Being a mom of a boy, I sometimes have to take off my “girly hat” and transform into a “boy mom”. You know what I mean those “gross” moments of bugs, reptiles, and things that smell. After years of driving I-55 from our home to St. Louis, I finally made that pit stop at Mastodon State Historic Site and instantly started kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
Mastodon State Historic Site is the home of Kimmswick Bone Bed, one of the most famous Pleistocene ice age deposits of fossils…..okay by now I think we all know I am no expert on history, fossils, or anything historic for that matter. However, I am an expert on how to have fun and fun with my kids. I would rate Mastodon State Historic Site as one of the most interpretive, hand on, and intriguing historic site the kids and I have visited in Missouri.
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The main museum is loaded with artifacts from the prehistoric time, a giant replica of what the Missouri Mastodon would look like, and information from 12,000 years ago. Yes I found all that interesting and very informative. However, up on the hill sits this little old white building and to me that building was a GOLD MINE….my little man’s eyes opened up, as I have never seen before. We must have spent hours digging for fossils, matching bones, and looking through microscopes…this was pure heaven for my “gross” little boy.
While my boy who loves “gross” things was completely lost in this prehistoric treasure, my little gal also fell right into discovering things she had never seen before. It was what I like to call education on the go and real life learning.
Mastodon State Historic Site is located in Imperial, MO just off I-55, the park has picnic areas, two museums, playground area, hiking trails, and you can hike to see the Kimmswick Bone Bed. There is a small fee for entrance to the museum, but it is totally worth the fee.