When you hear “free” do you think that means “this place is going to be cheaply done?” Sadly, that’s sometimes the case. But not in St Louis, Missouri. These seven free attractions in St Louis are state of the art and designed to keep kids, and families, happy.
Free in St. Louis
Missouri History Museum
This is no cheaply done museum; this is a state-of-the-art museum, loaded with knowledge, education, and oh did I mention that it is completely kid friendly? We spent hours wondering around the museum, learning everything from the history of the Holocaust to the history of the St Louis Cardinals. I would say there is something for every age at the Missouri History Museum, but kids ages 5 to 13 will get the most out of it. The museum is mostly free; you have to pay for a few special exhibits and, of course, refreshments and treasures.
St. Louis Science Center
Science is sometimes messy, but it’s always free in St Louis! I rarely plan an entire trip to just visit one place, but three years ago for my son’s then 5th birthday, we planned a road trip to the St. Louis Science Center – and I was glad I did. With ages 5, 9, and 10 along that day; we spent hours seeing just how amazing science can be. The incredible St Louis Science Center offers free admission. Step outside the box, build a tower, watch cars drive underneath you, and stick your hand through a sand storm – this all possible in just a few hour visit to the St Louis Science Center.
St. Louis Art Museum
Depending on your kids’ ages, this may be a short visit. But it’s free, so that isn’t as a big of a concern as if you pay a steep admission fee and then find out your child isn’t an art love. My daughter, who is almost 12, really enjoyed the art museum. My son, who is 7, not so much. Overall, it was more of a struggle than it was worth – and the first naked exhibit resulted in hysterical 7-year-old laughing. The museum is free to visitors. (Please note: The museum now has a children’s section that I have heard good things about, but I haven’t been back to see it.) The St. Louis Art Museum is located in the gorgeous Forest Park, just across the way from the very kid-friendly (and also free) St. Louis Zoo.
Visiting the Animals for Free in St. Louis
Animals free for the loving; St Louis is full of free places where you can get your animal fix on. This city is one of the few places that still has a free zoo (although you have to pay for a few exhibits and parking). The St. Louis Zoo is rather large and you probably should plan to spend most of the day enjoying the animals.
Just a few miles up the road, you can take a trip to the farm – Purina Farms that is. Spend the day touring the small farm, watching the dogs train, visit the cat’s tree house, and maybe even learn how to milk a cow. Purina Farms welcomes visitors of all ages, but I have found Purina Farms geared more towards the littler visitors – toddlers through elementary age.
Visit Clydesdales, elephants and more at Grant’s Farm. Minus the small parking fee and refreshments at Grants Farm, your visit is free. Spend the day feeding the goats, exploring deer park, watching the animal shows, and meet the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. Grants Farm is perfect for all ages – even Grandma and Grandpa will enjoy the atmosphere.
World Bird Sanctuary
The World Bird Sanctuary is a free sanctuary to more than just birds. I stumbled across the World Bird Sanctuary and at first I was hesitant, thinking it was just a place for birds to get better – well it is that, but it is so much more. Not a full day visit, but definitely worth the stop. You get up close and personal with birds from all over the world and you learn what it takes for them to survive. The sanctuary is completely free, but is happy to take your donations.