One of the things I love about living in St. Louis is the abundance of FREE Family activities! In many cities, attractions like zoos, museums, and other fun venues cost money, but not in St. Louis! Check out my list of Free Family Activities in St. Louis Missouri:
1) The Zoo – founded in 1910, the St. Louis Zoo is a wonderful free family activity in St. Louis! You can literally spend all day there – even with kids – and have plenty of activities! It is located in Forest Park, which is also home to Turtle Park. There is, of course the main outdoor zoo, as well as a children’s zoo. There is normally a fee for entry to the children’s zoo, but if you arrive during the first hour,admission is free! Also in the park is a Sting Ray Petting pool which normally charges foradmission, but is free during the first hour of the day as well! One hidden cost can be parking, but there are several ways to get around paying. One option would be parking along the streets in forest park, but if the weather is nice, those spots fill up quickly. We have found that the best option is parking across the interstate at Turtle Park and walking across the convenient walking bridge to the zoo entrance. A favorite for kids is the Railroad that weaves around and in the Zoo, and it costs $5.00 per ticket. I have yet to find a way around this fee :-(. Food can also be a hidden cost, but is easily avoidable. While they have food available for purchase inside, we usually bring in food, as there are no restrictions!
2) Turtle Park – Also located in Forest Park, Turtle Park is exactly what it sounds like – a park filed with giant concrete turtles that are super climbable! It is kind of like a giant sandbox and kids can easily spend an hour climbing and playing. This is a great free family activity in St. Louis!
3) Forest Park – Home to Turtle Park, the Zoo, The Jewel box, The Butterfly House, and much more, Forest Park is a great place to spend the day relaxing on the enormous lawn. While there is a fee to enter The Jewel Box and The Butterfly house, many of the attractions are free! It is also dog-friendly. We have picnicked there many times while trying to avoid paying for food inside the zoo. Forest Park is the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, hence the world’s fair pavilion.
4) The City Museum – While this sounds dull and boring, I can assure you that it is just the opposite! The City Museum is geared towards children – and adults – who want to climb around, learn, and play! It’s 4 floors are filled with 30 slides, caves, an art section, a circus, tunnels and so much more! The roof even has a Ferris wheel and a bus hanging off of the edge. The Aquarium is located inside, but there is an additional fee to enter.
5) The Magic House – Also known as the Children’s Museum, the Magic House provides hours (I am not kidding) of fund! There are so many things to do here, so I will just name a few: you can touch and electrically charged ball that will make your hair stand on end, freeze your shadow on a wall, play in a water park, and slide down a 3-story slide! Inside the Magic House there is a specific Children’s Village, where there is a just-their-size grocery story, electric company, and other buildings found in a community. The Little Bit of Magic Area is designed for ages 1-6 and allows children to explore mirrors, dig in a sandbox, find a secret mouse house, and perform a puppet show. The magic center is as favorite for families with children of all ages! While The Magic Houseis not always free, during September, October, and November, admission is free on the 3rd Friday of each month!
6) The Arch – Known as the “Gateway to the West” this iconic symbol of St. Louis is something you do not want to miss! While there is a fee for a trip to the top, Viewing it outside, and the museum inside are free!
7) The Science Center – The Science Center is home to more than 700 interactive exhibits designed for learning and fun! It is the 5th largest science center in the country and houses and animatronic T-Rex that is sure to delight!
8) The Moto Museum – This awesome museum is full of motorcycles most of which were manufactured in Europe from 1920-1960. Best for older children, this museum is chock-full of stories about how the owner acquired them.
9) City Garden – Located in Downtown St. Louis, City Garden is filled with sculptures, wading pools and fountains that can be splashed around in.
10) Grant’s Farm – located just outside of St. Louis and home to the Famous Budweiser Clydesdales, Grant’s farm is 281 acres of fun. Besides the horses, there are hundred of other animals to see, a tram, and plenty of room for play! Admission is free, but parking is $12.