Jefferson City, Mo. — Rejoice! It appears the Mayans were, well, all wet. The world did not come to an end Dec. 21. This big projectile we call earth continues its ride through the cosmos—into the future. But how bright can that future be, when the next year ends with 13? Isn’t 13, and thereby 2013, a bad omen and unlucky? That would be … no!
Triskaidekaphobia does not apply here. In Missouri, 2013 is a time to celebrate and experience the ever-expanding universe of Missouri’s attractions. Although there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of interesting, fun activities and events in Missouri, we want to introduce you to a sampling of new attractions and events designed to entertain visitors in the Show-Me State.
That in mind, we present (in no particular order): 13 New and Exciting Things to Do in 2013.
A huge predator has taken residence at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. This gigantic creature, identified as a Tyrannosaurus rex, is part of Dinosaurs Alive!, a multi-sensory, interactive dinosaur park.
The adventure is in a two-acre forested setting, featuring more than 35 life-sized dinosaurs, including the world's largest animatronics dinosaur, the Ruyangosaurus, which stands nearly 40 feet tall and is 72 feet long.
Visitors learn when and where these prehistoric creatures lived, how they protected themselves, and how they adapted to the world between 65 and 245 million years ago. Note: Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun are combined in 2013, so one admission ticket gives you access to both parks. An additional $5 ticket is required for Dinosaurs Alive.
Two noteworthy exhibitions open in 2013 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
Journey Through Mountains and Rivers: Chinese Landscapes Ancient and Modern (Feb. 8-April 28, 2013) juxtaposes thousand-year-old Chinese landscape paintings in a dialogue with the monumental landscapes of the contemporary Chinese artist Xu Longsen, ranging from small fan-shaped paintings to a gigantic horizontal scroll.
Frida Kahlo, Diego Revera and the Art of Modern Mexico, from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, (May 25-Aug. 18, 2013) displays the passion two Eastern European immigrants felt for their adopted homeland and its extraordinary art.
The exhibit is composed of more than 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and art on paper ranging from the figurative to the surreal, the abstract, and the conceptual. With art dating from the 1910s through 2005, visitors experience an exceptional private collection that not only highlights the rich and vibrant artistic traditions of the Mexico of yesterday, but also underscores how those traditions remain inventive and vital today.
Saint Louis Art Museum Expansion
Near the end of June 2013, the new, $150 million, East Building of the Saint Louis Art Museum will open its doors, adding more than 200,000 square feet of space to one of the top attractions in St. Louis.
The East Building provides galleries, public amenities, a cafe, and a 300-car, below-grade parking garage. The expansion has a fully-accessible entrance on Fine Arts Drive, designed to relieve traffic congestion and improve safety.
The museum is adjacent to the St. Louis Zoo, in Forest Park. Admission is free.
St. Louis Science Center Flight Simulator
The St. Louis Science Center is one of the top 10 science centers in the U.S.; top 15 in the world. The new flight simulator ($5) offers high-tech, 3D technology, giving guests a five-minute, exhilarating “flight.”
The first of three to be installed is the eight-seat Morphis ESP, which provides four scenarios: F18 Hornet, with a carrier takeoff and landing; Solar Coaster, a fantasy ride through the solar system; Riding the Wind, an introduction to weather, with an intense ride through a tornado; and Bermuda Triangle, offering an underwater excursion to search for missing planes and ships off the coast of Andros Island. General admission to the Science Center is free; there is a fee for some special activities.
Daniel Boone Monument Village
In the community of Marthasville, located on the Katy Trail, at the Daniel Boone Monument Village, visitors may tour the 200-year-old farm, two log cabins, and school house where Daniel and Rebecca Boone once walked.
The property includes the Bryan log cabin, built in 1799; the Dickhaus-Stemme home, built in the 1860s; the Mellien log cabin; and the 1850s Devereaux schoolhouse. The village offers tours, school field trips, dinner programs, living-history demonstrations, workshops, encampments, and other events.
Call 636-359-6175 for information.
Discover the Children of Titanic
Learn the stories of the 133 children aboard the Titanic. Discover the Children of Titanic–the first and only world tribute to Titanic’s littlest heroes–is a new gallery aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson.
