One of the best things about our city is all of the great activities for families. If you’re looking for some fun events and activities in Saint Louis to plan a Staycation or Vacation here’s your guide!
St. Louis Zoo
Admission to the St. Louis Zoo is always free, but each day during the summer from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the Children’s Zoo, the Conservation Carousel, the Stingrays at Caribbean Cove and other special exhibits are also free. The Children’s Zoo has an outdoor playground with slides, bridges and rope ladders. Kids can also get an up-close look at bunnies, guinea pigs and other animals.
Summer Hours: May 26 – September 4, 2016
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday and holidays
Plus this year they are hosting Prairie Farms Summer Zoo Weekends
The 281 acre farm in South St. Louis County is home to hundreds of animals, including the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. They feature a train ride to the farm, pony and camel rides, paddle boat rides a carousel and much more. Grant’s Farm is open daily except Mondays.
Admission is free for everyone, parking is $12 or you can purchase a $40 season parking pass.
General admission to the Science Center is free. This includes access to more than ten various exhibition spaces. For the general public, there are fees for parking, tickets to shows in the OMNIMAX® Theater and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Members of the Science Center receive free and discounted tickets.
Summer hours begin May 27
Monday – Saturday 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday – 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
The Gateway Arch Ticketing & Visitor Center has relocated to the Old Courthouse at 11 N. 4th Street. Please note the walking distance between the Old Courthouse and the Arch entrance at the NORTH leg is approximately 7.5 blocks (10-15 minutes of average walking time). EACH guest planning to enter the Gateway Arch will be required to have EITHER a Journey to the Top ticket or an Arch Entry-Only ticket to be allowed access to the facility. You can also purchase tickets by phone at 877-982-1410. Advance tickets are strongly recommended.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Summer: Daily, 8am – 10pm
Riverboat Cruises are Back:
DAILY ONE-HOUR SIGHTSEEING CRUISE 2017
Advance ticket purchases are recommended, and are required for certain cruises. Contact the Call Center at 877-982-1410 to buy ticket. You may also purchase tickets in advance online.
Gateway Arch Riverboats, 50 S. Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63102
St. Louis’s children’s museum has free admission for families on the third Friday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Free family night dates below:
April 21, 2017
May 19, 2017
June 16, 2017
July 21, 2017
August 18, 2017
September 15, 2017
October 20, 2017
November 17, 2017
December 15, 2017
Memorial Day through Labor Day
Monday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: 9:30 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
Citygarden is a public park filled with fountains, wading pools, sculpture and more. It’s a great free place for kids to play on a hot summer day. Citygarden is located along Market Street between 8th and 10th Streets in downtown St. Louis. It is open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m.
St. Louis Art Museum
The Saint Louis Art Museum collects, presents, interprets, and conserves works of art of the highest quality across time and cultures; educates, inspires discovery, and elevates the human spirit; and preserves a legacy of artistic achievement for the people of St. Louis and the world. View all upcoming events HERE
Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Friday, 10:00 am–9:00 pm
The Museum is open New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Admission to the Museum is free every day.
Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday. Limit 6 tickets per person.
St. Louis History Museum
Visit the events calendar HERE
General admission to the Museum is always free.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Admission is charged for some special exhibitions.The Missouri History Museum is a member of the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District and receives funding through the Missouri History Museum Subdistrict. The Museum is also generously supported by memberships, gifts, and grants.
The Twilight Tuesday Concert Series is back. View the schedule HERE.
At the Visitor Center, pet lovers of all ages can enjoy:
Baby animal petting area
Animal Barn and Hayloft Play Area
Canine performances of agility, diving dog and flying disc
Visit the events calendar HERE
Admission to the Visitor Center is always free. Parking is free on most days, but there is sometimes a parking fee during special events!
Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects.
Museum is open 7 days a week.
Mon – Tues 9am till 5pm
Wed – Thurs 9am till 5pm
Fri – Sat 9am till Midnight
Sun 11am till 5pm
Eckert’s Farms, family-owned and operated since 1837 by seven generations of Eckerts, is the largest pick-your-own orchard operation in the United States. Starting as a simple roadside stand in 1910, the Eckert family now owns and operates farming, entertainment, and retail entities in Belleville, Grafton and Millstadt, IL. We have grown from simple fruit orchards into family entertainment centers that feature special children’s activities, annual events, festivals and the Eckert’s Country Store and Restaurant.
