Roundtrip tickets to Jamaica: $1,100. Five-night stay at Sandals Resort: $1,350. Daiquiris the size of your head: $7.50 each. Handful of vacation tchotchkes for jealous friends back home: $59.99. Spending the afternoon at the Butterfly House's "Feel the Heat" Caribbean-themed party in Chesterfield: priceless (plus a mere $6 per adult and $4 per kid age twelve and younger).
Who smells a deal here? From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., young 'uns and the young-at-heart are welcome to frolic among the 60 species of butterflies and moths that flit freely within the 82-degree, 8,000-square-foot conservatory garden at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and Education Center (located at 19153 Olive Boulevard), the only facility of its kind in the Midwest. In addition, that afternoon's "Feel the Heat" party aims to whisk you away to a tropical escape that most of us ain't got the time or money to splurge on. With Caribbean music, sandcastle building, coconut bowling, limbo contests, tasty island treats and craft-making for the kids, it's a tot-friendly, Jimmy Buffett daydream come to life.
And don't forget to drop by the Madame Butterfly Gift Shop during your visit; family and friends will probably still be jealous and will likely require appeasement in the form of T-shirts and coffee mugs. -- Rose Martelli
Movies by Kids Who Like Movies STL Student Film Festival
2003 may be remembered as the year of the documentary. Movie fans rewarded innovative, challenging and just plain entertaining features on everything from the domestic strife of clowns to the travel habits of birds with the ultimate Hollywood honor: box office. The fourth annual St. Louis Student Film Festival, featuring entries from all over the nation, also saw a spike in the number of documentaries submitted. Winners in all five festival categories will be shown Wednesday, January 21, at the Donald Shook Fine Arts Building of St. Charles Community College (4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, 636-724-3940, ext. 147) from 9 a.m. till noon, followed by guest speaker Chris Clark of the St. Louis International Film Festival. There will be a second screening of select films at noon on Monday, January 29, in room 205 of the college's Student Center. Both events are free and open to the public. -- Jedidiah Ayres