Story by Danielle Tobar | Apr 26, 2017

Find family fun everywhere you turn in St. Louis.

During the long hot summers, an escape from the Capital City might be needed, and St. Louis is a prime spot for a quick getaway. Of course you’ll be cheering on the Cards at Busch Stadium, but what other events are essential for a fun summer trip to STL?

 

THE GATEWAY ARCH

Whether you were born and raised in Missouri or you’re a newbie, it’s obligatory that you’re familiar with Missouri’s two most historic monuments: the Capitol and the Gateway Arch. Not much has changed about the architectural marvel itself (thankfully), but a refresher visit should be on your to-do list. Take a couple of hours to explore the newly renovated Arch grounds and museum, and ride to the top for a view of the city and the Mississippi — you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for our historic past.

CITY MUSEUM

This STL destination is easily one of the most unique places within driving distance of JCMO. This play space is the stuff of dreams — kids can climb, crawl, roam, explore, and slide to their heart’s content, or at least until they need a nap. The new-age museum is an interactive gallery of art that is meant to be climbed on. Although some of the spaces are a bit small for the average adult, you’re encouraged to join in on the fun and unleash your inner kid. Bringing kneepads isn’t a bad idea. A few hours of crawling and the aches that follow will have you feeling like an adult again in no time.

THE MAGIC HOUSE

Not to be outshined its children’s exhibit counterpart, The Magic House is a full-day interactive fun house for children of all ages. With exhibits on everything from magic, mysteries, and art to fan favorites like the bubble room and the kids’ construction zone, this place has something for everyone. If you want to enjoy free admission, head over on the third Friday of the month after 5:30 p.m. for their free family fun night.

THE ST. LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER

As a comparable option that just so happens to be free, the Science Center is a great choice for a budget-friendly day in the city. Along with its resident attractions like the Life Science Lab and the OMNIMAX Theater, the science center offers a little something extra throughout the year with SciFest 2017 — each month, experts are on location to inspire and teach about science in the real world. This summer, the expo topics range from coding and mega-machines to movers and shakers in the STL science community.

SLAM ART HILL FILM SERIES

Every summer, the St. Louis Art Museum utilizes its magnificent Art Hill, overlooking the Grand Basin in Forest Park, for popular flicks under the stars on Friday nights in July. This event is — of course — free. Last year, classics like “Top Gun,” “Rocky,” “E.T.,” and “Forrest Gump” were shown. The movies don’t start until after dark, but you’ll want to get there early for a prime spot, as the hill fills up fast. Pack a picnic for a picturesque dinner on the lawn.

THE MUNY 

Hordes of Mid-Missourians frequent this St. Louis staple religiously every summer. If you’re not one of those, it’s time to experience the magic of this outdoor amphitheater in Forest Park. This season, The Muny will be showing “Jesus Christ Superstar” and Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” among other musicals. Not only are there great seats for sale, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive night out, The Muny has free seats located at the back of the theater, which are available on a first come, first serve basis. The Muny’s season runs from June to August.

THE SAINT LOUIS ZOO

Lions and tigers and . . . live music? With interactive exhibits like the Stingrays at Caribbean Cove, the St. Louis Zoo has always been a top destination for families, but every Friday night of the summer, the zoo has something special: the Jungle Boogie Friday Night Concert Series, presented by Mid America Chevy Dealers. Starting May 26, the zoo has a lineup of free live music on the outdoor stage in the heart of the zoo, along with engaging activities to help children learn about animals, especially some endangered species.


Now you’re ready to plan your trip to St. Louis. Pack up the car, grab the kids, and head to the Gateway to the West for a summer of (mostly free) fun.