Restaurant: 7am – 9pm daily
Country Store: 8am – 8pm Sun-Thurs; 8am – 9pm Fri & Sat
Custard Shop: 11am – 9pm daily
PYO Strawberries: 9am – 5pm daily
Museum of Transportation
The Museum of Transportation, in West St. Louis County, MO, houses what has been recognized as one of the largest and best collections of transportation vehicles in the world.
View the calendar of events HERE
Memorial Day – Labor Day
Monday-Saturday: 9 am – 4 pm
Sunday: 11 am – 4 pm
Adults: $8.00 (13 & older); Children: $5.00 (3-12)
Members: Free (six guests admitted per visit)
View the events calendar HERE
The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis. The Garden offers 79 acres of beautiful horticultural display, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home, and one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids.
Admission is free to the Children’s Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m during the Whitaker Music Festival. The Children’s Garden is designed to teach kids about nature in a fun way. There’s a tree house, frontier fort, outdoor classroom and more.
Open daily, April–October, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Open late on Wednesdays 5 to 7 p.m., during Whitaker Music Festival
Children’s Garden Admission:
Free: ages 2 & under
Free: ages 13 & up
$3: Garden Members (ages 3–12)
$5: Non-members (ages 3–12)
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Last admission at 3:30.
$8 general admission
$5 seniors 65 & over
$5 children 3-12
Free children 2 & under
Free for Missouri Botanical Garden Members.
St. Louis City/County residents enjoy free admission on the first Tuesday of every month from 9 -11 a.m. Proof of residency is required. Due to high attendance, strollers are not permitted on free Tuesdays.
PARENTS NIGHT OUT EVERY WEDNESDAY
MOM AND DAD PLAY FREE WITH THE PURCHASE OF A KIDS WRISTBAND EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT(4pm-CLOSE) (KIDS 12 AND UNDER)
Includes unlimited Go Karts, Bumper Boats, Batting Cages, Bumper Cars and access to the unlimited playground.
10 am- 10 pm
Friday – Saturday
Whether you’re on the hunt for a 100% private indoor birthday party, a super cool spot to host your next team get together, or just a fun place to bounce on the hugest, most gigantic inflatables around, BounceU is a great place to take the kids.
Locations available in Chesterfield and St. Louis
Monkey Joe’s is another fun place full of inflatables that the kids will love.
Hours of Operation:
Friday & Saturday
Price: $9.99 – $11.99
Sports Fusion Chesterfield
Chesterfield Sports Fusion is a unique indoor family recreation facility. There are fun attractions for people of all ages in an inviting and comfortable atmosphere.
Open daily during the summer.
Open jump lets you fly high! That means full access to all Sky Zone activities, including the Main Court (free jump), the Foam Zone (freestyle jumping into foam), Ultimate Dodgeball, SkySlam, and more! Open jump is available during normal operating hours. All ages are welcome, and a Sky Zone liability waiver is required for each jumper (those under 18 must have their waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian). Locations in Chesterfield and Fenton
EPIC 6 is an exciting indoor sports and recreation facility for the whole family.
Six Flags St. Louis offers everything from pulse-pounding roller coasters to gentler options for tots. Cool off at Hurricane Harbor or take a break at one of their entertaining shows.
North Pointe Family Aquatic Center
Ballwin, MO 63011
Price: $4 resident youths and seniors/$5 adults/$7 non resident youths and adults
May 27-August 13
11:30-7:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday
August 14-September 4
Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day: 11:30-7:30 p.m.
Maryland Heights Centre and Aquaport
Price: $5 adult day passes ages 16 and older with resident discount/$10 youth ages 4 to 15/$4 with resident discount/free children 3 and younger
Carondelet Park Rec Complex
Price: $50 annual outdoor pool add on fee for city residents/$5 per child guest/$10 per adult guest
White Birch Bay Aquatic Center
The popular water park features a bubble slide, a 600-foot lazy river, a little tot wave pool with spray features and more.
Admission for non-residents is $12 for adults and $10 for children. Resident admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children. Kids three and younger are free.
The center is open from noon to 7 p.m.
Bridgeton Crossing Aquatic Park
There are slides and a children’s play area, plus plenty of room to swim or just relax in the sun.
Admission for non-residents is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Resident admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children. Kids three and younger are free.
Bridgeton Crossing is open from noon to 8 p.m.
Raging Rivers in Grafton
The water park sits on the banks of the Mississippi River along the Great River Road. It’s a full scale attraction with a beach, treehouse harbor, endless river, slides, raft rides and more.
Admission is $24.95 for adults and $20.95 for children or save $5 by going after 3 p.m.
Raging Rivers opens daily at 10:30 a.m.
