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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

Feb. 2 - Sept. 8, 2019

Included with admission
(FREE for members and children under 3)

Fairy tales have captivated the minds of children for centuries. Girls and boys dream of entering fantasy worlds where they become a prince or princess and go on magical adventures. 

It's no longer just a dream. Your kids can become the heroes of their own story this year at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, in our latest seasonal exhibit Once Upon A Time ... Exploring the World of Fairy Tales.

This engaging and interactive exhibit will allow guests to enter the worlds of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Thumbelina, The Elves and the Shoemaker, and much more! Throughout each story, children will have an opportunity to try on costumes and interact with scenes from the stories.

Admission to Once Upon A Time is included with general admission to the River Museum and FREE for members and children under 3. Members can experience months of FREE adventures with no additional admission charge and unlimited visits.

Schedule of events*

Fairy Tale Days


You can visit Once Upon A Time on any day the River Museum is open, but select dates through the exhibit's run will feature special activities and visits from costumed characters. Learn more about these special "Fairy Tale Days" below.


June 1 - Beauty and the Beast. 

Princess Meet and Greet: Belle (11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)
Craft: Enchanted rose. 

Carnegie-Stout Public Library's Book Mobile (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)


June 22 - Mary Poppins

Characters from the Grand Opera House's production of Mary Poppins will be on site from 11 a.m. - noon.


July 6 - Jack and the Beanstalk.

Craft: Bean mosaic. STEM activity: Build a parachute.


July 27 - Lion King

Characters from the Grand Opera House's production of The Lion King will be on site from 11 a.m. - noon.


Aug. 3 - Cinderella.

Craft: Magic wand. STEM activity: Build a wind-powered coach.
Carnegie-Stout Public Library's Book Mobile (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)


Sept. 7 - Lon Po Po.

Craft: Paper basket, fan, or lantern. STEM activity: Build a bridge.
Carnegie-Stout Public Library's Book Mobile (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)


*Event details are tentative and subject to change. All crafts while supplies last.



Book a birthday party

Make your child’s birthday party a magical day when you celebrate in our new seasonal exhibit, "Once Upon A Time ... Exploring The World of Fairy Tales." These fun-filled parties fit for a prince or princess will take place in our Party Palace, and include a private storytime and a choice of a game or craft.

Learn More


Please join us in thanking and supporting the generous sponsors of this exhibit.

American Trust is the premier corporate sponsor for Once Upon A Time.

The Telegraph Herald is the premier media sponsor.

KCRG-TV9 and Townsquare Media's Y105 are lead media sponsors.

Once Upon a Time .... Exploring the World of Fairy Tales is a collaborative effort of the St. Louis Public Library and the Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum and is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services.