Mustard Seed Fair Trade connects locals with artisans from across the globe via a rotating stock of handmade decorations, accessories, and jewelry. Wee ones can slip paws into a pair of kids’ gloves ($8), a purchase that supports Bolivian knitters and complimentary haircuts for alpacas. Delhite artists enhance earlobes with pairs of chandelier earrings ($10), and necks are draped with an alpaca and silk shawl ($25). Ceramic bird whistles ($8) from Ecuador can be used to decorate soundscapes with cheerful tweeting.
Good Nature's locally sourced alpaca products swathe bodies in soft fabrics that cry out for gentle cheek rubs. Alpaca socks ($15–$22) enclose feet in their warm embrace. Sweaters, hats, and rugs made of the fine fiber also line the store's aisles. Add aromatic intrigue to séances that channel the spirits of former cars with the many scents of Fred Soll's incense ($5–$16), or adorn selves and surfaces with crystals such as a Celtic cluster crystal ($10.75). Wines such as the fruit-toned 2009 Illahe viognier ($17) infuse bellies with warm oenophilic well-being. Books published by Llewellyn, Hay House, and other spiritually minded page-binders ($8–$65) advise the soul in matters of its consciousness and improvement.
If summer could talk, it would brag about how every year, it gets to spend its final days at the Washington Town and Country Fair. The all-ages festival combines the quaintness of the old-fashioned with the marvels of modern times, much like Charlotte's Web, but with more monster trucks. Showing off the "town" part of Town and Country, classic rock and country stars perform on the main stage, while the Midway twinkles and rumbles with carnival rides. The fair shows its "country" side with livestock pavilions, farm mechanic exhibits, and Agriland, where wee ones leans the joys of farm living while participating in pig chases. Adults get to cheer on monster truck rallies, tractor pulls, bull riders, UTV, and motocross races.
Opening hours are a little funky: both locations are open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, but alternate Tuesday evenings (2 p.m.–6 p.m.). On the first and third Tuesday of the month, stop by the Crestwood Court locale. On the second and fourth, head to the Chesterfield Mall instead. Load up on back-to-school supplies, back-to-school teaching materials, and back-to-school VHS copies of Back to School with today's side deal.
In 2010, 2-year-old Ella McPheeters was diagnosed with autism. Her parents, Hope and Sam, soon became frustrated with the long waiting lists for behavioral-therapy programs and other services and decided to do something about it. They rallied the local community and won a Pepsi Refresh Project grant to found Ella's Hope for Autism. Ella’s Hope aims to raise awareness of autism and increase the availability of therapeutic resources for young children with autism-spectrum disorders. Working with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Ella's Hope also sponsors scholarships for families and maintains an autism lending library.
The astronauts deftly dodge the oncoming trickle of rocks and debris from the meteor shower, and as the rubble clears they see the Moon up ahead. It is at this site that they’ll soon establish the first permanent human base. Though it sounds like science fiction, novice astronauts attempt this feat daily at Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis. Part of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education—a nonprofit founded by the families of the astronauts who died in the 1986 Challenger space-shuttle mission—the center educates visitors in science and teamwork with its space simulators. Whether navigating a spacecraft or abetting astronauts at a Mission Control modeled after NASA’s Johnson Space Center, student, community, and corporate groups must maintain a cooperative spirit while assembling a probe, or being the first human to land on Mars.