Tucked into the heart of the Midwest, St. Louis at once embraces its past and yet welcomes the future. It’s an old city with many places of historical interest, but it’s also a modern, thriving city with family activities galore.
As a traveler on a family vacation, you will find St. Louis to be hip, unique, fun and full of adventure. Whether your vacation includes teenagers or little ones, there’s something for everyone in St. Louis.
With the following things to do in St. Louis with your family, you can experience firsthand the adventures of American literature’s timeless character, Huck Finn, by taking a trip down the Mississippi, or you can round up the kids and spend the day at one of the most exciting amusement parks in the country.
Why not fill your family activities in St. Louis, MO with both history and thrills and do both! The ideal destination includes doing a little bit of everything.
In busy St. Louis, you might not be able to squeeze in everything, but you can rest assured that your days will be busy and fun, and filled with the beautiful sound of your family’s laughter.
And at the end of your trip, if you and your family have big smiles on your faces and you know a little bit more about the history of our big old country, then you have achieved a wonderful vacation!
Table of Contents
St. Louis Attractions and Activities for the Little Ones
Traveling with small children, especially to a big city like St. Louis, can often be a challenge. Some cities just don’t seem stroller and minivan friendly! And when you travel with young children, you have a lot of accessories.
Well, St. Louis is a family town at heart, and it welcomes travelers with young children by providing endless activities and amusements that even the parents will find themselves enjoying.
One activity that kids and parents will love is a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. The St. Louis Zoo has over 800 animal species, including many that are rare and endangered.
And since families are often budgeting, the parents will love the fact that the St. Louis Zoo has free admission for the whole family. Yes, free! In its effort to cater to families and to encourage family vacations, many activities in St. Louis are budget friendly.
If your kids enjoy aquatic animals, then take a trip over to the World Aquarium, which is located inside the city museum and provides your family with such varied, fun activities as petting sharks and seeing rare sea animals. The World Aquarium brings the ocean to the Midwest!
And since no family trip with little children is complete without a special treat, cap off your day of fun with a visit to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard stand. Frozen custard is a St. Louis specialty! Ted Drewes claim is that their milkshakes are so thick you can turn them upside down, and any kid will love putting this delicious claim to the test.
Pleasing Your Teens in St. Louis
Taking a family vacation with teenagers is a whole other kind of challenge. Teens are more likely to worry about what they’re missing at home than what they’re going to enjoy on their vacation! But this won’t be the case when they go to St. Louis.
St. Louis is in many ways a hip, modern city that your teenagers will love. It’s definitely worth a day to head to St. Louis Six Flags, where you and your kids will be screaming with joy as you embark on thrilling ride after ride.
For a piece of history and fun, catch a game at the historic Busch Stadium, home of the National League’s most successful franchise, the St. Louis Cardinals. The fans in St. Louis are some of the most loyal fans in baseball, and your family will enjoy seeing and joining them rally for their team.
And if your vacation in St. Louis falls on a day when the legendary summer heat starts to creep in, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to head to Raging Rivers Water Park! It pays tribute to the rivers that make St. Louis famous, but you won’t find placid river water here! Thrilling flumes and crazy waves will knock you over and make you laugh until your sides hurt.
Family Outdoor Activities in St. Louis
St. Louis is the place where two legendary rivers meet: the Mississippi and the Missouri. This conflux has inspired literature, tradition, and fables throughout the entire history of the United States.
Explore this history in a fun way by visiting the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, a 4300-acre park where the two rivers meet. Hike, bike, swim, fish or just take a picnic. All family members will enjoy this spectacular place.
Another fun place for your family to get outdoors is the Route 66 State Park, which pays tribute to the historic Route 66, another significant slice of American history.
While on your St. Louis trip, you won’t want to pass up a visit to the famous Gateway Arch. Be sure to dedicate a few hours to see our nation’s largest man-made monument and to enjoy the many activities that revolve around the Gateway Arch.
You can take a tram to the top (which will make the kids squeal in delight), visit the Lewis and Clark exhibit in the adjoining museum, or even take a real live riverboat under it. No St. Louis vacation is complete without visiting this world famous sight!
Museums and Historic Sites in St. Louis
There’s a secret your kids won’t tell you, they secretly love to learn. And when education is presented in a fun way, your family vacation can do double duty!
With all its fun family activities, St. Louis does not ignore its past as a place of extreme historical significance to the United States. Museums abound in St. Louis, and your family will have a hard time choosing which ones to visit.
One of particular interest to both children and parents is City Museum, which has interactive exhibits for the kids and covers everything from architecture to animals.
Kids will also love The Magic House, which is a children’s museum that guarantees hands-on learning.
Moms and dads will enjoy a visit to the Contemporary Art Museum, which showcases some of the most relevant and prominent artists in the world today.
Another St. Louis museum worth a visit is the Griot Museum of Black History and Culture, which will remind the whole family of famous African-American Missourians and how far our nation has come from the days of the Missouri Compromise.
One outdoor location that’s lots of fun and very educational is the Daniel Boone Home and Boonesfield Village, which is located on Daniel Boone’s actual home and includes an authentic replica of an early nineteenth-century village. No bonnet required, but you may want to buy one at the gift shop!
Whether your family wants your vacation to be fun, educational, wacky or adventurous, you can have the whole shebang in St. Louis. These family things to do in St Louis, MO will please everyone, which isn’t always possible to do, but just a little bit easier in here!