the misconception that this event is only for the younger kids.  This is a wonderful opportunity even for teens to connect with people from their past and hear first-hand about experiences and events they have learned in school.  All in attendance will learn something from the stories told about what life was like in the early days of St. Louis’s history.

Tickets are on sale now and going fast!  Tickets may be purchased at the door, but for those wanting the dinner included, tickets must be bought at least 1-day in advance. For additional information, visit or call 877-982-1410.  You can also see their post on the KidsOutAndAbout calendar: Night At the Museum.

So I encourage you to take this opportunity to get one of the final peeks into the Museum of Westward Expansion and learn something from the characters there today! 

© 2014,

Chelle Dohrmann is a mother of two and the St. Louis Editor of