Winter fun in St. Louis
Now that we’ve all returned to St. Louis and the semester is officially underway, you might be feeling a little nostalgic for those fun-filled days of break. Let’s face it—St. Louis probably isn’t at the top of anyone’s list of places to be during these cold snowy times. The Gateway City can be quite the winter wonderland, however. Here is a list of just a few things to keep you busy before classes get too strenuous.
The Steinberg Ice Rink
Located in Forest Park near the Central West End, the Steinberg Ice Rink is the largest outdoor skating rink in the Midwest. It offers public skating seven days a week—including holidays. If you’re inclined, you can also take skating lessons for a small fee. Entry is only $6, and skate rental is an additional $4, making it affordable for multiple outings. If your are in need of a bite to eat, the Snowflake Café, located next door, serves hot meals and snacks, as well as hot chocolate.
St. Louis Blues Games
While often overlooked by people unfamiliar with hockey, attending a Blues game truly is a unique experience. Located at the Scottrade Center downtown, the games are events that all sports fans can easily enjoy. Hockey arenas are known for their noise—even compared to other sports—so be prepared to shout yourself hoarse and leave with your ears ringing. There are even several “Student Nights” when you can get a ticket, soda and hot dog for $20. Check the Blues’ website (http://blues.nhl.com) for a list of the games, as only a few of them have this deal available.
Sledding at Art Hill
To take full advantage of the snow, head over to Art Hill in Forest Park. The hill stretches from the St. Louis Art Museum down to the Grand Basin—reminiscent of a miniaturized gardens of Versailles—which allows for an excellent sledding experience. Be warned, though—it gets crowded.
For those of you looking to get out of the city, consider driving 30 miles to Hidden Valley Ski Area, located in Wildwood, Mo. Offering a variety of trails—suitable for a wide range of skiers and snowboarders—the park has something for everyone. Group or private lessons are available for those who are interested. A day pass costs between $38-$64, depending on whether or not you rent equipment. Luckily, it doesn’t have to snow to make Hidden Valley a worthwhile trip; they have their own snowmaking machines. The park is open in the afternoons and evenings during the week and all day on the weekend.
Hot chocolate tour
What better way to discover St. Louis during the winter than through cupfulls of everyone’s favorite seasonal beverage—hot chocolate. For the thickest, richest cup of cocoa you’ve ever had, head to Bailey’s Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square. Listed on their “Liquid Dessert” menu, all of Bailey’s hot chocolates are made from the finest chocolates and simplest ingredients. Ranging from sweet to rich to spicy (and with additions of liqueurs and spirits available), these cups are sure to please all diners. Other hot chocolate hot spots include Bissinger’s Chocolatier in the Central West End, where you can enjoy your cocoa with thick homemade whipped cream while sitting on a leather chair in front of the fire place—the quintessential way to spent a wintry afternoon. St. Louis’ landmark restaurant, Fountain on Locust, is also a worthy competitor with their mug of rich hot chocolate and fresh whipped cream.
With additional reporting by Hana Schuster.