Museums in Missouri

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This duo of history-rich houses showcase antebellum architectural styles, while providing insight into the mores of the era. With four tour tickets total, the historically inclined can visit each house twice or bring a friend along for each visit, while family memberships net unlimited entries for the nuclear unit, along with advance invites to special society-only events. A Greek revival-style home from 1858, the John Wornall House beckons history lovers in to watch costumed reenactors living in the past, where they play period-specific video games while drinking period-specific Mountain Dew. Regular special events at the house include paranormal investigations by local ghost hunters and recreations of the house’s past as a Civil War hospital. Dogs can sprint across the lush grounds while their two-legged companions waft in luscious scents from the herb garden, which contains a variety of delicate plants used in medicines and recipes.

8201 State Line Rd
Kansas City,
MO
US

The Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry traces its roots back to 1967, during the centennial celebration of Alaska becoming a territory of the US. At this time, it exhibited only six retired railroad cars that served as troop carriers during World War II and formed the Centennial Train, a traveling historical exhibit. Today, nearly 50 years later, the museum stays put at its 20-acre location that includes a train yard and an exhibit hall, where the staff collects, conserves, and restores artifacts relating to the state’s industrial history.

3015 Barrett Station Rd
Saint Louis,
MO
US

The credit-card-sized STL Entertainment Card fits easily into wallets, but it doesn’t stay there. Members pull their cards out at an eclectic array of St. Louis–area businesses, enjoying discounts at local restaurants, kids’ museums, and seasonal attractions. Comedy shows, movies, and other discounted entertainment gets cardholders out of the house, even on days when the microwave is playing a super-sweet symphony.

14248 Manchester Road
Ballwin,
MO
US

Getting in shape after giving birth can be difficult; taking care of the baby takes a lot of time and leaves bodies weary and sapped of energy. Stroller Strides understands these common struggles and has designed an exercise regimen with new mothers in mind. All you need to get started is you, your baby, and a stroller. The 60-minute classes, taught by specially trained instructors, usually take place outdoors and consist of a warm-up, a buggy-bandying power walk, and interval stations where participants do a variety of body-toning exercises. Instructors provide everyone with exercise tubing and, in the event of a fussy-baby episode, will show you exercises you can do with your baby.

1 Childrens Pl
Saint Louis,
MO
US

In July 1957, former President Harry S. Truman took his first walk to the newly opened Harry S. Truman Library & Museum and took a seat in his private office. Here he wrote his memoirs; welcomed celebrities, statesmen and presidential hopefuls; trained the first museum docents; greeted schoolchildren; and recorded a welcome message for the Oval Office exhibit that continues to greet visitors. Visitors to the historic archives can see this private space and step into a nearly exact replica of the Oval Office—the construction of which Truman oversaw—as well as the original The Buck Stops Here sign.

Throughout the museum, exhibits feature some of the archives' 30,000 photographs, letters, political memorabilia, and Truman-family possessions. In the first room of The Presidential Years, visitors watch a short film on the president's early life and senatorial career. They then pass through rooms filled with artifacts and multimedia displays focused on global issues that Truman faced: the end of WWII, the formation of NATO, and the beginnings of the Cold War. Inside two interactive auditoriums, audiences step into the president's role and vote on many of the issues he faced, such as the 1948 election, Cold War spies, and whether to throw his next birthday party on an aircraft carrier. In Harry S. Truman: His Life and Times, children explore Truman's pre-presidential years and courtship with his wife through electronic driving games, historical quizzes, and a craft table where they can make their own campaign buttons. They can also inspect artifacts such as a WWI cannon and the president's 1940s car.

The exhibits also touch on and buttress the greater American story. Over the museum’s entryway sprawls Independence and the Opening of the West, a 495-square-foot town-history mural created by Missouri native Thomas Hart Benton. Members are invited to annual events such as the Presidential Wreath Laying Ceremony, Veterans Day Celebration, Members Night at the Museum, Bess's Tea and more. And members are always admitted free to monthly Talkin' Truman programs with the museum's curators and archivists.

500 W US Highway 24
Independence,
MO
US

A glass bridge is suspended above a field of 9,000 red poppies, each flower representing 1,000 soldiers who died in the Great War. This living symbol is one of the many powerful exhibits within the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the only museum in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to World War I and dedicated by Congress as the nation's official World War I museum in 2004.

Designed by Ralph Appelbaum, who also lent his expertise to such landmarks as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National World War I Museum integrates first-person accounts into a narrative that flows through its permanent and visiting exhibitions. The museum's collection comprises World War I artifacts such as field artillery, a 1917 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and unopened cigarette packs from a 1914 Princess Mary Christmas Box. Beyond the exhibitions, the museum extends to Over There Café and a gift shop.

Liberty Memorial, 100 W 26th St
Kansas City,
MO
US