SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — It's hard to find extra money to do fun things these days, but there's a fairly new space for St. Louis area kids with an admission cost of less than $5 a day.
MADE for Kids is a satellite location for The Magic House, right off Delmar Boulevard. It shares a building with MADE Makerspace, a spot for adults to create and learn things like screen printing and laser cutting.
MADE for Kids opened just before the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2019, keeping it fairly under the radar during the last two years as more families stayed home. Recently the facility hired a new leader and celebrated a re-opening to remind the community it is open and available.
Erica Hagan, the executive director of Magic House Made for Kids, says most of the guests are coming into MADE for Kids for the very first time -- many know about The Magic House in Kirkwood but are unaware of the satellite space on Delmar.
"It's such an amazing creative space for kids to come in and explore and to tinker," said Hagan. "We make learning fun through play. And so this is absolutely a space where kids get to grow socially-emotionally through learning."
When you walk into the space, you immediately notice tunnels and slides made of clear, packing tape in the center of the open space. Several creative stations surround the centerpiece offering laser cutting, screen printing, stop motion animation, pottery, and more.
And the best part -- it's very accessible.
Day passes are $5. It's even cheaper if you go in the afternoons. And on certain Fridays, admission is free.
"We keep it really low so everybody can come in and enjoy the space," said Hagan.
The 7,000-square-foot space is designed for kids aged 4 to 14 in the Academy-Sherman Park neighborhood. Aside from daily visits, families can buy memberships, pay for private lessons, or schools can plan field trips. The facility also hosts summer camps.
Mikey, a 7-year-old from St. Louis, found himself playing with Legos and learning how to make a stop motion animation video. He created a whole storyline with a Lego shark swimming underwater and threatening divers until a whale saved the day by eating the shark.
"That's my first time doing one of those," said Mikey. "It's kind of fun playing with Legos."
Mikey says he also enjoyed making a house out of Legos and going to the classes offered during camp.
"I would just describe it as people having fun," he smiled.
And that's the point.
"Just to see kids really learn in a space where they don't even feel like they're learning--they're playing," said Hagan. "It's exciting."