Sunday, 05 January 2014 18:49

2013 Sprout Seven Award Winners

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In 2013, our events calendar was jam-packed with family fun. From robots and space missions to balloon races and another MLB championship, there was plenty to do, so we asked Sprout & About readers to nominate and vote for the events that delivered the most giggles, laughs, screams and smiles for their families. And the Sprout Seven winners are ...


FIRST Championship Weekend
Is there really anything cooler than a robot invasion? In April 2013, more than 25,000 kids, mentors and parents traveled to St. Louis to compete in a STEM face-off. Founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Technology) works to inspire a love of science and technology in the next generation. Through FIRST, students compete with peers from across the globe to demonstrate their knowledge of math, science, technology and engineering through robotics. St. Louis has hosted FIRST Regional competitions for more than a decade and began hosting the international championship in 2011. The FIRST championship will make St. Louis its home through 2017.

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(Photo by Argenis Apolinario, Courtesy of FIRST)

Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race
Remember the joy you felt as a child, looking up into the sky and spotting a brightly colored balloon floating overhead? Imagine the awe that the sight of dozens of hot air balloons filling the sky can inspire, and you've got the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. Organizers say that the race, which is held each September in Forest Park, is the largest and oldest hot air balloon event in the world. With fireworks, a balloon glow, an entertainment area for kids, a Magic House exhibit, performances by the School of Rock and more, is there any wonder this free event earned a Sprout Seven award from our readers?

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Birds in Concert
Sprout readers agreed that there's nothing quite like rocking out with real songbirds, earning the free Birds in Concert series at the World Bird Sanctuary a Sprout Seven. Thursday nights throughout the summer visitors brought picnic baskets and blankets and enjoyed family-friendly performances by Raptor Project, the sanctuary's in-house band, and other local musicians. Audiences were wowed by slithering snakes, dancing pelicans and birds soaring overhead; kids even had a chance to contribute their own owl hoots, parrot screams and other unique vocal talents to the melody. These two-hour concerts provided audiences of all ages a fun opportunity to get outdoors, listen to great music and learn more about the sanctuary's winged ambassador.

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Pumpers and Pistons
Trucks! Trucks! Trucks! Families enjoyed exploring fire apparatus and antique trucks at Pumpers and Pistons at the Museum of Transportation in May. This free event, sponsored by the Gateway Fire Historical Society and The American Truck Historical Society, featured fire apparatus, commercial and specialty trucks, first responder, police, military, recovery vehicles and more, and gave visitors a unique look at the emergency response vehicles and crews that keep our communities safe.


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National League Championship Series
Every month is a good month in St. Louis, but ask members of Cardinal Nation their favorite month of the year, and the answer is obvious: October. It is the culmination of crisp night games in April, midday games in the blazing August sun, dinners of nachos and peanuts consumed in crowded stands and voices lost to ninth-inning screams. It is all our hopes and dreams packed into one coveted championship series. In 2013, our Cardinals did not disappoint, defeating the Dodgers in game six to win the National League pennant and advance to the World Series for the fourth time in a decade. Sprout readers loved following their Cardinals through another championship series, and we are confident our 2014 Sprout Seven awards will include a World Series pennant. Go Cards!

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Challenger Learning Center 10th Anniversary
For the past decade, the Challenger Learning Center has been providing simulated space missions and science education programs to local students, scouts and community groups. On Nov. 16, 2013, the learning facility celebrated its 10th anniversary with a star-studded event, earning it a Sprout Seven from our readers. The Challenger Learning Center invited visitors to explore the center for free through public space missions, model rocket-building and launches, constellation shows and more intergalactic fun. Children explored a replica cave in WashU's MySci investigation station, designed their own roller coasters at the Saint Louis Science Center's interactive energy unit, EVie, and even enjoyed a visit from everyone's favorite space ranger, Buzz Lightyear.

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"Disney's Beauty and the Beast" at Fox Theatre
When it comes to fairy tales, our readers agreed: The only thing we love more than a princess is a princess who loves to read. Sprout readers enjoyed seeing "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" brought to life in this stage musical, and seeing it in the opulent Fabulous Fox Theatre made for a truly enchanted evening. Audiences were mesmerized by the story of the young man transformed by love and the woman who was able to see the beauty within when this Broadway smash hit came to St. Louis in November, earning this show a Sprout Seven.
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From the calendar
Fri Apr 18 @12:00AM
Back Track Weekends
Fri Apr 18 @12:00AM
FalconCam 2014
Fri Apr 18 @12:00AM
Miniature Train Rides
Sat Apr 19 @12:00AM
Boeing Family Workshops
Sat Apr 19 @12:00AM
Miniature Train Rides
Last modified on Thursday, 03 April 2014 12:57
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