St. Louis is a city steeped in history. There are so many sights to see and things to do. Many of these activities aren’t just for adults – there are plenty for kids of all ages, and most of these activities can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter what their age. These family-friendly attractions make St. Louis not just a wonderful place to visit, but also a great place for a family to live and grow. Here are my top picks for the best family-friendly attractions in St. Louis.
St. Louis Zoo
The St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park is home to over 19,000 animals and welcomes almost three million visitors annually. There are plenty of sights for people of all ages to enjoy. If you have young children, there is an interactive children’s center, where your children can come in contact with all kinds of different animals. A fun, transparent slide takes children through the otter pool, so they can see the creatures splashing about as they go by. The zoo also houses a carousel and a train. Admission to the zoo is free, although some of the exhibits require a small fee, but the experience is well worth it.
Once the International Shoe Company, the City Museum is a playhouse, funhouse and place of architectural intrigue all rolled into one. Everything inside the building is meant to be touched and played upon. The building contains repurposed industrial and architectural objects founded by artist Bob Cassilly. There is a life-sized bowhead whale that visitors can walk through, tunnels to explore, a cave system, a hamster wheel made from machinery used to make plane fuselages, an art center for visitors to try different art techniques, slides and so much more. For older kids and adults, a portion of the real building that inspired “The Exorcist” can be viewed. It’s easy to spend a whole day in the building and not see everything. General admission is $12.
Full of flowering plants, picnic tables and giant sculptures, City Garden offers all kinds of family fun. The sculptures are meant to be touched, climbed upon and even walked through. There are fountains for children, and even their parents, to play in. There’s also a waterfall and even some restaurants. City Garden is not an enclosed space and is easily accessible from any direction. Admission is also free.
Home to the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, Grant’s Farm is steeped in both nature and history. It is the residence of the Busch family and once the house once inhabited by former US President Ulysses S. Grant. The 281-acre farm holds an animal preserve with all kinds of different animals that can be seen by tram tour. There are also a number of shops and restaurants located on site. Admission is free, but there is a $12 parking fee that finances the maintenance of the animal preserve.
St. Louis Science Center
The St. Louis Science Center is one of the top 5 science centers in the United States. Over one million people visit it each year! Exhibits include a planetarium, a space program and dinosaurs. There are several hands-on exhibits for kids of all ages, allowing them to learn how things work. Admission is free, though there are fees for certain shows.
Full of thrills, rides and shows for family members of all ages, Six Flags St. Louis is the perfect family-friendly attraction. Six Flags contains nine heart-stopping roller coasters, family rides and rides designed just for children, which means there’s something for kids of all ages. Admission to the park also includes admission into Hurricane Harbor, a water park attached directly to the amusement park. There are great deals for season passes for Missouri residents.