What's Happening in St. Louis

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Put St. Louis on your schedule. The friendly Mississippi River city is brimming with tasty new restaurants, amazing additions to favorite attractions, a wealth of special events, free concerts and novel exhibits to fill your calendar either before or after the AASECT conference.

The nation's largest monument and symbol of St. Louis, the gleaming 630-foot-high Gateway Arch, continues to celebrate its 40th birthday throughout 2006. A fascinating new display about the Arch's pioneering architect Eero Sarinnen fills the special exhibit hall within the monument's Museum of Westward Expansion. From the viewing platform at the top of the Arch, get a bird's-eye-view of one of downtown St. Louis' newest and largest structures - the new Busch Stadium. The National League Central Division Champion St. Louis Cardinals new roost combines St. Louis' classic red brick with old-style ballpark design and 21st century comforts to create a stadium special enough to house baseball's best fans.

The shiny, new ballpark isn't the only thing that sparkles in St. Louis during 2006. The Missouri Botanical Garden is aglow this year as it presents "Glass in the Garden: Chihuly" at the Missouri Botanical Garden from April through October. The custom-designed, stunning show of glass sculptures by noted artist Dale Chihuly will be presented in the Climatron conservatory amidst thousands of exotic tropical plants. Vibrantly colored, bold glass designs also will be installed throughout the Garden's lush exterior surroundings. Every Thursday, the Garden expands its hours for "Chihuly Nights" so visitors can experience the dramatic works lit for evening viewing.

Just when you thought St. Louis' wonderful Forest Park couldn't get any better ... it did! The park opened its first inclusive public playground designed for all children - able-bodied and those with disabilities - between the Missouri History Museum and the Dennis &c Judith Jones Visitor and Information Center. A free, 30-to-50 minute iPod Walking Tour of the park's Grand Basin area is available at the Visitor Center and RSVPs are being taken for "glided" Segway scooter tours that take off from the Saint Louis Science Center's McDonnell Planetarium building. …