The 2015 St. Louis Year in Preview

Monday December 29, 2014

McDonnell Polar Bear Point at the Saint Louis Zoo

With new attractions, exhibits, and experiences the opportunities for making a memorable trip are endless. Here is a preview of what is new this year in St. Louis.

1. Gateway Arch Turns 50
The Gateway Arch commemorates a monumental birthday this October and proves that life is nifty at 50.  The National Park Service plans to honor the Arch’s half-century anniversary during an event on October 28 to mark the setting of the final piece of the nation’s tallest manmade monument a half-century ago in 1965.  A continuously updated calendar of events is available at

There’s no-life crisis in store for this iconic American symbol, thanks to an expansive renovations project under way called CityArchRiver.  The entire Arch complex, including active Kiener Plaza, the exhibits within the historic Old Courthouse and surrounding parkland are being redesigned to once the connection between the Mississippi River and the City of St. Louis.  During construction , popular exhibits form the Arch’s Museum of Westward Expansion will be on display in galleries at the Old Courthouse.

The Gateway Arch and it’s exciting ram ride to the top remain open for visitors even as construction continues on the landscape park over the highway that will connect downtown to the Arch Riverfront.  For some of the best views of the Arch during 2015, hop aboard the Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises paddle wheelers for a Mississippi River excursion along the Port of St. Louis/

2. Polar bears will return to the Saint Louis Zoo.
Chill out in the newest attraction opening this summer at the Saint Louis Zoo.  McDonnell Polar Bear Point offers great views of every one’s favorite Arctic animal.  Gian windows within an Arctic cave room provide long looks as the big white bears come right up to visit on the other side of the glass as they swim and dive in saltwater pools, dig in the sand and clim rock walls.  The 40,000 square foot, $15 million habitat is located between Bear Bluffs and Penguin & Puffin Coast. Polar Bear Points joins the Purina Painted Dog Preserve, Sun Bear Forest and the Andean Bear Range as the news exhibit areas at the world-famous zoo.

3. A Little Light Magic at the Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden lights up the night May 23 through August 22 with Lantern Festival Magic Reimagined.  On view: 22 massive, elaborate lanterns crafted on site by Chinese artisans using silk, wire, procelain dishwater and even recycled water bottles.  Among the intricate shapes are a soaring dragon horse, a porcelain pagoda and a giant dandelion and panda.

4. Super Heroes Wanted at Six Flags St. Louis
An except new ride debuts at Six Flags St. Louis this Spring.  JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis is the first motion-based, interactive dark ride in North America.  Immersive 3D imagery, real-time gaming, life-like animatronics and motion-based vehicles will put riders in the middle of the action as super heroes battle villains.  Guests will become members of the JUSTICE LEAGUE Reserve Team and engage in a full-sensory journey as they battle alongside Superman, Bateman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern against Lex Luthor, The Joker, and his henchman.  Save the Superheroes!

5. Calling All Astronauts at the Saint Louis Science Center
A grant from NASA to the Saint Louis Science Center will support the creation of an exhibit allowing visitors to experience the thrills and challenges of Mars exploration.  The grant, Bridging Earth and Mars (BEAM): Engineering Robots to Explore the Red Planet, will produce an exhibit scheduled to open in the summer of 2015

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