“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Jack must be an American – because U.S. workers gave up half their vacation days in 2016. We are in grave danger in becoming a nation of dull boys and girls.
What it comes down to is: if you plan for vacation, you’re much more likely to take it. In fact, 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation at a time – or more. And with so many beautiful, fun options, we’re here to show you just a few new things in the Show-Me State that you should plan on doing this year with your time off:
- The Gateway Arch, St. Louis – Set to open in July during the annual Fair St. Louis, the newly-expanded and pedestrian-friendly Jefferson National Expansion Memorial now features a new entrance to the visitors center/museum situated between the legs of the Arch. A fee is charged for The Journey to the Top Arch tram (a can’t-miss experience) but admission to the museum is free.
- Wonders of Wildlife, Springfield – Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium opened in 2017 and is the largest immersive wildlife attraction in the world. Their 350,000-square-foot experience features more than 1.5 miles of trails and exhibits, including a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium.
- Sunken Cities, St. Louis – Saint Louis Art Museum will be the first North American art museum to host an exhibition of more than 200 authentic artifacts from two lost cities of ancient Egypt submerged under the Mediterranean Sea for over a thousand years. The exhibit also includes other ancient Egyptian artifacts from museums in Cairo and Alexandria, many of which have never been on view in the U.S. Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds runs from March 25-Sept. 9.
- “The Art of the Brick,” Kansas City – Union Station Bank of America Gallery showcases a critically acclaimed collection of creative and inspiring pieces by Nathan Sawaya, constructed using only LEGO bricks. CNN calls it “A CNN Top 10 Global Must See Exhibition.” Now on display.
NEW AT THE THEME PARKS
- Time Traveler, Branson – Silver Dollar City’s amazing new roller coaster is the fastest, steepest and tallest spinning coaster. Test your sense of adventure with a 10-story, 90-degree vertical drop, a zero-G roll and a 95-foot tall vertical loop (among other twists and turns). The park opens for the season on March 14.
- Timber Wolf Reborn, Kansas City – Worlds of Fun has renovated the iconic Timber Wolf, its first wood roller coaster, with a new finale, replacing the helix with a high-speed over banked 70-degree turn that turns riders nearly sideways. Also new for 2018, the family- friendly Nordic Chaser water ride, where you can experience the sensation of rising and falling along ocean waves. The park opens for the season on April 21.
- Typhoon Twister, Eureka – Six Flags is expecting the new Typhoon Twister ride to make a big splash at their Hurricane Harbor water park this year. Four-person rafts careen down a 125-foot long whirlpool bowl, spinning you 360 degrees before the bottom falls out, dropping you five stories. Then you’ll shoot up a 45-foot wave wall before falling back and spurting out into a splash pool. The park opens for the season on March 24.
The Netflix series Ozark will launch its second season in 2018, so it’s the perfect time to plan a trip to explore where the inspiration for the show was born and scenes from the first season were filmed at Lake of the Ozarks. Show creator Bill Dubuque (a Missouri native) worked at Alhonna Resort & Marina, which inspired the resort – Blue Cat Lodge – in the show. Star Jason Bateman was a fan of Tucker’s Shuckers, a popular oyster bar, while he was filming in the area. Run up to Camdenton to the hole-in-the-wall bar, The Glory Hole, where the crew celebrated after the shoot. And of course, take a tour by water and see the famous overlook shot at Lover’s Leap near Ha Ha Tonka State Park that was featured in the first episode.
See how much fun there is in store for those days off you’ve been hoarding? Jack gave up his vacation days. Don’t be like Jack. Start planning now and enjoy the vacation.