Fenton – Riverchase Recreation Center
625 New Smizer Mill Road • Fenton, MO 63026 • (636) 343-2080
Arnold Recreational Center
Outdoor Pool Hours are Noon-7 pm Monday thru Sunday. The pool opens at 11 am daily for members only. The outdoor pool will switch to Saturdays and Sundays only after Fox School District resumes regular session in the fall (August). In addition, the outdoor pool will close for the season after Labor Day Holiday.
Kirkwood Aquatic Center
NONRESIDENTS (anyone who does not live in Kirkwood, Glendale, or Oakland) – NEW: In addition to entering the pool as a guest of a resident, nonresidents (NR) may purchase a NR ID card or a NR season pass. The NR ID card costs $30 per year per person and will allow the nonresident to pay the NR daily fee of $8. NR season passes cost $120 for youth (4-17), $145 for an adult (18-64), $120 for a senior citizen (65+), and $315 for a family of three (each additional family member costs $30). To obtain a NR ID card, each purchaser 16 and older must present a valid, current Missouri Driver’s License showing current address. Purchases age 15 and younger must be accompanied by a person living at the same address who can present the documents listed above. Everyone 4 and older must have an ID card. Each ID card will be allowed up to four guests per day, with a maximum allowance of 16 guests per family per day. All guests will pay the nonresident guest daily admission fee.
Fountain at Tower Grove Park
The fountain and wading pool at Tower Grove Park is a nice place for kids to cool off in the summer heat. There are dozens of pop-jets for children to play in, as well as a large water bowl in the center of the fountain. During the summer, the fountain and jets are on every day. The wading pool is open Tuesday through Sunday.
Suson Park Animal Farm
Give your kids a look at a real animal farm complete with pigs, horses, cows, chickens and more. The animal farm at Suson Park in St. Louis County is open daily in the summer.
One of the best known of the County’s parks, Tilles is a favored location for picnics.
Park Hours: 8 a.m. to one half hour past official sunset,
except when reservations are issued.
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Laumeier Sculpture Park features 80 sculptures scattered along a well-maintained trail throughout this unusual park. The trail takes you through woodlands as well as manicured fields, and you’ll encounter large sculptures everywhere you go.
Matson Hill Park
In the “Boone Region” of Street Charles County, Matson Hill Park provides a unique opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast who wishes to escape into a heavily forested area. Planned with limited outside development, the park reflects the natural surroundings found in the area during the time of Daniel Boone’s life. Designed for hiking and biking, the undulating terrain offers a challenge to all.
Trail Among the Trees, Rockwoods Reservation –
This hilly loop will take you past a rocky glade, forested uplands and lowlands, through valleys, quarried areas and Bathtub Cave. Arriving at the rocky glade, you’ll find a nice west-facing overlook of the Rockwoods area, which is particularly enjoyable at sunset. The beginning and end of the trail are flat and easy, but the middle section has a few steep grades and some stairs. There are 7 designated hiking trails covering around 13 miles.
The initial loops and field areas are designed for any skill level and the back portion of the park has challenging climbs, creek crossings, and exposed rock and tree roots. In addition, a one-half mile paved surface trail that is open to walking and bicycle traffic only surrounds the fishing lake along Wilson Road. While strolling on one of many trails, make sure to take in the wildflower show occurring late spring through summer, or look for crayfish and tadpoles in the picturesque creek that is accessible at several points along the trail.
River Scene Trail at Castlewood State Park
From the trailhead, you’ll face an intimidating incline, but most of this hike’s elevation gain is in the first third of a mile; the rest is either flat or a descent. At the top of the initial climb you’ll see the first of the dramatic views from the top of the bluffs. Be sure to keep your kids at a safe distance from the edge as there is no railing along the bluffs. However, there are great benches and overlook decks where you can safely enjoy the views. Continue along the trail as it follows the edge of the bluffs to the hiking-only section. About a mile into the hike you’ll start to descend a long set of stairs leading down from the bluffs and into the valley below. After passing through a short tunnel under the railroad tracks, you’ll arrive at the edge of the Meramec River. This section is great for exploring the river’s edge, especially when you get to the large sandy beach. The trail continues past the cul-de-sac at the beach and eventually ends on a park road. Turn to your right and follow the park road back to the trailhead.
Powder Valley Nature Center
Families can take a hike on one of several paved trails that weave through the Powder Valley Nature Conservation Center. There’s also an indoor learning center and special free classes for kids throughout the summer.
