There's a lot to see and do at Cahokia Mounds near St. Louis, though shopping isn't typically at the top of the list. But when you visit during Native American Market Days, shopping is a big part of the fun. The market is your chance to buy unique, hand-crafted items and support Native American tribes.
When are Market Days?
Native American Market Days are held twice a year. There's a holiday market at the end of November and a spring market in April. This year's holiday market is November 25, 2016, from noon to 5 p.m., and November 26-27, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The holiday market is a great place to find one-of-a kind gifts for those on your list. Dozens of Native American artists will be selling their arts and crafts. Items include jewelry, blankets, paintings, books and more.
Other Reasons to Visit Cahokia Mounds
If you are a history buff: Cahokia Mounds is one of the most important archeological sites in North America. It contains the remains of the ancient civilization that lived along the banks of the Mississippi River more than 800 years ago. In 1982, the United Nations recognized its importance and selected Cahokia Mounds as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you like to hike or walk: The grounds of Cahokia Mounds are a large area with designated trails that are great for taking a casual stroll. Or make the climb to the top of Monks Mound for a view of the surrounding river valley and the St. Louis skyline in the distance.
If you want to entertain the kids: The Cahokia Mounds Interpretive Center has a life-size recreation of a native village, as well as many hands-on educational exhibits, showing what life was like at the site in A.D. 1200. The center also has a movie theater that plays a short film about the Mississippian culture, plus a snack bar and gift shop.
Cahokia Mounds is just a short drive from downtown St. Louis. It's located at 30 Ramey Drive in Collinsville, Illinois. The grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk. The Interpretive Center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for children and $15 for families. Cahokia Mounds hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including equinox and solstice celebrations, Archeology Day in August and Kids Day in May. If you'd like more information any of these events, see the Cahokia Mounds website.