What the children saw, heard and felt from the moment they boarded the ship has been documented and visualized for the first time anywhere. This year-long exhibit, running Jan. 18 thru year’s end, is a celebration of those children, whose bravery, innocence and faith should be an inspiration to us all.
Please note the Titanic Museum Attraction does not allow cameras or video inside.
Harry S. Truman Courtroom and Office
In July 2013, the historic Truman Courthouse, located on Independence Square, will re-open after undergoing a major, multimillion-dollar renovation.
The iconic Courthouse includes the circa 1930s Truman Courtroom, the Brady Courtroom, the George Caleb Bingham art gallery, and the Jackson County Historical Society artifacts gallery.
Also, the building will house the Independence Tourism Department, as well as a Welcome Center.
Big Shoal Heritage Area
Scheduled to open in the spring, the Big Shoal Heritage Area in Gladstone includes the Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum, as well as the Big Shoal Historic Cemetery. The area was the jumping-off point near the edge of what was considered “civilized country.”
Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum, originally a two-story log cabin, built in 1834, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum displays period artifacts. A heritage garden gives visitors a feeling for the amount of labor it took to meet basic food needs.
Big Shoal Historic Cemetery was established in 1824; it is the final resting place for veterans from the Blackhawk Indian Wars, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. A self-guided tour provides an explanation of markers within the cemetery.
Two new, extremely exciting roller coasters begin thrilling brave riders in Missouri for 2013. Both are unlike anything found before in Missouri, and each offers a different experience.
Outlaw Run — Silver Dollar City
This spring, Outlaw Run, the world’s most daring wood roller coaster, zooms through Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson.
What’s so special about Outlaw Run? The ride includes the steepest drop for a wood coaster anywhere on earth (162 feet almost straight down—81 degrees); it includes a double barrel-roll, making it the only wood coaster in the world to get you upside-down; and, reaching a top speed of 68 mph, it is the second fastest wood roller coaster on the planet.
Boomerang — Six Flags St. Louis
At Six Flags, Boomerang is a gravity-defying, nerve-racking, stomach-crunching steel roller coaster that rockets you through a combination of sensations.
First, Boomerang slowly pulls you backward, 125-feet into the air; after a short pause, you are released to rocket along 1,650-feet of twisting steel track, at speeds reaching 50 mph, through a half loop, a right half-corkscrew, a left half-corkscrew, another half loop, and a full loop before climbing a second hill, where you pause in mid-air before reversing the trip, full circle — backwards.
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The new Isle Casino, in downtown Cape Girardeau, contains 42,000 square feet of gaming space and five restaurants – all overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. It opened in late 2012, so 2013 marks its first full year in operation.
The on-site event center offers nearly 6,324 square feet of space. The casino is open 24 hours daily, except Wednesdays, when it is closed 5 a.m.-6 a.m. There is free live entertainment at The Lone Wolf restaurant and lounge every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
Apple Creek Vineyard and Winery
Opened November 2012, Apple Creek Vineyard and Winery, in Friedheim, affords visitors pleasant views of Apple Creek, showcasing each season. Apple Creek’s arrival on the Missouri winery scene brings the state’s total to 118 wineries!
Relax and enjoy a glass or bottle of the estate-bottled wines in the spacious tasting room, on the wrap-around deck, and under the trees along the creek.
The Creek Bank Cafe serves appetizers and fresh-made pizzas. Small weddings and other private events are welcome. Open Thursday thru Sunday (hours vary); other days by appointment.
This is by no means a complete list of what’s new in Missouri in 2013; it is intended merely to convey the scope of new and exciting things to do in Missouri.
About the Missouri Division of Tourism
The Missouri Division of Tourism (MDT) is the official tourism office for the state of Missouri dedicated to marketing Missouri as a premier travel destination. Established in 1967, the Missouri Division of Tourism has worked hard to develop the tourism industry in Missouri to what it is today, an $11.2 billion industry supporting more than 279,000 jobs and generating $627 million in state taxes in Fiscal Year 2011. For every dollar spent on marketing Missouri as a travel destination in FY11, $57.76 was returned in visitor expenditures. For more information on Missouri tourism, go to http://www.visitmo.com/.