Crown Jewel of St. Louis
Forest Park serves as an emblem of pride and a cultural paradise
One of the most amazing sites St. Louis has to offer visitors and residents is the spacious beauty of Forest Park. This 1,300-acre park located in St. Louis city has served as an emblem of pride and a cultural paradise for all guests.
One of the most amazing sites St. Louis has to offer visitors and residents is the spacious beauty of Forest Park. This 1,300-acre park has served as an emblem of pride and a cultural paradise for all guests.
The park opened June 24, 1876, as a place for all, regardless of position in society, to escape and breathe the fresh, healing air that nature provides. Fewer than 30 years after Forest Park was opened, St. Louisans had the honor of hosting the 1904 World’s Fair. In the seven months of the fair’s operation, more than 20 million people visited the exhibits from 62 foreign countries and 43 of the then-45 U.S. states.
What to do in Forest Park
Today, Forest Park is home to an array of stunning cultural institutions and is a year-round destination attracting more than 12 million visitors annually. What is there to do at Forest Park? The park is home to annual festivals such as the Great Forest Park Balloon Race and Glow and LouFest in September, the Shakespeare Festival in June, the St. Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival in June, and Fair St. Louis in early July. Here are some of the activities that you can experience on your visit:
At the Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center, you can learn about the park, get maps of where the many attractions are located and join guided bike and walking tours of the park.
The Missouri History Museum (free with exceptions) houses a replica of Charles Lindbergh’s plane, Spirit of St. Louis, the 1904 World’s Fair collection and an exhibit of more than 200 years of St. Louis history. In 2016, check out the Route 66 exhibit.
Saint Louis Science Center and James S. McDonnell Planetarium (free with exceptions) teach visitors about the space program. Go star-watching in the planetarium, watch a film in the OMNIMAX® theatre, or learn about the science behind robots and architecture.
Saint Louis Art Museum (free with exceptions) offers guests the opportunity to enjoy the highest quality works of art. View ancient artifacts or contemporary art, take a journey through early American homes or see textile art from around the world. Outside, tour the new sculpture garden to admire the museum’s strong, international collection of 20th century and contemporary sculptures.
Saint Louis Zoo (free with exceptions) encompasses 90 acres of Forest Park and is home to more than 560 species of animals. The zoo offers an array of performances such as the Sea Lion Show, as well as a wonderful staff that enjoys providing information about the animals. The newest exhibit, Polar Bear Point, puts you nose to nose with the white-as-snow resident Kali.
The Muny, a spacious outdoor theatre, has staged musicals, such as Hairspray, Into the Woods and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. From June through August, visitors and season ticketholders may catch a new performance every week. Tickets range from $14 to $87 and 1,500 free seats.
A few fun extras
Other landmarks and attractions to be visited in Forest Park: the World’s Fair Pavilion; the Boathouse, where guests may rent a boat as an option for touring the park; Highland Golf and Tennis Center or Norman K. Probstein Golf Course, where a round of golf is less than $50; nature preserves and John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest.
The crown jewel of St. Louis, Forest Park, is waiting for your visit. Come and experience urban paradise at its best.