Photo by Eric Stauffer
Kora and Kelton Grizzle play with trains at one of last year's Kid'Cation events.
ALTON — Kid’Cation will feature 10 days of child- and family-focused events July 29 to Aug. 7.
The Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau is once again hosting the family-based vacation event designed to bring families together for a last summer adventure. Pony rides, a spooky haunted tour, Kid’Cation Olympics, free children’s admission to Raging Rivers Water Park, bald eagles up close and a “Frozen” meet and greet are just a few of the featured events planned throughout the 10-day promotion. Families who stay overnight also can receive lodging incentives.
Get back in touch with your inner child and reconnect with your children when you cruise the Mississippi River as a member of a pirate’s crew on board Grafton Harbor’s excursion boat the Hakuna Matata. Tickets for the weekend pirate cruises are half price. Cool off and get your child in free at Raging Rivers when purchasing an adult ticket. Feel the beat and enjoy a summer musical with the family at Alton Little Theater’s performances of “Fame.” Channel your childhood love of all things dinosaur and take part in a family excavation day and see how it feels to be a real archaeologist at the American Archeology Center in Kampsville.
“We know families are looking for ways to spend the last few weeks of summer before school starts up, and Kid’Cation gives them unique options,” Brett Stawar, president and CEO of the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau said. “Kid’Cation is designed to give families with children a great way to explore the region in ways which are also affordable.”
Dining deals, free treats and attraction discounts also are 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 children’s Mississippi Mud Pies for a deal of $2 plus tax. Tony’s Restaurant in Alton is offering a 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 kicks off from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 29, with Lucy Haskell’s Birthday celebration featuring pony rides, vintage games, cake, and ice cream. The premiere of the summer youth musical “Fame” performed by local actors will start at 7:30 p.m. July 29 at Alton Little Theater.
The Center for American Archeology in Kampville will host a family excavation day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 30.
Take a child-oriented haunted tour on Saturday, July 30, with the award-winning Haunted Alton Tours starting at 3 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church in Alton. To sign up, go to AltonHauntings.com. At 7 p.m. get artsy with the Jacoby Art center’s Show Me Arts Youth choir performing selections from the National Peace Train 2016 tour.
Children age 12 and younger will receive a free local landmarks coloring book and crayons when they visit the Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St., on Monday, Aug. 1. The coloring books were designed by local artist Miriah Haring and are available while supplies last. The coloring books are sponsored by OSF Saint Anthony’s Healthcare.
On Tuesday, Aug. 2, get all aboard at the Alton Amtrak station with Amtrak Train Days. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., get an up-close and personal look at trains, train safety, and even scale models of trains. There will be free conductors hats and train-related coloring books for children. Plus, adults in attendance can register to win round-trip Amtrak tickets for two to Chicago.
On Wednesday, Aug. 3, Glazebrook Park in Godfrey will host the Kid’Cation Olympics from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a series of fun and physical events throughout the park and also some back-to-school preparedness stations.
Head to Alton’s Riverfront Amphitheater on Friday, Aug. 5, and watch a family-themed movie on the banks of the Mississippi. The free, first-ever outdoor movie night will be held in the amphitheater and the first 50 children age 12 and younger will receive a free Meeting of the Great Rivers drawstring bag. The movie is yet to be determined but bring blankets and chairs to enjoy a movie against the great backdrop of the river. Concessions will be available on site.
The Alton Visitors Center will host an eagle meet and greet and raptor awareness program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Guests at the free event will get an up-close look at the national bird and other birds of prey.
The Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower will bring “Frozen” princesses from Arendelle to the tower for a meet and greet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Also on hand will be “Jay the Balloon Dude,” who will provide “Frozen”-themed balloon art to attendees. Enjoy a tower tour as your journey up the three levels to meet Anna and Elsa. Admission to the tower is half price the day of the event.
The Center for American Archeology in Kampsville kicks off its Family Dig It Weekend at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 7.
Also capping off Kid’cation will be Pere Marquette Lodge’s annual Peach Festival. This event will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, featuring live music, arts and crafts vendors, kids activates, education exhibits, historic lodge tours and more.
Kid’Cation is sponsored by Phillips 66, OSF Saint Francis and Alton Memorial Hospital.
For information, visit visitalton.com/feature-stories/detail/180/kidcation-all-around-alton-%28july-29---aug.-7%29.