From all-you-can-eat ice cream to hands-on activities focused on birding, families can find free and low-cost events during the second annual Kid’Cation July 29 through Aug. 7.
The Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau is once again hosting Kid’Cation, a family-based vacation event designed to bring families together for a last summer adventure. Additional activities have been added to the list of Kid’Cation events, including an ice cream social fundraiser at The Nature Institute and 10 days of Year of the Bird activities at the National Great Rivers Museum.
Give summer a farewell at The Nature Institute’s Talahi Lodge, 2213 S. Levis Lane, Godfrey, during an ice cream social fundraiser for the organization from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. Shivers Frozen Custard is teaming up with The Nature Institute to offer unlimited frozen custard with choice of toppings for $5 per person. There will be a 52-foot bounce house and obstacle course, games and guided hiking along TNI’s trails.
Build your own bird’s nest, take a guided bird walk or play the migration game at the National Great Rivers Museum at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam throughout Kid’Cation. Rangers and volunteers at the museum will offer free daily activities to families with children who visit during Kid’Cation. On Monday, Aug. 1, the museum will offer “Make Like a Bird,” with children encouraged to build their own bird nests which they can take home. Guided bird hikes will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, and Friday, Aug. 5. Binoculars will be provided for visitors as they walk through the museum’s esplanade and along the top of the levee bordering the river. Visitors can expect to see blue herons, egrets, gulls, songbirds, red-winged blackbirds and possibly the American white pelican. The bird walks will be 30 minutes long and everyone is encouraged to dress for outside weather and bring water.
On Wednesday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 6, play the migration game at the National Great Rivers Museum. Visitors will learn how birds migrate and will try to help their own flock migrate safely. The fun continues on Thursday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 7, with craft stations where visitors can make felt cutouts of birds and fish. The cutouts will help visitors identify the species of wildlife in the region.
The National Great Rivers Museum, 2 Lock and Dam Way in Alton, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Kids bowl free at Bowl Haven Lanes, 3003 Washington Ave., Alton, as part of Kid’Cation. Each child can enjoy two free games of bowling every day throughout Kid’Cation and beyond. To sign up for the free bowling, visit kidsbowlfree.com/riverbend and click on the Bowl Haven link.
A variety of dining deals, free treats and attraction discounts are also included in Kid’Cation to ease the strain on parents’ wallets. Raging Rivers Water Park in Grafton is offering free children’s admission with a paid adult admission throughout the 10-day promotion. The Hakuna Matata is offering 50 percent off kid cruises July 30-31 and Aug. 6 -7. The Whole Scoop is selling kid’s Mississippi Mud Pies for a deal of $2 plus tax. Tony’s Restaurant in Alton is offering free child’s meal with the purchase of an adult meal. Old Bakery Beer in Alton is featuring root beer and beer floats for visitors of all ages. The Atrium Hotel & Conference Center is offering a special pizza overnight package.
Kid’Cation is sponsored by Phillips 66, OSF Saint Anthony’s and Alton Memorial Hospital.
For information, visit VisitAlton.com/Kidcation.