Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do with Kids in St. Louis, MO

  • Published 2022/11/26

St. Louis in Missouri is a bustling hub of culture and business that has continued to preserve its natural beauty and heritage.

You can go anywhere in this city and always find something exciting to do with kids.

With a population of 293,310 as of the 2021 census, it is the second most populous city in the state.

The city was named after Louis IX of France following the European settlement in the area in 1764.

In the 19th century, St. Louis became a center of commerce and trade and attracted thousands of immigrants who wanted to start a new life in North America.

Today, it is home to some of the largest corporations in the United States, major research universities, and professional sports teams.

St. Louis has a variety of places you can visit where you’ll find entertainment and learning opportunities for your kids.

If you plan on visiting the city soon, save this list of the best things to do with kids in St. Louis, Missouri.

Meet Aquatic Animals at St. Louis Aquarium

Aquarium tunnel at St. Louis Aquarium

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St. Louis Aquarium gives visitors a glimpse of aquatic life without stepping out of the landlocked city.

The aquarium is inside the revived Union Station, a National Historic Landmark train station.

The 120,000-square-foot aquarium houses 44 exhibits with over 13,000 animals.

A fish in St. Louis Aquarium

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Get ready to be fascinated by life underwater when you visit with your kids.

Here you won’t just enjoy observing the animals but also learn from the resources available.

Visit the St. Louis Aquarium and teach your kids the importance of protecting aquatic life.

A seal giving a kiss to a zookeeper at St. Louis Aquarium

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Explore a Museum Made for Kids at The Magic House

Exterior of The Magic House

Dtjrh2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take your kids to The Magic House if you want to have an unforgettable experience.

The Magic House, located on Kirkwood Road, is a space made especially for kids to enjoy learning.

Your kids may discover new interests when they try different activities like painting on a digital easel, sculpting clay, designing 3D work, and building robots or circuits, among many others.

Aerial view of The Magic House

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The place features hundreds of interactive exhibits that will spark imagination and develop skills among children of all ages.

Among the exhibits are a play garden, a construction zone, a music play area, and an art studio.

You’ll be happy to accompany your kids at The Magic House when you go to St. Louis.

Have a Picnic at Forest Park

The waters of Forest Park


Take your family to Forest Park if you want to relax and spend quality time doing a laid-back activity.

Bring a basket of food and find a quiet spot where you can picnic!

The historical park is a popular attraction in the city, with over 12 million people visiting annually.

Bridge trail at Forest Park


The 1,300-acre park serves as an oasis in the middle of a bustling city.

You may also explore the park and enjoy various activities—find a nook where you can read, attend a popular festival or event if there’s something scheduled, or have a chill or intense workout.

After discovering the establishments in the city, go to Forest Park and find peace and quiet with nature.

Aerial view of Forest Park

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Visit Animals at St. Louis Zoo

Exterior of the St. Louis Zoo

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When you go to Forest Park, make sure to also drop by Saint Louis Zoo on Government Drive.

The world-renowned zoo is home to 14,000 animals of nearly 500 species and is free of charge, so people can visit again and again!

Here you’ll find different zones where many kinds of animals reside, including primates, birds, aquatic animals, and wild cats.

A polar bear in St. Louis Zoo

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The 90-acre zoo doesn’t just offer animal exhibits but also fun attractions, dining areas, and shopping opportunities for you and your family!

St. Louis Zoo also values wildlife conservation, so you may learn about this from its resources during your visit.

Elephant family in St. Louis Zoo

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Enjoy Majestic City Views from The St. Louis Wheel

Daytime view of the St. Louis Wheel

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The St. Louis Wheel is a 200-foot tall Ferris wheel on South 18th Street where you can get an unobstructed view of the city.

It has 42 fully enclosed and climate-controlled gondolas that can each take eight passengers.

The iconic structure may be a new addition to the Union Station area, but it is already an essential attraction in the city.

People waiting in line to ride the St. Louis Wheel

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If you’re planning a trip, feel free to include The St. Louis Wheel in your itinerary.

Check the available group packages and book your schedule in advance!

Appreciate and Support Local Art at Saint Louis Art Museum

Exterior of Saint Louis Art Museum


Visit the Saint Louis Art Museum and discover what Missouri art is all about.

Founded in 1879, the museum has been collecting and preserving different works of art inside its walls for many years.

Through the years, the museum has served as home to evolving artists and collections of art.

Interior of Saint Louis Art Museum

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When you visit the museum, you’ll develop an appreciation for visual art and its power to change the world.

Drop by the Saint Louis Art Museum on Fine Arts Drive with your kids and urge them to value and explore the world’s finest art pieces.

Art exhibit in Saint Louis Art Museum

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Learn the State’s History at Missouri History Museum

Exterior of the Missouri History Museum

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Plan your visit to the Missouri History Museum on Lindell Boulevard and learn the significance of stories from the past.

Run by the Missouri Historical Society, the museum features exhibits about Missouri and St. Louis’ origins, major events, and people.

The museum also hosts events every Thursday night, which could involve interactive activities, brief tours, games, and even live performances.

Thomas Jefferson memorial in Missouri History Museum

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After exploring the museum halls, you may dine at the place’s Café St. Louis by Pure.

Before leaving, don’t forget to drop by the Missouri History Museum’s shop and get a souvenir or two!

Facade of the Missouri History Museum

Marcus Qwertyus, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enter the World of Science at Saint Louis Science Center

Exterior of the Saint Louis Science Center

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Feed your curiosity and learn about the world when you visit Saint Louis Science Center on Oakland Avenue.

