Classic Winter Activities in St. Louis

Tuesday December 21, 2021

By Mark

Despite things being a little different this year, there are still plenty of classic St. Louis winter activities to enjoy!  From ice skating, skiing and sledding to visiting your favorite attractions, shops and restaurants, now is the perfect time to create some new winter memories. Make a weekend of it and stay in one of the many outstanding St. Louis area hotels.

Gateway Arch National Park Museum: Stroll through the six themed exhibit areas and interactive multimedia displays that highlight the city’s diverse history through inclusive narratives: “Jefferson’s Vision,” “Colonial St. Louis,” “Riverfront Era,” “Manifest Destiny,” "Building the Arch," and "New Frontiers." And while you might not be able to see that infamous northern sight of the North Pole firsthand, you can experience another jaw-dropping view for miles and miles in either direction  — 630 feet up — at the top of the Gateway Arch.

Union Station: St. Louis’ newest and coolest Gateway to Fun. The massive steel frame train shed now plays host to a 120,000-square-foot St. Louis Aquarium filled with thousands of aquatic species from all over the world; an amazing Mirror Maze with a labyrinth of mirrors to entertain the entire family; a three-story Ropes Course with more than 90,000 cubic feet of climbing space and 30 obstacles that take you sky-high. Or, glide along the 100-foot rigid SkyRail zip line 50 feet above the Union Station lobby; a miniature version of the course, Sky Tykes, is perfect for those kiddos under 48” tall. Kick back at one of the six restaurants and bars, including the Soda Fountain and the Train Shed. Relax in the Grand Hall and watch the 3D light show.

City MuseumHoused in the 600,000 square foot former International Shoe Company, City Museum offers MonstroCity, The World's Largest Jungle Gym; five-story and ten-story spiral slides in the Shoe Shafts; the Enchanted Caves; Everyday Circus and the Cabin Inn. This is a must-see for fantastic family fun.

Stay warm indoors at Forest Park

The Saint Louis Art Museum: You’ve got the time; we’ve got the art – 34,000 objects to be exact, spanning 5,000 years of history and culture. Beyond Matisse, Van Gogh and Dali, make sure to visit the Egyptian mummies up close – real close -- and the head-to-toe field armor and weapons – yes, there is even a cool crossbow -- that date to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Saint Louis Science Center:  “Feed” the dinosaurs on the lower level and be glad we’re not in their food chain. They’re huge. But they’re also only part of more than 700 other interactive experiences. The four-story OMNIMAX Theater is just the beginning.  

James S. McDonnell Planetarium: You’ll think you’re outside when sitting beneath the Planetarium’s 80-foot artificial sky dome, the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Kids will have a blast experiencing what it’s like to live and work on the International Space Station.

Missouri History Museum: Founded in 1866 “for the purpose of saving from oblivion the early history of the city and state,” as they tout, this is one cool space to immerse yourself in riverfront history and photographs of what life was like back in the days without cell phones and tablets. Special exhibitions scheduled year-round

Stay Warm in St. Louis County

The Magic House St. Louis Children’s Museum: In Kirkwood, kids can make a mess, a mud pie – or, both -- in the “mud kitchen”; explore a shallow stream and creek bed, make stick castles alongside native Missouri plants all inside at The Magic House. In the Children’s Village, they can climb a ladder into a treehouse, serve pizza in a restaurant, catch a fish in a pretend pond and use some tools to service a car. Make sure to stop by the museum’s new sensory play space, which gives the little ones a chance to explore, sort, classify and organize all kinds of objects.

Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House:  Experience a brief flutter of spring with the Blue Morphos butterflies at the Butterfly House located in Chesterfield. Think fun summer thoughts as more than 1,500 of these sea blue creatures entertain you in their tropical conservatory. And while you’re at it, learn how the Butterfly House is involved with butterfly conservation efforts in Costa Rica.

At Myseum in Town & Country, kids will play all day with Interactive science activities such as archaeological digging & making music from random objects. Myseum has exhibits for all age ranges, as well as a dedicated toddler area.

Museum of Transportation: See planes, trains, & automobiles...and trolleys, too! The National Museum of Transportation has "one of the largest and best collection of transportation vehicles in the world.

Move – It’s only cold if you’re standing still

Topgolf: Indoor sports enthusiasts can practice their outdoor golf game at the more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays at Topgolf Chesterfield. The micro-chipped balls keep track of every shot and the accuracy and distance of each one hit is relayed back to the bay screen. The giant targets make it especially fun. Enjoy the trappings of the full-service onsite restaurants and bars, all while watching a favorite game on one of the more than 200 TVs located throughout the facility. The rooftop terrace even has a fire pit. Best part ever? No golf experience required.

Break a sweat at these other indoor energy-boosting, calorie-burning and unequivocally challenging adventure locations – Victory Raceway where kart racing is the thing. Get amped up at – you guessed it – Amp Up Action Park. Here you can participate in channeling your inner lumberjack with axe throwing, three-level laser tag, high ropes, indoor kart racing, skeeball, virtual reality and new games such as Jurassic Park motion and Walking Dead. And for a limited time, check out the Throw & Go Package where you will receive 15% off the purchase of one indoor go kart race and one hour of axe throwing per person for a limited time. Appropriate for adults and teens ages 14 and older.

Get Outside

Parks: St. Louis is filled with hundreds of parks, miles and miles of trails and even a few downhill slopes. Stroll through Forest Park, Creve Coeur Park, Gateway Arch National Park, Laumiere Sculpture Park and more to satisfy your outdoor enthusiasts fix.

Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park: Always a seasonal favorite is a visit to Steinberg Ice Rink in Forest Park. It is the largest outdoor skating rink in the Midwest and is open to the public every day of the week, including holidays.

Centene Community Ice Center: Enjoy ice skating at the Centene Community Ice Center. Sessions are open to skaters and families looking to have a fun day or evening, or simply looking for some exercise.

Hidden Valley Ski Resort: a family friendly place that offers a variety of trails suitable for different skill levels, as well as the Polar Plunge, the largest snow tubing hill in Missouri.

Dine & Drink

Whether you’re a foodie, craft beer enthusiast or just in search of a fun night out, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in St. Louis. Discover a delicious variety of restaurants, bars, and hot spots around town that are sure to satisfy any appetite. Many St. Louis favorites are open for business with new guidelines, including limited capacity, social distancing, reservations, and other health and safety procedures. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down feast discover a delicious variety of St. Louis restaurants.