Explore St. Louis

Family Itinerary

A weekend of nonstop fun in St. Louis

A weekend of nonstop fun in St. Louis

By Jackie Tucker

By Jackie TuckerIt would be easy to pack an entire week full of family fun and excitement in exploring St. Louis. From its rich history and iconic arch, to baseball games and family adventure, you could spend day after day discovering the Gateway City’s charm. But sometimes a long weekend is all you have. Check out this itinerary for a satisfying weekend getaway that highlights some of St. Louis’ best spots for infinite family fun.

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Day 1: Friday night lights

Start the weekend off right by diving straight into the heart of downtown St. Louis: Washington Avenue. Immerse yourself in the city’s culture with delicious restaurants, shopping and attractions along this famous street. If Washington Avenue is the drumbeat of the city, then the rhythm and harmony are coming from the National Blues Museum down the road. A living history of the music that is the bedrock for nearly all of America’s modern popular music, the National Blues Museum and its interactive exhibits are a must-visit. Take in a live performance in the Lumière Place Legends Room to kick off your Friday night.

Once you’re in the groove, stroll over a few streets to Ballpark Village, right beside Busch Stadium, and grab some sports-themed grub from Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar. Perfect for any baseball fan, this entertainment district filled with shopping, games and food is the perfect warm-up to the big game.

Don that bright red jersey you just bought (you couldn’t resist), and make your way into Busch Stadium for the ideal summer evening activity. It doesn’t get much better than the crack of a bat and the roar of the hometown crowd as another homer soars toward the St. Louis skyline, set to a backdrop of colorful fireworks and a starry sky. Just another Friday night in The Lou. Go Cards!

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Day 2: Saturday in the park

Known as the Jewel of St. Louis, Forest Park holds some of the most delightful attractions in all the city. Set aside the entire morning for the Saint Louis Science Center. Part science exploration, part planetarium and ALL fun, both kids and parents alike will be entertained (and educated) by this collection of exhibits. The building’s extraordinary spaceship-like exterior is just the first indication of what’s to come once you step inside. From live physics demonstrations and space exploration to startlingly realistic life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, more than 700 hands-on exhibits showcase topics all along the science spectrum.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to The Boathouse restaurant for gorgeous views of the lake while you dine al fresco on the patio. Feed the ducks along the lakeside before you take part in a time-honored St. Louis pastime that’s been around since 1876: boating around the lake. Catch glimpses of Forest Park that can only be seen from the water as you paddle past some of the park’s most treasured landmarks such as the World’s Fair Pavilion and the Saint Louis Zoo.

Make sure to take a spin beneath the stone bridges, where the canals open up into the spectacular Emerson Grand Basin. The scenic pool sits at the bottom of Art Hill, and was built for the 1904 World’s Fair. It boasts eight fountains and stunning views of the palace-like Saint Louis Art Museum and the statue of King Louis IX, keeping watch from the top of the hill. It’s the perfect backdrop for a few family photos before you head back to shore.

Wrap up the day with a visit to the Missouri History Museum. Parents will love exhibits like the 1904 World’s Fair. And kids rave about the History Clubhouse, a kid-centric area that fosters a love of learning and history with interactive galleries and educational programming. Engaging their imaginations, kids can sail a steamboat down the mighty Mississippi or prepare a prehistoric dinner for their parents in the ancient city of Cahokia.

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Day 3: Sunday fun day

Take a Sunday morning excursion to Purina Farms for an animal-themed adventure. Hitch a ride on the wagon, and make your way to the visitor center where pet lovers of any age will celebrate everything they love about pets. For dog and cat lovers, the Better with Pets interactive exhibit will give you a pet’s eye view of the world. You’ll see how Fido and Fluffy experience the world, and better understand what makes pet ownership rewarding.

Get a peek at the domestic farm animals that call Purina Farms home. Learn how to milk a cow, get up close and personal with some baby farm animals (like bunnies and chickens) in the petting area, or check out the horses in the animal barn and hayloft play area. Don’t leave the farm without checking out the canine performance area—one of the most popular events at Purina. The talented dogs performing agility skills like diving and catching flying discs will have you itching to teach your own pup new tricks.

After a fun filled morning on the farm, step back in time at the Museum of Transportation. Even if you’re not a “car enthusiast” or a “train person,” you will be when you leave. The collection of trains and automobiles goes back as far as the mid-1800s with everything from the largest successful steam locomotive ever built to a one-of-a-kind, custom designed Bobby Darin “Dream Car.” Before you take off in your own swagger wagon, take a ride on a miniature train or trolley, visit Handcar Village to ride on muscle-powered carts and swing by the Creation Station to let the kids’ imaginations go wild.

Keep the imagination flowing at The Magic House. With hundreds of hands-on activities for kids of all ages and abilities, The Magic House fosters learning through creative play. From a three-story slide and a kid-sized grocery store to solving your own mystery and a room full of bubbles, creativity and critical thinking are encouraged in this truly magical place. What better way to wrap up your weekend in St. Louis, the spot for nonstop fun!

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