Indian Camp Creek Park
ICCP’s prairie lowlands and wooded hillsides offer more than 9 miles of multi-use, natural surface trails for hikers, cyclists and equestrians. The trails are open during daylight hours and the flats along the creek are accessible to most. The back portion of the park has several more challenging climbs, exposed rock or tree roots and ditch crossings.
St. Louis Riverfront Trail
Instead of dense woods and lush wetlands, the St. Louis Riverfront Trail provides an opportunity for riders to experience historic and industrial sections of St. Louis, as well as natural river scenery. Although the trail is a bit longer roundtrip, especially for children, there are plenty of stop-off points and attractions. Among them: The Laclede Power Center, “Reflections on a River” floodwall art mural, Native Plant Nursery, Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Underground Railroad Site (the first nationally-designated Underground Railroad Site in Missouri), North Riverfront Park and the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.
Katy Trail—Weldon Springs to Defiance
The Katy Trail features luscious scenery, as well as many options for shorter and longer rides. In particular, this leg from the Weldon Springs trailhead to Defiance is perfect for families because of its length, terrain and attractions. Wildflowers dot the landscape as you roll from town to town. Formerly the MKT rail line, this stretch of Katy Trail meanders through peaceful farmland and small-town Americana.
Constructed on an old railroad right of way, Grant’s Trail (named for Ulysses S. Grant) is a flat, fun and diverse way to enjoy the outdoors. It winds through the woods just like the train tracks used to, but don’t worry—there are no stockcars or tracks in sight. Instead, riders will see a variety of attractions, including the Grant Historic Site and the Sappington House home and museum. Be sure to stop by one of the most famous attractions—the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale stables and pastures.
Forest Park Biking and Hiking Trail
The Forest Park Biking and Hiking Trail offers riders many fun, interactive stops along the way. There are a dozen attractions located near the park, including access to the St. Louis Art Museum and St. Louis Zoo. If you’d rather keep riding, the trail also features pristine lakes, great wooded areas and striking flower gardens. It’s good for bird-watching, too—more than 200 species have been sighted here.
–Kids Bowl Free: Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long. Go here to see if a bowling center in your area is participating and to sign up!
Each center has their own rules to participate. In Arnold you have to be 10 or Under in Belleville you have to be 14 or Under. Be sure to check the rules for your participating location.
The schedule for Regal Cinemas Regal Summer Movie Express – $1 kids movies for the 2017 summer has been announced! Regal Cinemas offers $1 movie admission to popular kids movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer. Each week both movies play on both days.
Start date varies by location, so find the closest participating theater near you where you can check out the Summer movie schedule – so you know what movies will play when. Just scroll down to the map and enter your local zip code for a full schedule.
The weekly schedule for the St. Louis area begins June 27th and ends August 23rd:
WEEK 1 – Kung Fu Panda 3 and Ice Age: Collision Course
WEEK 2 – Trolls and Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
WEEK 3 – Monster Trucks and Penguins of Madagascar
WEEK 4 – Rio 2 and The Boxtrolls
WEEK 5 – The Secret Life of Pets and Sing
WEEK 6 – Kubo and the Two Strings and Ratchet and Clank
WEEK 7 – The Spongebob Square Pants Movie: Sponge Out of Water and The Adventures of Tin Tin
WEEK 8 – Happy Feet 2 and ats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of the Kitty Galore
WEEK 9 – Storks and The LEGO Batman Movie
My kids have always loved this summer movie series!
The Marcus Theaters Kids Dream Series has been announced! This will take the place of the Wehrenberg Summer Series. Prices are $3, and will show at 10 a.m. During this series, attendees can enjoy concessions specials, including popcorn and fountain drinks for just $2.75. You can find your location HERE.
Here is the Kids Dream Series Schedule for Summer 2017:
June 11-12, 14
Secret Life of Pets
June 18-19, 21
June 25-26, 28
July 2-3, 5
July 9-10, 12
July 16-17, 19
July 23-24, 26
July 30-31, Aug 2
August 6-7, 9
August 13-14, 16
Tickets will be on sale starting Friday, April 28th!
Join Ballpark Village as they feature fun flicks like Moana, SING and more on the outdoor Busch II Infield, select Mondays through September. The fun starts at 6PM with movie related activities or photo op with movie starting promptly at 7PM. Prairie Farms Dugout will be open at this time for basic concessions and fill out a donate to a local charity onsite for a bag of popcorn! So grab a blanket, family and friends and pick a date below:
May 22nd – Moana
June 19th – Kung Fu Panda 3
July 10th – SING
August 14th – Jungle Book
September 18th – Angry Birds
*No outside food or beverage is allowed.
*If you have more that you would like to share pass them on!