Forest Park is one of the best places to get outdoors in St. Louis.

Forest Park

Did you know that Forest Park in St. Louis is approximately 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York City?

Home to world-class attractions – most of which are also free! – it’s considered one of the best urban parks in the country. You can spend hours, even days, enjoying cultural institutions such as the Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Science Center, Saint Louis Zoo and The Muny, an outdoor theater that has filled Forest Park with the sounds of Broadway for more than 100 years.

The park also allows visitors to connect with nature. In recent years, Forest Park Forever, a private nonprofit conservancy and the steward of this treasure, has made a concerted effort to rewild the park, restoring and reinvigorating the native beauty and ecological diversity of the environment.

More than 30 miles of walking and biking trails traverse Forest Park, which also boasts more than 190 acres of nature reserves that encompass old-growth forests, restored forests and woodlands, wetlands, tallgrass prairies and savannas. These habitats form a corridor across the park that both wildlife and visitors utilize. Together, the nature reserves provide a positive environmental impact, natural balance, educational opportunities and appealing aesthetics, all within the heart of a highly urban area.

The Boathouse offers tasty fare for when you get hungry. Here, you can also rent paddle boats, canoes and kayaks in spring, summer and fall to embark on a miniature expedition of the Emerson Grand Basin.

If you like sports, you’re in luck. The area has two golf courses, tennis courts, racquetball courts, a skating rink and a cricket field. There are now plans to add basketball courts, as well. Their inclusion into the park’s offerings will make it an increasingly diverse and dynamic place to gather.

Annually, Forest Park also hosts epic events, from the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, which begins in late May, to the Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race, which takes place during the third weekend in September.

Taking all this into consideration, we believe Forest Park is the perfect place to wile away a vacation day with family or friends.