Looking for fun things to do with your kids in St. Louis? Whether you’re local or planning a visit, explore five family-friendly activities with us that you and your kids will love.
Explore History on the Mississippi
The Gateway Arch welcomes visitors to St. Louis, and it’s also a launching point to explore the history of our city in style. Sail down the river on a Riverboat at the Gateway Arch while the captain or a National Park Service ranger narrates a fun tour of our city and state history, including the vital role we played in the expansion of our country. While it’s educational, your kids will have a blast taking a trip on a 19th century replica steamboat and seeing the city from a different viewpoint. Enjoy a fascinating one-hour riverboat tour (and add a tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch) or a two-hour skyline dinner cruise, complete with live music and a chef-inspired menu. Take a St. Louis Riverfront cruise with your family from March through November, and check out the specialty cruises that are available. All aboard!
(Visiting during the winter? Head inside to explore our city’s history and the westward expansion of the United States at the Museum of the Gateway Arch.)
It’s a (Big) Zoo Out There
Wondering where to head next? Your trip to St. Louis isn’t complete without going to the zoo! Voted America’s Top Free Attraction, the Saint Louis Zoo is home to over 14,000 animals representing nearly 500 species, including endangered ones. It has attractions that appeal to kids of all ages, from the Conservation Carousel to the immersive River’s Edge experience, so take some time to plan your visit and focus on what your family wants to see. At over 90 acres, the zoo has so much to offer that you may want to jump on the Zooline Railroad to rest your feet and enjoy the narrated tour or visit on multiple days. Interested in some of the paid attractions onsite? Consider an Adventure Pass. Enjoy a fun-filled time that’s educational too as you learn about, see and interact with wild animals from around the world. Nature is calling!
Where The Magic Happens
You’ve cruised the mighty Mississippi and visited the zoo. Now it’s time to get creative at The Magic House! This nonprofit children’s art museum offers over 55,000 square feet of interactive learning experiences that will grab your child’s imagination and pull them into a world of play. Kids of all ages will have a blast while developing their problem-solving skills, playing with other children and exploring wherever their curiosity takes them. Head on an Alaskan adventure with Molly of Denali as you explore the great outdoors and learn all about Alaskan Native life. Travel to Kenya via the immersive Kenya’s Kids exhibits as you visit a wildlife reserve, an outdoor marketplace, a Kenyan home, school and more. When you get hungry, stop by the Picnic Basket Café for a delicious, nutritious bite to eat. Come to play, and leave with memories!
See You At The Station
Ready for your next destination? Spend the day exploring the St. Louis Union Station! While the trains stopped running in 1978, this iconic location has reinvented itself as a modern mixed-use complex showcasing its rich history. Go on a journey through the St. Louis Aquarium, putt your way through a Mini Golf adventure, soak in the view on The St. Louis Wheel™ and navigate over 90,000 cubic feet of climbing space and 30 obstacles on the indoor Ropes Course. (Sky Tykes, a miniature version of the course, is ready to be conquered by your little ones!) Feeling brave? Fly on the SkyRailTM, a 100-foot long zip line soaring 50 feet in the air. Need a break? Kick back and relax at the stunning Fire and Light Show! Enjoy a meal to remember at The Train Shed or 1894 Café, and spend the night at the historic St. Louis Union Station Hotel.
The Whole City Is Here
Looking for a new adventure (no matter how many times you go)? Explore the unexpected at the eclectic City Museum! Housed in the former International Shoe Company, this surreal destination gives a whole new meaning to the word museum. Artists repurposed old pieces of the city, from bridges to construction cranes (and even two abandoned airplanes!), to create miles of tunnels, slides, secret passageways and castles to discover and navigate. Wander around the circus and dive into ball pits to visit playgrounds and find the Tree House. Climb to the rooftop of this magnificent madhouse to ride the Ferris wheel as you celebrate your journey and enjoy the view. Ready to descend? Slide down the Praying Mantis and you’ll be back on the ground in no time. Prepare to have your mind blown—and don’t forget the knee pads!
There’s so much to see and do in St. Louis that the hardest decision you’ll make is choosing which fun adventure your family will head on next. We hope our recommendations will guide your family as you enjoy our wonderful city and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come!