"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Jack must be an American – because last year U.S. workers left unused 768 million vacation days. More than half of us didn't take a leisure trip of more than four nights and more than a quarter didn't take any. We are in grave danger in becoming a nation of dull boys and girls. National Plan for Vacation Day on Jan. 28 intends on changing all that.
What it comes down to is: if you plan for vacation, you're much more likely to take it. In fact, 75 percent of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation at a time – or more. And with so many beautiful, fun options, we're here to show you just a few new things right here in the Show-Me State that you should plan on doing this year with your time off:
History Museum on the Square is located on iconic Route 66 in Springfield and uses innovative technologies and "voices of history" to tell the rich, colorful story of the area and its people. USA Today's 10Best named it Best New Attraction for 2020.
St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station's 125,000-square-foot attraction located in the former mall area within St. Louis Union Station, opened on Christmas Day 2019. The aquarium houses thousands of aquatic species from around the world.
Silver Dollar City in Branson will debut their incredible new Mystic River Falls this summer, featuring a plunge down a 4.5 story waterfall – the tallest raft ride drop in the Western Hemisphere!
Payne's Valley pays tribute to Ozarks native and World Golf Hall of Fame member Payne Stewart and will be the first public-access golf course designed by Tiger Woods. It's opening this year in Hollister as part of Big Cedar Lodge's family of world-class golf courses.
Aquarium at the Boardwalk in Branson is slated to open this summer, with a focus on fish and fun. There will be loads of excitement and games to play along the way to the Submarine Voyage, a Jelly Fish Infinity Room and an underwater tunnel.
Harry S Truman Library and Museum in Independence begins the new year temporarily closed for renovation, but is expected to reopen in fall 2020. The $30-million renovation includes a new Truman permanent exhibition and other strategic improvements, enhanced education programs and expanded public programs.
NEW PLACES TO STAY
Hotel Vandivort in Springfield unveiled a 48-room expansion, called V2, in fall 2019. The design drew inspiration from Masonic and Art Deco themes and features a swanky rooftop lounge and conservatory.
Loews Convention Center Hotel in Kansas City is set to open April 2, 2020 and features 800 guest rooms, including 47 suites. Other amenities include two restaurants, a fitness center, spa and indoor pool.
Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, opened in May 2019, offering specialty lodging for people looking for a departure from the normal lodging experience. Choose from pet-friendly units, shepherd's huts, luxury tents and cottages for couples and families in a serene setting.
The Last Hotel, which opened in July 2019 is adjacent to the City Museum in St. Louis. The hotel took the long-disused International Shoe Company building and transformed it into a 142-room lodging featuring original brickwork and exposed piping combined with elegant furniture and fittings.
See how much fun there is in store for those days off you've been hoarding? Jack gave up his vacation days. Don't be like Jack. Start planning now and enjoy the vacation.
Written by Barb Brueggeman