Between AD 700 and 1400, the city of Cahokia gradually rose from the floodplain of the Mississippi River to become the largest city north of Mexico. Across 6 square miles, its population of 20,000 people worked together to create a thriving community grounded in astronomy, agriculture, and economics. To this end, they erected large, lasting structures such as an enormous wooden calendar that notified citizens about the changes of the seasons. Giant earthen mounds served as the foundation of the city and the site of the big mud fight that decided the mayoral election each year.
Through careful excavation, research, and reconstruction, the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society aims to preserve the site and educate visitors about its importance. During visits, guests on self-guided tours can explore 800 acres of the city, including the 100-foot-tall Monks Mound and Woodhenge, the giant calendar.
Gateway Fun Park delights visitors year-round with a range of entertainment attractions for all ages—from group outings and birthday parties to packs of friends wiling away the afternoon. Mini golfers aim for the green amid two 18-hole courses' babbling brooks, stone partitions, and miniature buildings. Drivers safely let loose their suppressed road rage by bouncing into each other in bumper cars. A full-scale go-cart track gives lead feet of any age a taste of the open road, and the kiddie track lets kids ages 4–9 finally take the wheel their parents normally refuse to let them eat.
Cool water gurgles, sprays, and rushes at Splash City Waterpark. Here, water slides and swimming pools abound. Dash through the playground as a massive bucket tilts and drenches you in chilled water, or float down the crystal creek on a relaxing ride. Surf or bodyboard on the FlowRider, or scramble up the AquaClimb climbing wall. When your fingers turn into prunes, dry off at the sand castle cove or recline on a beach chair and let the vitamin D soak in.