We really enjoyed our visit to St. Louis this year. We were able to spend a lot of time on a variety of activities without spending much money. St. Louis is a large city with many family-friendly attractions, many of which are FREE. The most surprising thing was that these free activities were high quality places and experiences. I would definitely recommend St. Louis as a great city for a family vacation.
Here are 11 of our favorite FREE Things to do in St. Louis:
St. Louis Zoo
I still can’t believe this beautiful zoo is FREE! It is a very large, well-maintained zoo and it is one of the best in the country. We really enjoyed our visit here. The kiddos loved seeing elephants, rhinos, penguins, and a red panda. Our family’s favorite animal was the polar bear!
Some attractions cost a fee, but if you arrive early, you can ride the carousel, feed the stingrays, and enter the Children’s Zoo for FREE from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The parking lot at the zoo charges $15.00, but there is a lot of FREE parking spots on the nearby streets. We parked on the street near the north entrance between the zoo and the art museum.
More information about St. Louis Zoo:
- Location: St. Louis Zoo // One Government Drive – St. Louis, Missouri 63110 //314.781.0900
- St Louis Zoo WEBSITE
- See more pics of the St. Louis Zoo and our visit HERE
St. Louis Science Center
This hands-on museum is a lot of fun. From the energy exhibit to the dinosaur/fossil dig exhibit, the kiddos had so much fun while we were there. General admission to the St. Louis Science center is FREE , but there are extra some activities available for a fee.
- Location: St. Louis Science Center // 5050 Oakland Avenue – St. Louis, Missouri 63110 // 314.289.4400
- St. Louis Science Center WEBSITE
- See More from our family’s visit to St. Louis Science Center HERE
Visiting this city park is FREE and the splash pads and wading pools are perfect on a hot day! There is a coffee shop and several food trucks along the street by the park. Or, you can bring a picnic lunch and enjoy an hour or two here with the kids.
More information about City Garden:
- Location: Citygarden is located along Market Street between 8th and 10th Streets in downtown St. Louis. It is open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m.
- Address: Citygarden // 801 Market St, Saint Louis, MO 63101
- Citygarden WEBSITE
- See more photos from our visit to CityGarden HERE
I think Forest Park could be it’s own city. It is a beautiful, peaceful park, and it is full of family friendly activities. The park has the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, the Jewel Box, the St. Louis Science Center, the Grand Basin, the Boathouse Restaurant, and the World’s Fair Pavilion.
You and your family could also just go for a stroll or a bike ride through this large park. There are several paths and hiking trails in Forest Park.
Forest Park WEBSITE
The Jewel Box
Above photo via
The Jewel Box is a large Art Deco greenhouse that is situated in Forest Park. It is open to the public on Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m., and on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $1 per person, but admission is FREE on Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. until noon.
Jewel Box WEBSITE
St. Louis Botanical Gardens
The St. Louis Botanical Gardens is absolutely beautiful! It is a lovely place to get some fresh air and exercise while exploring the gardens and conservatories. Admission to the gardens is $12.00, but children 12 years and younger are FREE. During the summer, everyone gets FREE admission on Wednesdays after 5 p.m.
More information on St. Louis Botanical Garden:
- St. Louis Botanical Garden // 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110 // 314.577.5100
- St. Louis Botanical Garden WEBSITE
Museum History Museum
The Missouri History Museum is a very nice museum, and it is completely FREE. My kids could have stayed in the History Clubhouse all day. It was a fun little play area just for kids.
More information about the Missouri History Museum:
- Missouri History Museum // 5700 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63112 // (314) 746-4599
- St. Louis History Museum WEBSITE
- See more photos from our visit to the Missouri History Museum HERE
The Budweiser Brewery Tours & Samples
The St. Louis historic Budweiser Brewery offers FREE tours (45 minute General Brewery Tour) and FREE beer samples. This is not really a “kid” thing to do, but thought it should be mentioned.
To see the Budweiser Clydesdales, visit Grant’s Farm (more info below). Entrance into Grant’s Farm is FREE.
More information about Budweiser Brewery Tours:
- Location: Budweiser Brewery // 12th and Lynch Street – St. Louis, MO 63118 // 314.577.2626
- Budweiser Brewery WEBSITE
Grant’s Farm is a 281-acre farm, and it cares for than 900 animals from all around the world. It is actually a former home of the Busch family and the land was once farmed by President Grant (and where the farm got its name).
If you want to see the Budweiser Clydesdales, they are located in the stables at the end of the parking lot. The Stables are separate from the other attractions at Grant’s Farm, and some prefer to make it the first or last stop during their visit.
More information about Grant’s Farm:
- Grant’s Farm admission is FREE, however, it costs $12 to park.
- Grant’s Farm // 10501 Gravois Road – St. Louis, MO 63123
- Grant’s Farm WEBSITE
Above photos via
St. Louis locals lovingly call this “The Muny”. It is actually the oldest and largest outdoor theater in the country! The theatre puts on family-friendly productions at their outdoor theatre. There are tickets for seats available for purchase, but there are over 1450 seats that are FREE of charge. The FREE seats are first come, first served and are available beginning at 7 p.m. (shows begin at 8:15).
More information on the Muny:
- The Muny // #1 Theatre Dr. – Saint Louis, MO 63112 // 314.361.1900
- The Municipal Theatre WEBSITE
St. Louis Art Museum
The St. Louis Art Museum. It is very nice and FREE (Admission to the Museum is free every day. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday. Limit 6 tickets per person). If your kiddos appreciate and enjoy art, they’ll have a great time there.
More information about St. Louis Art Museum:
- Location: Saint Louis Art Museum – One Fine Arts Drive -Forest Park // Saint Louis, Missouri 63110-1380
- St. Louis Art Museum WEBSITE
Have you visited St. Louis? What was your favorite things to do there? Any other suggestions for free things to do? Let us know in the comments!
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