Fun and Family-Friendly St. Louis

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 20, 2013 | Go to article overview

Fun and Family-Friendly St. Louis


Byline: Cindy Richards TravelingMom.com

St. Louis so often and so unfairly gets the short stick in the tourism world. Famous for its hot, sticky summers, this city five hours southwest of Chicago is a reasonable road trip destination that has plenty to offer families in search of a fun and affordable vacation.

Many of the citys best attractions those housed in the verdant Forest Park are free. Others are imminently affordable. And the city is easy to navigate, with plenty of free or cheap parking, even downtown.

These five family-friendly St. Louis attractions have something for families with kids of just about any age.

Forest Park

This 1,300-acre park hosted the 1904 Worlds Fair and is home to a number of St. Louis must-see attractions, including The St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center and the St. Louis Zoo. Best of all, admission to these world-class attractions is free, though there are sometimes fees associated with special exhibitions.

Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises

Jump onboard a 19th century paddle wheel boat for a riverfront tour and history lesson. This narrated tour offers an overview of the area and the role the Mighty Mississippi played in both St Louiss history and current times. The company offers several different cruises. The one-hour sightseeing cruise aboard the Tom Sawyer includes loads of historical information about St. Louis and the river for Mom and Dad and being on the boat is fun for kids.

City Museum

This is hands down the funkiest, most-fun childrens museum anywhere. Theres a giant pencil poking out of the plain red building, a real yellow school bus dangling off the roof, and endless places for kids to climb and play.

Its not about educational exhibits, its all about cool, artsy things for your kids to play on. Youll walk from area to area, saying out loud, "That is SO COOL!"

Magic House Childrens Museum

It is literally a massive old house no crazy-looking building painted in primary colors filled with dozens of little rooms, each with a fun, educational themed topic. The museum is open at night, too, and allows you to hold sleepover parties.

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

This memorial park pays tribute to Thomas Jefferson and the explorers including Lewis and Clark who played pivotal roles in the western expansion of the United States, and includes the Museum of Westward Expansion, and the centerpiece of which is the nations tallest monument, the 630-foot Gateway Arch. …

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