Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What to do in St. Louis with kids

What to do in St. Louis with kids!

st louis arch, children's museum, city museum, st louis cardinals

My kids went back to school yesterday
 after being out of school for over a week for Spring Break.
So now (hopefully) my overworked, underpaid mom brain
has had enough time to 
rest, so I can tell you about our spring break trip.

We got up early and left our TN home around 6am.  
I thought we'd beat the rush hour downtown Nashville traffic at that time.
I was wrong.
It added an extra hour to our 5 hour drive.  boo.

But we made it!
We all let out a shout when we saw the St. Louis Arch in the distance.

city museum

Our first stop was City Museum.
We parked across the street from the museum for $5. 
I was a little concerned about our car getting broken in to, especially since I 
saw a sign at the City Museum warning of break ins.
We hid our things very well in the back of the car and had no problems at all.

children's museum, st louis, kids activities

 Now about City Museum.
This place was completely unbelievable, in the best way possible.
It's in an old shoe factory that is many stories high.

There were tree houses to climb in,

small tunnels to crawl through,

dozens of slides,

underground, tight squeeze tunnels to crawl through,
(please forgive the quality of photos.  
it was dark and I was too busy crawling around with 
my kids to concentrate too much on photography)

an interesting but awesome balcony type set of stairs that lead 10 stories up,
(doesn't it look like Hogwarts?)

and a slide that went down that same 10 stories.
I rode that puppy down.  
I think the whole museum could hear me scream.

There were dark caves to explore, so many different climbing structures, 
a fish tank and more slides.  

And then you can go outside.

There are so many more structures to explore,

and climb up,

walk across,

and slide down.

One could play outside all day long and never get bored!

But be very careful, there are many low hanging beams,

and it's easy to crack your head hard on one and get a monster goose egg.
(It was so big, that I quickly looked up the address to the closest ER)
But when I showed the bump to one of the museum's employees,
they weren't too nervous about it and offered an ice pack.

The City Museum is so so so much fun for all ages!! 
I have 15 and 8 year old boys and a 13 year old girl.
Any activity that makes us all happy is a total winner, and 
we all had a complete blast!  

Things to remember:

wear tennis shoes
there's tons of walking and climbing and 
open toed shoes are prohibited (for good reason)

wear long pants or bring knee pads
there is a lot of hands and knees crawling

bring a flashlight
the caves were VERY dark.  
I had to use the flashlight on my cell phone to navigate them.

leave your purse in the car or bring a backpack-
you'll want your hands free for all
of the climbing and sliding.

For food:
There is a restaurant inside that serves pizza and sandwiches.
And there is a pop up BBQ place outside that were both reasonably priced.

We were all pretty tired so we went to our hotel afterwards.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown.
The hotel is very nice.
We had a suite with a fridge, microwave, a king bed in one room and a 
pull out couch in the other.

We were able to go to the managers reception 
where light snacks and drinks were served for free.

There were 2 tv's in our room, so I was able to catch a little 
Fixer Upper while we ate Room Service Pizza.

The drawbacks of this hotel are:
since it was right downtown, 
the room rate was pretty pricey in addition 
to paying $27 to park overnight.
The pool was small and consequently very crowded.
There were no restaurants or stores around 
so we had to order room service and 
buy expensive snacks at the hotel.

The positives were: free managers reception during the week, 
free breakfast, wifi, 
work out room and our room was comfortable.

We set out the next day for a new adventure to the Gateway Arch.

We started at the Old St. Louis Courthouse.
(This entire area is under construction so this may be different once it's all done.)
There is quite a lot of parking around this area.
We found a lot that only cost $5.  
Make sure to have exact change.

The courthouse is where we bought tickets 
to ride to the top of the Gateway Arch.
I had reserved ours online and I suggest doing so, 
to reserve your desired time for the tram ride.

We were kind of early for our tram ride to the top, 
so we explored the courthouse.

The 3 story rotunda was beautiful.

This is the court room where the Dred Scott case was heard.
My daughter had just studied this is US History, 
so it was pretty interesting to see in real life.

After viewing the exhibits and courtrooms for a while, 
we journeyed over to the arch.

It's quite a walk to the entrance of the arch.
Again, this is all under construction, scheduled to be completed by Oct 2017.

things to do in St Louis, St. Louis arch, tourist in St. Louis

I couldn't believe we were going up in The Arch.
It's an icon of America.  
It's so beautiful!!

The tram ride to the top is in these little cars.
When I say little I mean little.

This is all of us in the 4 minute ride to the top.

view from St Louis arch

The city view from the top.

view from St Louis arch

The river view from the top.

It's completely breathtaking and surreal being that high up and 
spending time inside The Gateway Arch.

Busch Stadium, where the St. Louis Cardinals play, 
is just down the street from the Arch 
so we walked down to explore.

Unfortunately it started raining.
And when I say raining, I mean completely down pouring, 
drenching us all even though we had umbrellas.

So we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Calecos 
and then headed to another hotel for the night.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express outside St. Louis in Shiloh, IL.

We all really liked this hotel.
It was only 15 mins outside St. Louis, 
it was way less expensive.
It was located in a big shopping area- it shared a parking lot with Target.
It had a bigger pool, our room had a fridge and microwave, 
and in the morning we got to eat free breakfast.

This is where we would stay again, if we were to go back to St. Louis!

We woke up in the morning and were going to go to the St. Louis zoo. 
But one kid had a sick stomach and it started raining again, so we headed home.

We had a total blast on our trip to St. Louis. 
I would recommend going there to anyone.


  1. We did the zoo on our trip. The animals are still on winter break. 😉 It was kinda disappointing- you didn't miss much. Tommy told me about the museum you went to. I wish we had done that instead of the zoo! Sounds like an absolute blast! Next time! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Thanks for your comments!