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Exploring STL: Very Eric Carle at The Magic House

2015 November 9
by Becky

It’s getting chilly outside, though still very sunny, but we’re getting into the mindset for some fun and interesting out-of-the-house but indoor fun—preferably stuff that’s baby friendly. We’ve hit up some indoor favorites like Rise and the Missouri History Clubhouse, but I was itching to take our non-walker (aka Finn) and Very Hungry Caterpillar enthusiast to the Very Eric Carle exhibit currently featured at the Magic House now through January 24, 2016.

Without a doubt, I’m glad this exhibit will be around for a while…we’re going to make plenty of visits.


We rounded the main entrance corner to see the iconic artwork front and center. From his place strapped to my back, Finn could see the big sun and started kicking his legs to get down. Even a one year old knows this place is going to be awesome.

Finn pointed to the caterpillars as we walked into the room, Ethan and I were in awe of the brilliant colors and gorgeous artwork filling the space. Is there anyone who doesn’t like Eric Carle’s style? I mean, we’re not collectors or super-fans of his books, but we love the ones we have and those pictures…they never get old.

First stop was a week of food, Finn crawling through the fruit while I recited the book.



We found the giant stuffed caterpillar behind the plum and Ethan knew just what to do…big brothers are make these places even better. Finn’s mind was slightly blown when that purple-antennaed head poked through the hole—scales so big it was like we were actually the caterpillar. Trippy.

After “filling up” on fruit we of course became butterflies and used colored tiles to create wing patterns that were projected onto the wall…too bad I forgot to snap a picture before the space got cleaned up, it’s really a beautiful result no matter what colors your baby dumps onto the table.


The beautiful “Quiet Cricket” wall was anything but. Both boys were tickled to discover touching the images produced sounds. Chirping, buzzing, and “twinkling” of stars. Finn liked the lights and the moon. Seeing the artwork at this scale makes the details even more impressive.


Speaking of the details, the center of the room is a giant art studio to help bring out the inner Eric Carle in all of us. There’s a continuous video of Mr. Carle in action, painting tissue paper to piece into his characters—a process that never occurred to me as his method after all these years of reading the books.


Beautiful butterflies and insects hang everywhere proving just how creative kids can be. Even Ethan, just recently interested in making art, couldn’t resist decorating some wings.

Another project, even more up Ethan’s alley, involved die cut paper that can be assembled to form insects. He chose his color and allowed to turn the crank on the machine (his favorite part). You can see a few of the finished bugs on the top of the ledge, they were super cute.



Finn did his first drawing, he called it “Green Scribbles”.

Everyone stayed busy here…VERY busy like the spider. Ethan and his buddy actually played out the spider and fly story while Finn crawled around on the springy surface…it didn’t end well for the fly.


Pounding levers to make beetles jump? Perfect baby fun. I’ve never read The Very Clumsy Click Beetle but I find it oddly specific just in title alone. May need to check it out since I can’t even imagine what the plot could be. 


I think it’s clear everyone’s favorite part of the space is the “grass”. The giant blades of grass provide hiding places for big kids and exciting exploration for little ones. Ethan dove in head first while Finn peeked in from the outskirts—even I wanted to climb in.



We headed here after school on a rainy day and spent a solid hour just exploring this room. Afternoons are my favorite times at the Magic House—quiet and sparse but there’s always someone to play with. Plus it makes that post-school slump go a million times quicker and before we know it, dinner time. We give the Very Eric Carle exhibit two thumbs up and can’t wait to go again!

To end your Magic House trip with a bang, hit up Five Star Burgers after playing. It’s just down the street and offers awesome happy hour specials till 6pm! Sliders and friend pickles? Yes Please.

Have you been to this exhibit? What did you think? 

One Response
  1. November 10, 2015

    We have to go there during the holidays!!!

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