The top 10 places to take your kids in St. Louis!
Here at The Moving Mom we have a special place in our hearts for St. Louis, Missouri (one of our bloggers was born and raised there), but you may not know that St. Louis is a really GREAT place for kids – so many free activities and attractions for little ones. We asked the creator and blogger at Lovely Lucky Life to fill us in on her favorite places for kiddos in the St. Louis area, and she did NOT disappoint! If you’ve never been to the STL, add it to your summer trip plans now!
The Magic House is a kid’s heaven. There are 3 floors of interactive exhibits that kids of all ages will love. There are permanent attractions that are always fun – a life-size bubble maker, a faux Oval Office, and electrostatic generator to make your hair stand on end – and there are also rotating, seasonal attractions to keep it fresh. Admission is $10 per person over age 1 but the memberships are a really great deal if you live nearby. Parking is FREE. There is a nursing /calming room for nursing moms and kids who need a break from the noise.
2. City Museum
The City Museum is a must-see for adults and kids. Admission is $12 per person so plan to spend the day there – you won’t run out of things to do. Part museum, part playground – the slides, caves, mazes and tunnels are awesome for bigger kids. Don’t miss the 10 (yes, 10) story slide and rooftop Ferris Wheel. Wear sneakers for maximum running around.
The Science Center is another St. Louis staple attraction with FREE admission. They have a really cool Visit Planner but some of the must-dos are seeing the huge T-Rex, catching a movie at the Omnimax theater, and walking across Highway 40 via the walk-over bridge. Kids of all ages love the Science Center and they have a Discovery Room for younger kids (1 and older) that’s $4 per person and requires tickets.
The St. Louis Zoo is one of the best in the country (it was just ranked third in the U.S. and fourth in the world) and
totally FREE to enter. Parking in the lot is $15 but there’s also free street parking. For the first hour the zoo is open, entry to the kid’s petting zoo, rides on the carousel, and petting a stingray are all free. Afterward, they are $4, $3, and $4, respectively. Favorites include the elephants, the walk-through sea lion aquarium, the indoor penguin exhibit and the brand new polar bear exhibit. There’s also an air-conditioned, indoor nursing area and plenty of bathrooms. BYO food and drink, too, and there are tons of shady places to eat.
The Botanical Garden is beautiful and great for a long nature walk with kids – make it into a scavenger hunt or “eye-spy” game along the way. There’s also a Children’s Garden with a pond, splash area for hot days, and a treehouse. Admission to the Children’s Garden for children ages 3 to 12 is $5 for non-members and $3 for members. The garden also has a “Calming Corner” room for nursing moms or kids who need a quiet space to take a break.
In addition to weekly storytelling and make & take workshops, the History Museum has a newly opened History Clubhouse. Admission is to the clubhouse and everything inside is hands-on, St. Louis-centric and perfect for children. Kids can explore selling ice cream from the 1904 World’s Fair or drive a Mississippi steamboat. And a big bonus: it’s not too big, so no lost kiddos!
Located in downtown St. Louis, Citygarden is FREE and open every day. The urban park features 24 sculptures and tons of plants, as well as water features where kids can splash around. Dress to get wet at this urban garden oasis!
8. Grant’s Farm
Parking costs ($12/car) but admission is FREE at Grant’s Farm, the one-time home of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. You can start by riding a tram into the park (kids love this part) and once you’re there, you can feed goats, ride a pony, camel or the carousel (for a small extra cost.) There are free attractions, too – don’t miss the bald eagles or the elephants. The best part is that since it’s now owned by the Anheuser Busch family, each adult gets two free beers in the Biergarten at the end of the park. They’re closed Mondays, so plan accordingly so you don’t miss the fun!
No kid in St. Louis should go without attending a Cardinals game and trying to catch a glimpse of their famous
mascot, Fredbird (or a foul ball). There’s a kid-friendly family area with a soft playground in right field for kids who just aren’t into the game or need to run off the wiggles. A big bonus: you can bring your own food and drinks into Busch Stadium and skip the long lines and prices of the concession stands.
10. Six Flags
If amusement parks are your thing, Six Flags doesn’t disappoint. In the summer, Hurricane Harbor is a fun water park with slides and pools for kids of all ages. Within the park, there are rides for little ones, as well as traditional roller coasters for the bigs.
A few other bonus places we love in St. Louis:
The Arch – the iconic symbol of The Gateway to the West
Museum of Transportation – a must-see for little ones that love all things that go
Forest Park – one of the finest urban parks in America that was first built for the 1904 World’s Fair
A little about the guest blogger: Val blogs about motherhood, life and style at lovelyluckylife.com. She’s a longtime St. Louis resident with two kids – a boy and a girl – a husband and an adorable French bulldog puppy. Check out her blog or follow her on Instagram @lovelyluckylife.