Where can you get a bird’s eye view of the city, go spelunking in a shoe factory, visit a free zoo, walk from Neptune to Mars, see the world’s biggest train car, pet a goat, watch a drive-in movie, make free art and let your imagination run wild?
Right here, in St. Louis.
This stainless steel monument is more than our city icon: travel to the top of the Gateway Arch and you’ll get a unique bird’s eye view of the city! The new museum underneath is full of hands on displays that makes history fun for kids. Visiting the Arch is free, but you’ll need tickets for the tram to the top. St. Louis Riverfront.
Kids love a good petting zoo and Big Joel’s family-owned farm has ALL the animals, from antelope to zebra. You can feed many of the animals and get a ride on a pony, donkey or camel. 13187 State Hwy M, Wright City.
Did you know you can float the big lake in Forest Park? Yup, the Boathouse has canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and paddle boards you rent by the hour. You can also grab a picnic from the Boathouse restaurant, or just dine lakeside. (Psst: the restaurant is run by the Sugarfire team!) 6101 Government Drive, Forest Park, St. Louis.
Home to a few thousand butterflies, the Butterfly House is a top children’s attraction. The indoor tropical garden is also a huge relief in the winter…but It feels about the same as a St. Louis summer. Faust Park, 15193 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield.
Full of whimsical sculptures, the City Garden is a downtown oasis where play is encouraged. Just don’t climb the many interesting works of art. Located just a couple blocks from the Arch, you can easily make it part of your downtown tourist plans. 801 Market Street, St. Louis.
More of an amusement park full of than a museum, City Museum is wacky, weird and whimsical. It was designed by artists, not playground engineers, so keep an eye on your kids…if you can keep up! There’s a man made cave system, human habitrail, mini train, slides several stories tall and an in-house circus. 750 N 16th Street, St. Louis.
Come for the laser tag, stay for the indoor mini golf! This fun center has something for everyone, so families can entertain kids of all ages. 140 Long Rd, Chesterfield.
Not designed for little kids, CAM is definitely for families with middle and high school students. New parents who want to soak up a little culture can appreciate the stroller tours offered every 2nd Saturday. 3750 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis.
How far is it from Neptune to the Sun? About six blocks! Stroll one of the most interesting shopping and dining districts while learning about the planets. 6100 to 6600 Delmar Ave., University City.
Farm fun at its best. Kids can ride a wagon to the field/orchard, see how food is grown, pick it and eat it! There’s always a festival going on during growing season, so there’s usually entertainment for the kids, plus great food. 951 S Green Mt Road, Belleville, IL.
RSVP to visit these magnificent wild creatures, many of whom are waiting to be reintroduced to the wild in their native habitat. The Wolf Center is open for tours and youth programs, but only by request to keep crowds to a minimum. 6750 Tyson Valley Road, Eureka.
Have epic fun with your big kids at this indoor fun center. There’s laser tag, trampolines, dodge ball, a ninja warrior course and a cozy parents lounge with free wifi. 601 Gravois Bluffs Blvd., Fenton.
Considered a trampoline park on steroids, Flying Spider is a great place to burn off extra energy indoors. Besides trampolines, you can practice your ninja warior skills or go aerial with silks and trapeze. 14820 Manchester Road, Ballwin.
Got a little one who loves trains? Then chugga chugga to the Frisco Train Store and play on a massive train table. And you know, shop for wooden train toys. 24 Front Street, Valley Park.
Create a work of art at this paint-your-own pottery store! Kids can make figurines, plates, bowls, vases and more. After you paint with glaze the staff will fire your work. 4587 Chestnut Park Plaza, Oakville.
Crops were never grown at this Farm–it was originally the country home of brew baron August Busch, Sr., who kept horses, live stock and exotic animals. Today you can visit the farm to pet and feed goats, camels and parakeets, and watch animal shows. Grownups can sample free beer, courtesy of Anheuser-Busch. 10501 Gravois Road, Sappington.
This niche museum is dedicated to teaching kids about the human body through play. It started off as the Delta Dental Health Theater and is somewhat small and honestly best for classroom field trips. 1100 Mackland Ave, St. Louis.
Basically this is a super sonic arcade with a 150 item pizza buffet! The arcade has laser tag, go-karts, bumper cars, bowling and video games. Must get pizza to play.
Bring art and nature together when you explore this dog friendly, outdoor sculpture park! Lots of trails and Pokemon stops. 12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills.
This museum commemorates Lewis and Clark’s Camp Dubois, the winter headquarters of their Corp of Discovery. The actual site is under the Mississippi now. Explore a replica of the fort, a full size keelboat and lots of hands on displays. 1 Lewis and Clark Trail, Hartford, IL.
