One of our very favorite places is the St. Louis Zoo. We went several times when I was a child, the whole extended family--aunts, uncles and cousins. We would always take a picnic with cold fried chicken and potato salad and the sweat bees would buzz around our sodas. My husband and I spend part of our honeymoon in St. Louis and the Zoo was our first stop. Somehow, when the kids were still babies, we started a tradition of taking them to the Zoo. It's not quite an hour and a half drive, especially if we go on Sunday. The Zoo is free, but parking is a bit expensive and most of the "extras" (the train, the children's zoo) have an extra charge. I began to purchase a family membership and we have generally made the trip 2 or 3 times a year. It's hard to find an activity that parents can share with teenagers (especially teenage boys!) but this one works for all of us. It's been our tradition, our "place". So the fact that my daughter is going to school in Indianapolis now, meaning the total opposite direction, has affected my decision to renew our membership. I figure if we have a free day, instead of heading west we will probably head east. Except, I'm noticing we are all suffering withdrawal! Especially my 16 year old son! I admit, I'm really surprised about that. I knew he enjoyed it, I guess I just didn't realize how much. I realize I'm blessed with kids that actually like to spend time with their parents. Hallelujah!