Top 5 Places in St. Louis For Kids…That’s Free
Why is St. Louis such a great town for families? It’s because of the freebies! Thanks to our Metro Zoo-Museum Tax district a lot of our best attractions charge no admission. See, sometime your tax dollars actually pay for something fun.
Here’s my top five favorite places to take the kids, no charge.
1) The St. Louis Zoo: This one is a no-brainer. We have one of the very best zoos in the country (don’t just take my word for it) and there’s no entrance fee. If plan ahead, you can visit the zoo completely on the cheap. You’ll need to get there early to grab some free street parking and during the first hour the zoo is open you’ll also get free admission to the Children’s Zoo. In the winter, the zoo opens at 9am.
2) The St. Louis Science Center: Another great St. Louis institution that kids love! The Science Center doesn’t charge admission and you can get free parking by entering from the Planetarium side in Forest Park. Most of the activities in the Science Center are free—and be sure to stick around for the science demonstrations, like when they explore gravity by dropping stuff off the balcony.
3) The Missouri Botanical Garden: Shaw’s Garden (as we old timers know it) is part of the museum district, but they only offer locals free admission on Wednesday and Saturday mornings before noon (kids under 12 are always free to the main garden). You’ll need to show your driver’s license to prove you’re a resident of St. Louis City or County to get this freebie. The garden is beautiful year-round—in the winter be sure to check out the tropical Climatron. But the real fun for kids starts this spring when the Children’s Garden reopens for the season. The Children’s Garden is free for kids under 2 and anyone over 13. Tickets for kids are normally $5 for non-members, but they’re offering free admission on Saturdays before noon.
4) Powder Valley Nature Center: This park tucked into the wilds of Kirkwood is run by the state conservation department and has a totally free nature museum that little kids love. Kids can explore a tree house, play with animal puppets, check out a real bee hive and so much more. If the weather is nice you can take your family on a hike through the woods on a paved trail. The handicap accessible trail is good for starters—super flat and short. The others are massively hilly and a over a mile long.
5) Laumeier Sculpture Park: Laumeier is a St. Louis County Park in Sunset Hills that puts art out in the open where kids can really get into it. Sculptures are out in the fields and hidden on the trails, so you can enjoy a nature walk AND get a little culture. There’s also an indoor museum, so if you didn’t bring your dog for the hike you’ll want to check that out too.