This park full of rolling hills and dense forest used to be a WWII artillery training area, but now it’s home to a couple herd of bison and elk. Drive through and see if you can find them! 1 Lone Elk Park Road, Valley Park.
Hands down, this museum is the best place for creativity, imaginative fun and education backed play. Once a month they do Free Fridays and free kid admissions on Fit Kid days. 516 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood.
Stroll through 79 acres of green garden, originally planted in 1859 by Henry Shaw. Highlights for families are the Children’s Garden play area, the tropical Climatron and the Japanese garden with it’s amazing koi fish pond. Bring good walking shoes and quarters for fish food! 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis.
Older kids will enjoy the hands-on displays throughout the history, but the History Clubhouse really delivers! Kids won’t know they’re learning local history while they play in this wing dedicated to children. 5700 Lindell Blvd., Forest Park, St. Louis.
Rainy day fun was never easier! Get the wiggles out at this play center full of bounce houses and inflatables. 9061 Watson Road, Crestwood.
The Myseum is a children’s museum full of interactive STEM experiments and creative play areas. Kids can help plush animals at the Veterinary hospital, run through a pool noodle “seaweed swamp,” and test their speed on a slide equipped with a speed radar. 283 Lamp and Lantern Village, Town and Country.
The Army Corps of Engineers created a museum to teach about the Mississippi River and the wildlife that live around it. Stick around for the tour of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam. Lock and Dam Way, Alton, IL.
Full of trains, at least one plane and several antique automobiles, the “train museum” is a great place for kids who love all things that go. Several trains are open to climb aboard and walk inside. Also home to the Creation Station, a transportation themed playroom for preschoolers. 2933 Barrett Station Road, Kirkwood.
Kids can choose from over 350 preformed ceramics, from plates to picture frames. 10907 Manchester Road., Kirkwood.
Designed with kids in mind, Pottery Hollow looks like the setting of a fairy tale. Pick out a piece of green ceramic and paint how you like. The staff will take care of the rest. 116 North Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood.
Learn about nature in a kid friendly museum, then explore a few miles of paved trails. 1715 Cragwold Road, Kirkwood.
This museum features a rotating selection of contemporary art–in a building which is a work of art all of its own. Too serious for little kids, but if you have a budding artist, definitely worth a trip around the middle to high school years. 3716 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis.
Take the kids to see life on the farm with hands-on milking demonstrations, a hay ride and an exciting agility dog show. 500 William Danforth Way, Gray Summit.
St. Louis has several museums of art, but only the Saint Louis Art Museum is known as “THE Art Museum.” Our nationally recognized art museum is full of classical masterpieces and cultural objects. It also hosts several free children’s programs worth checking out. One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park, St. Louis.
Coming Soon! St. Louis is getting a world class aquarium inside Union Station. Plan for a Winter 2019 visit. 201 South 18th Street, St. Louis.
THE place to play while learning about science! Tons of hands-on exhibits from dinosaurs to space exploration. You can score free parking if you start your adventure on the Forest Park planetarium side. 5050 Oakland Ave, St. Louis.
Take your family back in time to the last drive-in theater in the St. Louis metro! The Skyview has two screens with modern digital projection and sound piped in via FM radio. Bring your boombox, lawn chairs and a picnic dinner. 5700 N. Belt West, Belleville.
Get jumping at the best trampoline park around! SkyZone has loads of trampolines, plus foam pits, organized dodge ball games, a toddler zone and more. Two locations at 631 Gravois Road, Fenton and 17379 Edison Ave., Chesterfield.
It’s like an art studio for cookies and cakes! Sweetology provides the baked goods, icing, sprinkles and tools–they even clean up the mess. Your kid just has the fun of decorating, and eating, their creation. 1232 Town and Country Crossing Dr, Town and Country
This zoo is for the birds, literally! See birds of prey, like eagles, falcons, hawks and vultures. Plus parrots, snakes and one super adorable possum. The sanctuary covers 305 wooded acres with hiking trails, an outdoor theatre for bird shows and nature center. 125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road, Valley Park.
A haven for creative older kids, YuCanDu is a unique open art studio. Pick a project from the shelf, like a picture frame or treasure box, and decorate it with paper, paint or mosaic. 20 Allen Ave, Webster Groves.
Named the Best Zoo in the US, The Saint Louis Zoo has no admission fee. Bonus: if you visit early you can get into the Children’s Zoo, Carousel and Stingrays for free during the first hour. Government Dr, Forest Park, St. Louis.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to contact us at Hello@314Parent.com if we missed your favorite place to play in the St. Louis Metro!