Kidding Around St. Louis

Families will delight in St. Louis’ spirited, kid-centric attractions that offer hands-on activities, exciting experiences and just plain fun.

Day One

1. Gateway Arch

2 hours


No trip to St. Louis is complete without a visit to the Gateway Arch. Officially titled the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Arch is the national monument honoring Thomas Jefferson, his Louisiana Purchase and the Native Americans, explorers and settlers who shaped the American West.

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2. Historic Old Courthouse

1 hour


Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse is temporarily closed and undergoing renovations as part of the final component of the $380 million CityArchRiver project, the largest public-private partnership in the history of the National Park Service.

St. Louis’ stately domed Old Courthouse is perhaps the single most important location in the U.S. relating to a cause that jump started the Civil War. It was there in 1847 that an enslaved man named Dred Scott filed suit for the freedom of himself, his wife Harriet, and their two daughters. The Scotts won in the pro-abolitionist environs of St. Louis, only to lose their case in the Missouri State Supreme Court and, again, when tried in the U.S. Supreme Court as the landmark Dred Scott vs. Sanford case. Youth groups can take part in reenactments of the Dred Scott trial take in the restored courtrooms of the Old Courthouse. Galleries within the building provide historical perspectives on St. Louis’ past.

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3. City Musuem

3 hours


This whimsical warehouse of artsy fun enchants all ages with man-made caves to explore, funky hands-on art projects, performances by an in-house circus troupe and an unusual aquarium. Recycling is truly an art form at City Museum, a museum made entirely out of recycled materials. The museum building itself was repurposed having started life as a shoe manufacturing factory and warehouse. Items that would have become landfill now fill the floors of the quirky and innovative warehouse of artistic fun.

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4. Inside the Economy Museum

2 hours

Inside the Economy

Young consumers can learn how their allowance money fits into the overall economy with a visit to the new Inside the Economy Museum within the historic Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Group members can engage in a hands-on, one-of-a-kind experience that explains the economy and their role in it, in a fun and interactive way. Nearly 100 exhibits include games, videos and interactive displays that make sense out of money and how the financial systems function.

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5. Saint Louis Science Center

2 Hours


The center for all things science is the Saint Louis Science Center (SLSC), another of the city’s free cultural attractions. The SLSCS has been named one of the “10 Best Science Centers for Families” by Parents magazine. Science Galleries feature hands-on activities including conducting experiments using microscopes, digging for fossils, and working with computers. Have an out of this world experience at the Boeing Space Station within the SLSC’s McDonnell Planetarium.

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Day Two

1. Six Flags St. Louis

5 hours


What kid isn’t seeking non-stop fun? That’s what’s in store at Six Flags St. Louis. Groups can experience more than 100 rides and attractions throughout the park including the new Boomerang forward and backward roller coaster and wet and wild Tsunami Soaker which lets riders spray each other with blasts of water while the ride floats and spins ‘round and ‘round. Admission to Six Flags St. Louis also includes the Hurricane Harbor water park for the same price. Entertaining shows and musical performances and arcade games round out the theme park fun. Season runs from April through early November.

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2. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

30 Minutes


On your return drive back from the thrills of Six Flags, give your group the chills at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. This landmark custard stand is an icon along the original Route 66 and a St. Louis institution. Group members may wish to try the “concrete,” a milkshake so thick it can be turned upside down without spilling a delicious drop. Ted Drewes has been serving up frosty treats to St. Louisans and visitors since the 1920s.

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Day Three

1. Forest Park

2 hours

forestparkfountain - McElroy Fine Art Photography

This 1,300-acre urban park is one of St. Louis’ premiere attractions and visitor destinations and home to many of St. Louis’ major cultural institutions – most of which are open free of general admission fees. Forest Park is notable as having been the site of the fabled 1904 “Meet Me in St. Louis” World’s Fair. Groups can enjoy many outstanding attractions located within the park, including:

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2. Saint Louis Zoo

3 hours

Sea Lion Sound - Gordon Radford

Animal-loving youth groups will go ape on a safari through the Saint Louis Zoo. One visit and you’ll see why this Zoo has been named the #1 Zoo in the USA by Zagat’s Family Travel Survey. More than 18,000 exotic animals, many of them rare and endangered, make this park their home.

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3. Missouri History Musuem

2 hours

Jefferson Memorial

Hands-on exhibits and live actor presentations help history come alive at the Missouri History Museum, another of St. Louis’ exceptional free cultural attractions located within Forest Park. Colorful exhibitions brimming with authentic artifacts allows young group members to “time travel” back to the fabled 1904 World’s Fair, experience Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” flight, and walk through the world of fur traders, Civil War soldiers and explorers Lewis & Clark.

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4. Saint Louis Art Museum

2 hours

Saint Louis Art Museum on February 22, 2014.

The inscription “Dedicated to Art and Free to All” is carved in the stone above the main entry to the Saint Louis Art Museum. It serves as a reminder of this great institution’s twin commitments to artistic excellence and public accessibility. The Museum, a leader in arts education, provides a variety of learning experiences to connect works of art in its collections and exhibitions with audiences of all ages.

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5. The Loop Neighborhood

2 hours


Families will flip over the hip vibe and trendy shops of The Loop – one of St. Louis’ most popular shopping, dining, and entertainment districts. With six blocks of retail, restaurants, live music, and café culture, this stretch of Delmar Boulevard has been named “One of the 10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association.


Stretch your legs to investigate two, free sidewalk attractions that run the length of Delmar Boulevard, the Loop’s main drag: The Loop Planetary Walk and the St. Louis Walk of Fame.


The sidewalks shimmer with more than 140 brass stars and biographical plaques of the St. Louis Walk of Fame which honor famous St. Louisans who have made contributions to American life and culture.


Interactive models of our solar system’s planets — The Loop’s Planetary Walk — add an out-of-this-world ambience to the Loop’s lively streetscape. The 2,880-foot long walk, which starts with the sun at the Moonrise Hotel and concludes with Neptune down the road at Cicero’s restaurant, gives group members an appreciation of just how “far out”

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