The center is a nonprofit science museum you can visit without spending a penny.

However, they also offer ticketed attractions and special exhibitions that you may book in advance, including planetarium shows.

Dinosaur sculpture in Saint Louis Science Center

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Some of the science center’s unique and interactive exhibits are the Dig Site, Dinosaur area, Dana Brown Fossil Prep Lab, Life Science Lab, GameXploration, and the Boeing Halls, among many others!

If you get hungry, you may take a break and dine at the center’s Science Cafe.

Don’t forget to add Saint Louis Science Center to your itinerary when you visit the area.

Exhibit in Saint Louis Science Center

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Catch an Outdoor Show at The Muny

Fireworks after a show at The Muny

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The St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre, commonly known as The Muny, is North America’s biggest outdoor musical theater.

Located in the center of Forest Park, the amphitheater is a cultural treasure that has been offering the art of theater to the St. Louis community and its visitors for over a hundred years now.

It produces and presents seven Broadway-style musicals every summer, so get your tickets before the season arrives!

You and your kids will have a magical time watching amazing performances under the stars.

You can’t pass up on The Muny when you go to St. Louis.

Stroll and Unwind at Citygarden

Splash fountain at Citygarden

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If you want to spend some of your time strolling around and taking in the metropolitan life, stay awhile at the Citygarden.

The Citygarden is an urban sculpture park that stretches two blocks in downtown St. Louis.

It features interactive art, fountains, and gardens that you may all enjoy for free.

Paved trail at Citygarden

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Some of the displays you will find here are 24 sculptures on the lawns, a pool with a six-foot tall waterfall, and a children’s spray plaza.

Don’t forget to bring your camera because Citygarden is the perfect place for taking plenty of photos when you visit the city!

Night scene at Citygarden

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Have a Blast at the City Museum

Outdoor playground of City Museum

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The City Museum, located in an old shoe factory in downtown St. Louis, is a one-of-a-kind playground built by artists.

It is filled with exciting and eclectic spaces that would fascinate anyone who dares to explore it.

The 600,000-square-foot area contains over 29,000 artifacts from all over the world, waiting for you to discover them.

Ferris wheel at City Museum

Jon DeJong, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded by internationally acclaimed and classically trained sculptors Bob and Gail Cassilly, the City Museum is unlike any playground you’ve been to.

The MonstroCity, Enchanted Caves, The Big Eli Ferris Wheel, and Spinning Chairs are among the place’s fascinating interactive spaces.

You and your kids will have the best time in this hybrid of museum and playground.

Monstrosity playground at City Museum

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Enjoy the Beauty of Nature at Missouri Botanical Garden

A pond at Missouri Botanical Garden

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When you’re in St. Louis, allot some time to visit the exquisite Missouri Botanical Garden.

The garden has many attractions, including an herb garden, a climatron, an ottoman garden, a center for home gardening, a koi fish feeding bridge, and a Japanese garden.

There’s also a public tram tour that you may take, so don’t forget to check with the management and book a slot!

Waterfall at Missouri Botanical Garden

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You won’t just enjoy nature here but also learn about sustainability and conservation as well as gardening and horticulture.

Whether you’re a plant enthusiast or exploring gardening for the first time, going to Missouri Botanical Garden will be worth your time!

Pretty flowers at Missouri Botanical Garden

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Other Things to Do Nearby

After visiting the attractions in the city of St. Louis, why not drop by other nearby sites that are just a few minutes away?

Learn about Animal Conservation at the Endangered Wolf Center

Wolves at Endangered Wolf Center

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Learn about wolves and how you can help ensure their survival when you join a tour at the Endangered Wolf Center.

The center, located in the city of Eureka, 3o minutes from St. Louis, is known for its efforts at preserving and protecting endangered species of wild canid.

Touring the center is a unique experience for anyone, especially for kids who want to learn more about the animal kingdom.

One of the tours they offer is the Endangered Species Tour, which includes an educational session and a full-length tour of the animal habitats.

Here you’ll see Mexican wolves, red wolves, maned wolves, swift foxes, and African-painted dogs.

Endangered Wolf Center will teach you about the importance of these wild animals in the ecosystem.

Escape the Bustling Metropolitan and Visit the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House

Take a breather from the busy cities and go to the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House.

Less than 30 minutes from St. Louis, it is located in the neighboring city of Chesterfield.

Here you’ll find over a thousand tropical butterflies flying inside a glass conservatory.

You may see the fascinating process of how a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis.

The place also features an insect collection and a native butterfly garden.

Whatever your age is, you’ll enjoy a visit to the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House!

Let Your Kids Have a Good Time at the Myseum

The Myseum is an interactive space that caters to children but may also be enjoyed by the entire family.

It is located in Town and Country, just 19 minutes from St. Louis.

Educational trips are common in Myseum for its educational but exciting exhibits.

Your kids won’t be able to get enough of the attractions, which include the Alien Landscapes, Glo-Shapes, the Imagination Playground, Dino Dig, and the Zoo Vet Clinic, among many others!

Let kids explore, take the initiative, and meet new friends when you take them to the Myseum.

Final Thoughts

St. Louis is an urban area where you won’t run out of corners to explore and activities to try.

If you’re looking for a place rich in culture and filled with both learning opportunities and entertainment, give this city a chance!

When planning your itinerary, go back to this list of the best things to do with kids in St. Louis, Missouri!

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