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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

Exploring the World of Fairy Tales

Schedule: Feb. 2 - Sept. 8, 2019
Location: Bickel Gallery, Mississippi River Discovery Center
Cost: 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.

To coincide with Once Upon a Time, the first Saturday of each month will feature a special craft and STEM activity coinciding with a story from the exhibit.

Schedule of events*

Feb. 2 - Friends and Family Fairytale Weekend. Craft: Build a crown/tiara. General admission tickets are $10 each. Children encouraged to dress in costume. Costumed fairytale characters will be on-site.

March 2 - Anansi and the Talking Melon. Craft: Paper spider or Kente cloth. STEM activity: Build a spider web.

April 6 - The Elves and the Shoemaker. Craft: Elf hat. STEM activity: Construct a shoe.

May 4 - Thumbelina. Craft: Finger puppets. STEM activity: Build a lookout tower.

June 1 - Beauty and the Beast. Craft: Enchanted rose. STEM activity: TBD.

July 6 - Jack and the Beanstalk. Craft: Bean mosaic. STEM activity: Build a parachute,

Aug. 3 - Cinderella. Craft: Magic wand. STEM activity: Build a wind-powered coach.

Sept. 7 - Lon Po Po. Craft: Paper basket, fan, or lantern. STEM activity: Build a bridge.


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


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.

Book a birthday party

You can book a birthday party in the Once Upon A Time exhibit. For more information, contact Melissa Wersinger at or 563-557-9545 x213.

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.