I don’t know why I never took my son to Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO. It has everything kids love – dogs, cats, bunnies, chickens, cows, pigs, barns and hay rides. And it’s pretty fun for adults too.

Spent a couple of hours one November morning before they closed for the season with my friends, Clare and Laura. Admission is free. We caught a dog agility show, pretty amazing how high some of those dogs could jump. We looked at the two-story cat townhouse – not a bad way to live. Then we found the barn and got to pet rabbits, pigs, chickens, cows, goats, horses. We also learned at one point in British history it was illegal to use dogs as retrievers so hunters taught their pigs to retrieve. Crazy.

Finally we took a hay ride around the grounds – passed the exhibition hall, across some fields, behind the barns and agility area.

Purina Farms has a gift shop, some exhibits about the history of feeding animals, and a snack bar. But we decided to drive all the way back into downtown St. Louis and go to Alumni St. Louis.

The concept behind Alumni St. Louis is taking famous St. Louis dishes and recreating them, some with a modern twist. We had Famous-Barr French Onion Soup, toasted ravioli (among the best I’ve had), Mayfair salad, and Gus’s Pretzels with cheese sauce. Everything was tasty and the restaurant is beautifully appointed.

Another fun day experiencing this city I’ve finally started to call home.