Fashioned by the minds behind the Eureka Butcher and enhanced by Missouri's distinct geological makeup, Terror Cave plunges guests into one of the world's largest subterranean spook-fests. Groups navigate through 55,000 square feet that make up a natural underground cave, sliding feet along uneven terrain and dodging the fissure's undead denizens. Like most early airplane models, the ecological attraction has no doors or windows, thereby preventing foolhardy escape attempts. Terror Cave recommends that small children, expectant mothers, and overly jumpy wallabies avoid its cavernous haunts, which go on grotto-patrol Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 p.m. to midnight.
In 1898—the same year Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium and composer George Gershwin was born—the Wyman Center opened its doors. Founded in St. Louis by a group of citizens intent upon granting the city’s children a respite from the often sweltering tenements, the organization’s first programs were designed to furnish participants with fresh air, healthy food, and fun-filled outdoor activities. Though the world has changed radically since the Wyman Center’s inception, it continues to uphold and expand upon its founders' original mission of providing teens from disadvantaged circumstances with opportunities, support, and educational programs.
Today, powered by a dedicated staff of community leaders and volunteers, the Wyman Center’s numerous initiatives revolve around leadership and outreach programs. Amidst 250 acres of sylvan land, the Eureka campus serves as a base for outdoor education programs available to a variety of organizations from educational camps to team building retreats. Under the watchful eyes of supportive staffers and any fruit bats flying overhead, outdoor adventurers can tackle challenges afforded by ziplines, climbing walls, and orienteering activities. Along with skill-building programs, a variety of getaway packages invite groups to revel in the alfresco amenities of the Eureka campus while celebrating birthdays, weddings, or family reunions.
Ellen of Ellen Baehr Equestrian has been interacting with horses for as long as she’s been able to walk like them. As the training force behind her namesake business, Baehr began riding and competing at the tender age of 4. In the decades since, she’s sat in the saddle for thousands of hunts and jumps—experience that she now applies during lessons on the 31-acre plot that comprises Gold Farm.
Baehr’s approach is simple and sincere: for every lesson—regardless of the student’s age or ability—she encourages riders to play the role of teammate to their horse. In doing so, riders often experience meaningful improvement that can prepare them for both serious competitions or casual rides past the drive-thru windows of nearby fast-food restaurants.
Just a short drive from the metropolitan tangle of St. Louis, Twin Rivers Canoe Rentals releases urbanites into the gentle, spring-fed waters of the Meramec River. Adventurers may choose which vessel will best cut through the water’s rippled pane that flickers with shadows from the canopies of trees lining the shore. In a kayak, a single boatman may ply past largemouth bass and flathead catfish or spy a whitetail deer sneaking a drink on the banks while its doe is at church bunco. Canoes can comfortably seat two people and a cooler, whereas rafts transform five to seven passengers into an inflatable party. The leisurely pace and tranquil environs encourage groups to stop and swim or to tether to shore for a picnic.:m]]
Crusher Race tests runners on more than just their ability to run. The event’s three separate races—a 5K course, a 10K course, and a 10K+ course—contain a fair amount of running paths, but also a slew of natural and man-made obstacles that test runners’ strength, endurance, and ability to bake mud pies that hold their shape. The Crusher beginner 5K course introduces runners to the obstacle course format with a collection of tunnels, hills, and walls. In Crusher 2, more experienced racers can exercise their legs in a 10K course that contains a higher number of obstacles. Intended for athletes, endurance runners, and experienced CrossFit exercisers, the Colossal Crusher is a three-part event set in the middle of a 10K+ course. Challenges are divided into three parts: fitness, endurance and obstacles, and a mystery event. In the first portion, participants tackle six different stations before navigating through obstacles and a 10K+ run. The event culminates with a fitness challenge that is more surprising than any Choose Your Own Adventure plot twist.
The Stallion and The Colt are the two courses at Crescent Farm Golf Club, the former being an 18-hole titan that spans more than 7,000 yards, and the latter a 9-hole, par-30 executive course. At The Stallion, golfers test their meddle amid heavily wooded areas, native grasses, and a dozen water hazards. The course's signature hole?the par-three eighth?features a tee shot that must clear a tree-lined pond. The architect behind the main course must have had a flair for the dramatic, as both nines close with the course's two most-difficult holes.
At The Colt course, small greens make approach shots a challenge, compensating for the modest length of certain holes. But while the two layouts offer different golfing experiences, they both weave through gently rolling terrain that makes walking or pushing a cart full of bunker sand across either course a breeze.