22 Free Things to Do in St. Louis, MO

Free Things to Do in St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, a vibrant city steeped in culture and nestled along the Mississippi River, is often misunderstood as an expensive destination.

Contrary to this belief, the city is teeming with activities that require no expenditure at all.

The cityscape is dotted with immersive nature walks and historic landmarks, each offering a unique and memorable experience.

Regardless of the season, St. Louis always has something new and exciting to discover.

Presented here is a carefully curated list of enjoyable, cost-free activities to engage in when visiting St. Louis, Missouri.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Mui Savage, Samuel Rodriguez, Judy Waldron, Claudia Davis, Alta Wade, Lawrence Kilpatrick and Clifford Lattimore.

Enter the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Exterior of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
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A profound serenity comes over me every time I walk through the heavy wooden doors of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

My city is filled with gems, but none sparkle as brightly as this cathedral.

You don't have to go far to experience world-class mosaics.

We have it right here at home in this historic church.

The hallowed green-tiled dome and stately bell towers seem to touch the sky, an imposing and majestic embrace of the cityscape.

As a fixture of my routine, this place is my refuge and inspiration.

Its grand interior is a mesmerizing canvas of intricate mosaics - the largest collection in the world.

I can't help but marvel at the craftsmanship that has brought the stories of Saint Louis IX, King of France, to life through glimmering tiles.

Interior of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
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It took a staggering 76 years to complete these stunning mosaics after the church was built, a testament to the dedication and devotion that the people of this city have for art and culture.

Likewise, it's not just the mosaics that are a sight to behold.

The polished marble and towering wooden pews under the expansive vaulted ceilings make the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis an awe-inspiring monument.

Moreover, the church holds a rare 14th-century choir book, and the chair Pope John Paul II sat in during his visit.

And for those who share my passion for art and history, the cathedral also offers a trip to the downstairs mosaic museum.

Here, you can further appreciate the talent and hard work that went into creating the captivating mosaics that adorn the cathedral.

No matter your faith or beliefs, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis symbolizes the city's rich history and artistic prowess that deserves your attention.

Trust me, it's an experience that will leave you feeling humbled and enchanted.

Ceiling of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
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Explore the Gateway Arch Museum

Close view of the Gateway Arch
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Can you imagine waking up to the sight of an architectural marvel right in your city?

Well, that's my reality, living near the Gateway Arch.

Every morning, I'm greeted by this fantastic structure that stands tall as a symbol of my city and is also home to a phenomenal museum.

If you are planning a visit, make sure you dive into the Gateway Arch Museum.

The museum is a treasure trove of knowledge, filled with more than just basic Arch information and history.

It offers a chance to learn valuable life lessons from the past, making it a place for everyone, regardless of age.

No visit to this museum is complete without indulging in the interactive exhibits.

They are both educational and entertaining, keeping you engaged throughout.

As a regular visitor, I have often seen children and adults engrossed in these activities, completely losing track of time.

But don't worry about rushing.

Even at a brisk pace, you can absorb so much in just an hour.

A statue in Gateway Arch Museum
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However, it's worth two hours to immerse yourself in the experience fully.

Beyond the exhibits, the museum also serves as a gateway to the top of the Arch.

The tram ride is an adventure in itself.

As you ascend, the view of the city and the Mississippi River takes your breath away.

Don’t miss out on the riverboat cruise!

Narrated tours offer fascinating insights into the history of the river and the region.

The sight of the Arch from the water is unforgettably stunning.

Remember, security precautions and a fast and efficient screening process are in place.

So, be mindful of your belongings.

Whether you're visiting for the first time or, like me, are a frequent visitor, the Museum at the Gateway Arch never ceases to amaze.

After all, who can resist the charm of a place where history, education, and entertainment unite so beautifully?

Interior of Gateway Arch Museum
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Spend the Day at the Saint Louis Zoo

Elephants at St. Louis Zoo
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You won't believe the gem we have in our city, right in the heart of Forest Park: the Saint Louis Zoo.

I'm not talking about a few cages with bored animals.

This is a full-fledged, 90-acre wonderland teeming with wildlife from around the globe.

Let me tell you, it's not just a place for kids.

As an adult, I've lost count of how many times I've been, and each visit is a new adventure.

My favorite part? The Butterfly House.

It's like being in a fairy tale, surrounded by hundreds of fluttering, vibrant butterflies. It's a sight that never fails to take my breath away.

But the zoo isn't all butterflies and roses.

It's a roaring adventure featuring penguins, bears, elephants, and more.

A rhinoceros at St. Louis Zoo
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All live in spacious, well-maintained enclosures that rival their natural habitats.

The zoo even has a train ride, making it a thrilling journey through the world of wildlife, all within our city's borders.

Sure, the zoo is technically free, but I never mind throwing in a few bucks for the paid exhibits.

They're worth every penny for the unique, up-close encounters with the animals.

And don't even get me started on the food.

The tasty, reasonably priced meals always hit the spot after a long day of animal adventures.

If you haven't been yet, what are you waiting for?

The Saint Louis Zoo is a global safari in our city, offering an unforgettable experience with each visit.

Explore the Wealth of Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum

Exterior of St. Louis Art Museum
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When you yearn for a touch of culture and a taste of artistic brilliance in the heart of Missouri, you can never go wrong with the Saint Louis Art Museum.

I remember the first time I stepped into this grand beaux-arts building.

That day, I felt an immediate connection to the 30,000 works of art that it houses.

One of my favorite things about the museum is that it doesn't discriminate - it's open to all for free.

