St. Louis for Families

Photo by Philip Leara

Art and critters, smart and wacky fun for the whole family in St. Louis

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St. Louis is perfect for families with plenty of kid-friendly, family-oriented activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. Whether it’s critter stuff like an animal encounter or trip to the zoo; fun stuff including amusement and water parks; wacky stuff to explore; artsy stuff where you can dig in and get your hands dirty; or smart stuff that combines entertainment and education – you can find something just right for your family in St. Louis.

Plus, lots of places are free. Yep, you won’t have to break the piggy bank to have a great time in St. Louis and you’ll probably run out of time before you run out of things to do and see!

Artsy Stuff in St Louis for families

The city’s artistic hotspots have lots of singing, dancing, playing music and creating art. Some places will even let you make your own “masterpiece” while the others let you sit back and just enjoy the show.

Saint Louis Art Museum
Built as the Fine Arts Palace of the 1904 World’s Fair and one of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums. Collections include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Highlights include special exhibitions on Friday and programs that range from films to performances. Free admission.

The Many
Fabulous Broadway-style entertainment under the stars at America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre. Nightly from mid-June through mid-August.

Critter Stuff

St. Louis has tons of places you can talk to the animals, including the birds, bison, and wolves. St. Louis has a bunch of “critter-iffic” attractions – explore prehistoric species, take a ride through an exotic animal preserve or take an old-fashioned horse and buggy ride!

St. Louis Zoo
Home to more than 18,000 exotic animals, many of them rare and endangered. These 700 species represent the major continents and biomes of the world. Set in the rolling hills, lakes and glades of Forest Park, the Saint Louis Zoo is always a great place to be. Admission free.

Grant’s Farm
Compliments of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., this Busch family estate was once owned by Ulysses S. Grant. Animal shows, petting area and a tram ride through the wildlife preserve. No reservations required. Nominal parking fee. Open mid-April to early November.

Fun Stuff

Rent bicycles and quad-cycles along the Mississippi Riverfront (make the grown-ups pedal while you steer!) and take a riverboat cruise along the Mississippi River, or pedal a boat around a lake. Take a spin on some thrill rides, climb aboard a real locomotive, or spend a day riding the water-park waves.

Gateway Arch
Standing 630 feet tall, the Gateway Arch, our nation’s tallest man-made monument, anchors the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and stands as the iconic monument symbolizing the westward expansion of the United States. Get your tickets from the Gateway Arch ticket center located inside of the Old Courthouse.

The Gateway Arch experience includes the Journey to the Top of the Gateway Arch; Monument to the Dream, an award-winning documentary about the construction of the Gateway Arch; the Old Courthouse, featuring new exhibits in three galleries with artifacts relocated from the Museum of Westward Expansion, which is now closed; and the Gateway Arch Riverboats.

Smart Stuff

Visit museums about dogs, rivers, and firefighters and see what it was like to live in a tipi. Learn about the explorers Lewis and Clark, play in a garden made just for kids, or try some hands-on science experiments.

St. Louis Science Center
Explore 700-plus exhibits, the Omnimax Theater, James S. McDonnell Planetarium, special traveling exhibitions and more. Open daily. General admission is always free.

Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center
Discover the home where the legendary hero Daniel Boone spent his final years, as well as historic buildings within the village. Guided tours daily.

Wacky Stuff

Take a helicopter tour of St. Louis, visit an everyday circus, explore the world’s coolest cave, climb on the biggest jungle gym you’ve ever seen or take a walk through a house filled with butterflies.

City Museum
Explore the unexpected at this exciting, interactive museum for children and adults, a mixture of funhouse, playground and architectural marvel. St. Louis’s only complete circus school, Circus Harmony is located inside the museum, providing shows and classes year-round.

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
A St. Louis tradition on Old Route 66 since 1929. Known for specialty “concrete” shakes, so thick you can turn them upside down. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily (except closed during February).

This itinerary is compliments of Visit St. Louis.

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