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The Missouri Botanical Garden is famous — and well appreciated locally — for its Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden, known colloquially as the Chinese garden. Full of bridges and pavilions, and wrapped around a placid mini-lake, the Chinese garden is one of St. Louis' finest locations for sitting and thinking. Or not really thinking, just daydreaming. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (April 25 and 26), the solitude will be broken with the annual celebration of Chinese Culture Days. You can be dazzled by the fabulous New Shanghai Circus Troupe, see a selection of bronze artifacts from the Song, Ming, Han and Qing dynasties donated for the occasion by a local collector, and enjoy a showcase of traditional and regional fashions. There are also tea tastings, strolling magicians, martial arts demonstrations and a Chinese food court. Of course, the trade off of peace for bustle is worth it; you'll find the Chinese garden's eventual return to meditative grace a welcome juxtaposition. The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard, and admission for this event is $5 to $12. For more information, call 314-577-9400 or visit www.mobot.org.
Sat., April 25; Sun., April 26, 2009

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