Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Family Friendly Fun in St. Louis, MO

You may not think of St. Louis, MO as a family friendly destination, but it is.  There is so much to do that is fun for all ages!  

Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO





Nashville to St. Louis is a 4-5 hour drive.  An easy doable trip for a family.  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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - drive from Nashville to St Louis


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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - drive from Nashville to St Louis


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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


The City Museum is completely unbelievable, in the best way possible.  It's in an old shoe factory that is many stories high.

Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


 There were many tree houses to climb in.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


There were so many small tunnels to crawl through.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


There were dozens of slides that even fit adults.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


There were tons of 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)


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum



There were dark caves to explore, so many different climbing structures, a fish tank and more slides.  And then you can go outside.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


There are so many more structures to explore.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum

There are tons of places to climb.

Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


There are tons of bridges to walk across.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


And there are tons of levels to slide down.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - City Museum


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 when attending the City Museum in St Louis:

  • 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 at the hotel or bring a backpack-you'll want your hands free for all of the climbing and sliding.

  • They have 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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Embassy Suites Downtown


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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Embassy Suites Downtown


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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Embassy Suites Downtown


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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Embassy Suites Downtown


We set out the next day for a new adventure at the Old St. Louis Courthouse.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Old St Louis Courthouse


(This entire area was 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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Old St Louis Courthouse


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Old St Louis Courthouse


The 3 story rotunda was beautiful.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Old St Louis Courthouse


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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Old St Louis Courthouse


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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - St Louis 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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - St Louis Arch


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - St Louis Arch


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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - St Louis Arch


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.


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - St Louis Arch



But once we got up to the top, it was totally worth it.  The views were breathtaking!  In one side of the arch windows, you could see the city.   


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - St Louis Arch

From the windows on the other side of the arch you could see the river.  

Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - St Louis Arch

The river view from the top.



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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Busch Stadium

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.



Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Busch Stadium


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


Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO - Holiday Inn Express


We all really liked this hotel.  It was only 15 mins outside St. Louis so 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 atomach and it started raining again, so we headed home.

Family Friendly fun in St. Louis, MO

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



3 comments:

  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!

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