St. Louis’ Unique Venues Set the Stage

Thursday May 5, 2011

By Integadmin

St. Louis offers a variety of options for planners who want to schedule an "out of the box" meeting or event that attendees won't soon forget - there's literally something for everyone. From small and intimate gatherings to wild and wacky adventures, St. Louis has what planners are looking for.

Some of the more unique venues around town include the retro environs of Flamingo Bowl, a colorful martini bar/bowling alley located on trendy Washington Avenue. Roll a few frames while enjoying specialty cocktails and an eclectic menu of dining options. And speaking of rolling a few, there's no need to reinvent the wheel for your next St. Louis gathering. The Moto Museum, a hot spot for big wheels, displays an extensive collection of more than 80 motorcycles from the past century, including rare and vintage bikes from around the globe.

St. Louis' myriad assortment of museums offers unique experiences for visitors and interesting environs for meetings. From the offbeat versions that pay homage to dogs, butterflies, and recycling to the cultural offerings that include art, history, and live performance. At City Museum, the quirky and artsy warehouse of fun is an artistic paradise built with recycled and rescued materials, and now there's a new level of fun. The 10-story building, which was formerly a shoe factory, has a rooftop of adventure, as well as slides, elevated walkways, tubes, tunnels, and a 10-story slide.

The Contemporary Art Museum, located in the Grand Center arts and entertainment district, features distinctive architecture elements and more than 27,000 square feet of easily adaptable space. Grand Center is home to a number of private event spaces, including the intimate Grandel Theatre, the Versailles-style Powell Symphony Hall, Jazz St. Louis, Sheldon Concert Hall, and the Fabulous Fox Theatre. The Fox is a lavishly decorated former 1920s-era movie palace that welcomes groups for meetings, receptions and customized entertainment extravaganzas.

If sitting in a conference room turns your attendees into bears, cut them loose to roam among the rest of the wild things at the Saint Louis Zoo. The Zoo hosts meetings, receptions and dinners at the Living World facility. There's also the McDonnell Center at River Camp, which is ideal for meetings and social functions for up to 200 people. Or invite a kinder, gentler atmosphere as attendees float like a butterfly among the inhabitants of the Butterfly House in Faust Park. The venue features an opportunity to walk through thousands of butterflies in free flight and witness the mystery of metamorphosis.

Meetings really roll along the mighty Mississippi River when they're held on an authentic paddlewheel riverboat. Gateway Arch Riverboats' Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher excursion vessels can handle large and small groups for day or evening cruises, team races, Dixieland or blues dinner cruises. Or keep your feet on the ground among the contemporary works sprinkled throughout the 100-acres of lush greenery at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Sports fans on the agenda? Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals offer fun and functional spaces at Busch Stadium, both on the playing field and in a number of group-friendly party plazas. Choose from the Homer's Landing picnic area, Batter's Eye Club, Hall of Fame Club, Stadium Club, or one of the ballpark's many private boxes and suites. Private boxes and suites are also available at the Scottrade Center, home of the NHL's St. Louis Blues.

Planners who want to deliver the sun, moon, and stars to their attendees can do so at the Saint Louis Science Center and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Groups can explore hundreds of hands-on exhibits, take in an OMNIMAX film, enjoy a reception in the shadow of life-size animatronic dinosaurs or explore the history of flight and the miracles of technology in the galleries.

If you're looking for a place to meet al fresco, then head for the lush environs of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Groups can conduct business in a modern auditorium then break for dining in settings as varied as a re-created rain forest, the nation's largest authentic Japanese Garden or a Victorian fantasyland complete with maze and observatory. At the Boat House in historic Forest Park, guests can party dockside or paddle along the park's meandering canals in pedal or row boats.


Follow St. Louis on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest information on what's happening in the Gateway City. 

Your readers should call 1-800-916-0037 (USA and Canada) or 1-314-421-1023 for a free copy of the Official St. Louis Visitors Guide or point, click and explore St. Louis online.

MEDIA NOTE: For more information or photography of St. Louis, send an e-mail. For up-to-date information about St. Louis, your readers should call Explore St. Louis at 1-800-916-0037 or check out our website.