Author Archives: visitmospotlightguest

Christmas Past Comes to Life in Saint Charles

The Lewis & Clark Fife Drum Corps lead the Santa parade.

Imagine, for just a moment, you’re a kid again.  You wake up one morning and say to your parents, “Guess what guys?  Today I get to be in a parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Wow… that’s so awesome … I can’t wait to ride in the carriage.  Oh, geez, I hope they’ll let me pet the horse!  Do you ... Read More »

Lighten Up: Kansas City Illuminates for the Holidays

The Mayor's Christmas Tree is displayed Crown Center.

I may be biased, but few things are as magical as Kansas City during the holidays. Check out these six luminous Kansas City traditions — some new, some old — that are sure to brighten your holiday season. A tradition for more than eight decades, the Country Club Plaza’s Season of Lights is a Kansas City winter trademark. The 15-block ... Read More »

Touring Warm Springs Ranch

Meeting the Clydesdales at Warm Springs Ranch

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to tour the Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville. The ranch is home to a state-of-the-art breeding facility for the Budweiser Clydesdales. This educational tour was part of a Missouri Travel Council Board meeting and included several tourism industry members, including MDT Director Katie Steele Danner,  from around the state. John Soto, facilities manager, was our ... Read More »

Expert Advice from a Youth Corps Member

Water flows through shut-ins at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park.

Last summer was a dream come true; I was part of the State Parks Youth Corps (SPYC), which used federal stimulus money to put about  1,000 youths to work in Missouri’s fantastic state parks. Instead of revitalizing the park system physically like most of SPYC, I was one of 11 journalism students who spent the summer producing photo and video ... Read More »

Mystery Theater, Dinner Theatre, Little Theatre … Oh, My!

The Capital City Players host a variety of shows.

Jefferson City’s stages will be hopping with entertainment over the next few months.  Summit Lake Winery’s murder mystery shows, Capital City Players’ dinner theatre and The Little Theatre’s musicals have a full line up of shows. Summit Lake Winery started hosting murder mysteries in 2002.  John Ferrier, owner, said he realized right away that they were a big hit.  Guests can ... Read More »

‘What’s So Great About Giant Rocks?’

Elephant Rocks State Park

I’ve talked about it for years, suggesting it as a weekend destination to my kids … Elephant Rocks State Park, that is. I’ll admit it was a hard-sell to them; “What’s so great about a bunch of giant rocks?” they’d ask. “These are enormous, prehistoric giant rocks,” I explained to them on more than one occasion. Finally the decision was ... Read More »

Santa Claus, Veterans, and plenty of Thanksgiving

A scene from the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show.

Here in Branson, we’re hearing Jingle Bells and enjoying the twinkling Christmas lights all over town.  Actually that’s been going on for a while now, as the Branson area officially launches the Ozark Mountain Christmas season on Nov. 1 each year. As our friend Andy Williams sings, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” In many ways I agree.  ... Read More »

It’s beginning to feel a lot like … Holiday Magic

A scene from last year's Holiday Magic event in St. Louis.

As autumn fades to winter, Holiday Magic is heating up.  St. Louis’ newest holiday tradition returns to America’s Center from Dec. 3-5, and it will feature new attractions in addition to last year’s favorites.   Produced by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC), Holiday Magic is a unique shopping and entertainment destination for families seeking festive activities and ... Read More »

Mid-Missouri Quilt Shop Hop

When the alarm went off, I eagerly (for once) got out of bed.  I was still suffering from a horrible head cold, but that wasn’t gonna stop me.  I had to be in Jefferson City before 7 a.m. to board the bus for a trip to 11, yes count them, 11 quilt shops in one day. There were more than ... Read More »

Seven of Missouri Wine Country’s Best-Kept Secrets

Missouri is a great state for grape-growing and wineries.

1.       The Country’s First Wine Country! Yes, Augusta, Missouri, was named the first American Viticulture Area on June 20, 1980.  Napa was second.   The Ozark Mountain AVA, encompassing sections of southern Missouri extending into Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma, was established in Aug. 1, 1986.  The Hermann and Ozark Highlands AVA’s were designated later in 1987.  The AVA distinction is ... Read More »