Kids build a fort at The Magic House.

16 Kid-Approved Attractions in St. Louis

Tuesday January 30, 2024

By Rachel Huffman

Do your little ones have big dreams? At these family-friendly attractions across the St. Louis region, kids can imagine themselves as artists, engineers – even the president!

City Museum is an all-ages architectural playground in downtown St. Louis.
City Museum | Photo by Gregg Goldman

Architect

The sky is the limit at City Museum, an all-ages architectural playground housed in a 600,000-square-foot former warehouse. Here, you’ll find the second largest collection of Louis Sullivan architectural fragments, along with weirdly wonderful exhibits consisting largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects, from colorful tiles to safety deposit boxes to stainless steel buffet pans.

A kid picks apples at Eckert's, a family farm in Illinois.
Eckert’s | Photo by Gregg Goldman

Farmer

You’re never too old to play in the dirt. Eckert’s Orchards took root in 1837, and today, there are three farms just across the river in Southern Illinois, where you and your family can pick everything from strawberries to peaches and apples to pumpkins.

A girl feeds the goats at Grant's Farm.
Grant’s Farm | Photo by Judd Demaline

Veterinarian

Not your typical farm, Grant’s Farm gives animal-lovers – and future veterinarians – the opportunity to get up close and personal with antelope, deer, various bovines, goats, birds, llamas and the iconic Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.

A girl paints at MADE for Kids, a kid-friendly attraction created by The Magic House.
MADE for Kids | Photo by Gregg Goldman

Artist

Kids can get crafty at MADE for Kids, a 7,000-square-foot makerspace on Delmar Boulevard. Watch as your youngsters experiment with pottery, screen printing, 3D printing, laser cutting, stop motion animation and more – they’re bound to be inspired.

Meramec Caverns features glistening stalactites and magnificent stalagmites.
Meramec Caverns | Photo by Gregg Goldman

Spelunker

Hello down there! Beneath the rolling hills of the Meramec Valley, Meramec Caverns boasts glistening stalactites, magnificent stalagmites, an ancient “wine table” and a seven-story “mansion,” which were formed over millions of years from the erosion of large limestone deposits. This is your chance to explore one of the most awe-inspiring caves on the planet – no headlamps needed.

A group of kids interact with the plants at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Missouri Botanical Garden | Photo by Dan Donovan

Botanist

Highly acclaimed for its scientific research and education programs, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a place of beauty, serenity and discovery. As you stroll through the flourishing grounds, ask your kids to pick out some of their favorite flora – after all, there are more than 27,000 plants from which to choose!

Kids dig for dinosaurs, one of the STEAM activities at Myseum.
Myseum

Paleontologist

A combination children’s museum, science museum and indoor playground, Myseum has 30 unique exhibits, including an area where kids can dig for dinosaur bones and dream of life as a paleontologist.

A group makes music at the National Blues Museum, a kid-friendly attraction in St. Louis.
National Blues Museum | Photo courtesy of the National Blues Museum

Musician

Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Tina Turner, Nelly – some of the country’s favorite musicians got their start in St. Louis, and maybe your child will, too. At the National Blues Museum, visitors of all ages can write their own blues song and add a guitar track – no strumming skills required.

The National Museum of Transportation, a kid-friendly attraction in St. Louis, features planes, trains and automobiles.
National Museum of Transportation | Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Transportation

Pilot

Imagine if your office was in the sky. Children who aspire to those heights will love the National Museum of Transportation. Seek out the twin-engine 1943 Douglas Aircraft, which was likely used by U.S. forces in the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II.

People of all ages marvel at the night sky at the Saint Louis Science Center, where STEAM activities abound.
Saint Louis Science Center | Photo courtesy of the Saint Louis Science Center

Astronomer

The James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center dazzles astrophiles from near and far. Inside, visitors can relax under the largest artificial sky in the Western Hemisphere, see genuine space capsules and have their questions about the universe answered.

A kid observes black-and-white colobuses at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Saint Louis Zoo | Photo by Gregg Goldman

Conservationist

A leading zoo in animal management, research, conservation and education, the Saint Louis Zoo should be at the top of your travel bucket list. During your visit, strike up a conversation with the dedicated education volunteers – they’re always happy to share their wealth of knowledge about the animals, their care and the zoo’s conservation efforts.

People ride rollercoasters at Six Flags St. Louis.
Six Flags St. Louis | Photo courtesy of Six Flags St. Louis

Engineer

Everybody scream! Six Flags St. Louis boasts nine exhilarating rollercoasters – plus, Bugs Bunny National Park, where toddlers and little ones can ride, fly, spin and climb to their hearts’ content. One day, they might even build rides that surpass those thrills.

An otter poses at the St. Louis Aquarium, a fantastic kid-friendly attraction.
St. Louis Aquarium | Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Aquarium

Marine Biologist

Paddlefish, sea dragons, cownose rays – the creatures that inhabit our rivers and oceans are fascinating. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the St. Louis Aquarium for personalized animal encounters that the budding marine biologists in your family won’t soon forget.

Kids pretend to be president at The Magic House in St. Louis.
The Magic House | Photo by Dan Donovan

President

An epic adventure for preschoolers and young children, The Magic House offers hands-on interactive exhibits where they can explore a child-size village, investigate scientific wonders, discover a new culture and take a seat in the Oval Office. In the Star-Spangled Center, the whole family can also sign the Declaration of Independence, vote in an electronic voting booth and go on a national treasure hunt.

People drive electric go-karts at Victory Raceway in St. Louis.
Victory Raceway | Photo by Gregg Goldman

Racecar Driver

Do your kids have a need for speed? Victory Raceway, located on the original Route 66, offers electric go-karts that reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour. There are no two-seaters on the indoor racetrack – everyone drives!

People meet and greet feathered friends at the World Bird Sanctuary.
World Bird Sanctuary | Photo courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary

Bird Trainer

The World Bird Sanctuary encompasses more than 305 acres and houses more than 200 birds, offering a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. Meet a proud eagle, talk to a colorful parrot, encounter an emu and learn to appreciate vultures. Plan to join a guided tour, where you can learn more about the sanctuary’s mission to protect and preserve all manner of winged friends.