I remember my last visit, where I was lucky to catch The Culture exhibit.

It was a fantastic experience, and I wished for more time to soak in all the knowledge and beauty it offered.

On days when the museum offers free access, exploring the new exhibits is a delightful treat.

There's always something exciting to discover.

I remember they featured an exhibition for contemporary music lovers filled with whimsical and classic pieces that captivated me for hours.

Interior of the St. Louis Art Museum
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Size matters in museums, and Saint Louis Art Museum doesn't disappoint.

It is vast, and it took my partner and me three hours to walk through.

We could've easily spent the entire day if our stomachs hadn't started grumbling.

Fortunately, they have a restaurant on-site with a delectable menu at reasonable prices.

To top it all off, the park in front of the museum adds a lovely touch of nature.

It's always a pleasure to unwind there after feasting my eyes on the museum's art collection.

Moreover, it's beautiful, relaxing, and the perfect place to reflect on my artistic journey in the museum.

Visiting the Saint Louis Art Museum has always been a joy – a haven for art lovers in the heart of our city.

Enjoy a Year-Round Sanctuary in the Heart of the City: Forest Park

Sunset at Forest Park
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Sometimes, it's easy to forget that I live in a bustling metropolitan area when I have the privilege of beginning my day with a stroll through Forest Park.

Covering 1,300 acres, this sprawling urban paradise is a sanctuary from city noise and concrete.

It brims with lush greenery, serene bodies of water, and an array of cultural establishments that set it apart from any other urban park I've visited.

Each morning, I lace up my running shoes and head out to the park's extensive network of trails.

These trails, accommodating walkers, joggers, and cyclists, wind through the park's varied landscapes, showcasing its diverse beauty.

On my daily runs, I am greeted with tranquil ponds and streams where ducks and geese make their home and gentle slopes that lead to athletic fields and golf courses.

As I veer off the main paths and into the depths of the park, I often spy on different species of wildlife that have made Forest Park their sanctuary.

It's not unusual to spot a deer grazing peacefully or witness a hawk swooping into a pond for breakfast—the park's flora and fauna change with the seasons, making each visit a unique experience.

In autumn, the trees turn into a riot of fiery oranges, vibrant yellows, and deep reds - an unparalleled sight.

Pavilion and fountain at Forest Park
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One of the aspects of Forest Park that I cherish most is its cultural institutions.

The Saint Louis Zoo and three world-class museums are nestled amidst the natural beauty.

Each of them is a treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment.

I can visit the zoo to marvel at the exotic wildlife or enter a museum to immerse myself in art, history, and science.

Despite the park's many activities, it never feels chaotic or crowded.

Its vastness swallows up the noise, ensuring peace isn't hard to find.

Whether I'm there for a jog, a picnic, or a visit to the zoo, Forest Park always makes me feel like I'm far from the city's hustle and bustle.

It's a slice of nature's paradise right in the heart of St. Louis.

Aerial view of Forest Park
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Hang Out at The Moto Museum

The rumble of an engine, the sparkle of chrome, and a touch of nostalgia epitomize a typical day at The Moto Museum.

Nestled in our city, this place is an ode to the beauty and art of vintage European motorcycles.

There's something incredibly personal about walking through the rows of bikes, each with a unique story.

I remember stopping at a 1960s Triumph, its history, and journey detailed on a nearby placard.

Every visit here feels like a new adventure.

The sheer variety of motorcycles from different eras and countries keeps the experience fresh and the enthusiasm high.

On occasion, the museum hosts events like the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, drawing enthusiasts from all over.

This place has something for everyone: motorcycle lovers, history buffs, or people looking for a unique event space.

And, if the beauty on display stirs a motorcycle passion within you, you don't need to suppress it.

Right next door is a store selling motorcycles, allowing you to make your two-wheeled dreams come true.

With its well-lit venue, clean surroundings, and the addition of a restaurant,

The Moto Museum quickly turns a casual visit into a day's outing.

I, for one, can't wait for my next visit.

Unveil the Hidden Gem of St. Louis Public Library

Interior of the Public Library
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Walking into the St. Louis Public Library feels much like coming home.

The welcoming atmosphere, steeped in an unmistakable aura of knowledge and tranquility, contrasts the bustling city outside.

When you step through the doors, you're greeted by the sight of neatly organized shelves, each brimming with books, a testament to the library's commitment to cleanliness and up-to-dateness.

This is a perfect spot to curl up with a book or utilize their workstations equipped with computers.

The library also cleverly caters to all its visitors.

A delightful children's area awaits to the left of the entrance, filled with colorful books and engaging activities.

On the right, there's a designated area for adults, providing a tranquil space for focused reading or work.

Exterior of St. Louis Public Library
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Also, they have a room downstairs for monthly meetings and events, which I've found quite resourceful.

Just make sure to call in advance to secure your spot.

However, one thing that truly sets the St. Louis Public Library apart is its commitment to inclusivity.

The library strives to make everyone feel welcome and represented, which is commendable.

If you're in the area or interested in their services, feel free to pay a visit.

The St. Louis Public Library may be on the smaller side, but its charm lies in its warmth and the rich resources it offers. It truly is an underrated gem in St. Louis.

Take a Walk Down Memory Lane at the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

Exterior of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
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What better way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon than stepping into the hallowed halls of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, a treasure trove of remarkable history and artifacts for any sports enthusiast?

Living in the heart of baseball country, I've been a frequent visitor to the museum, and each visit feels like a new adventure.

The museum, tucked away in Ballpark Village, is a self-guided journey that immerses you into the rich legacy of the Cardinals.

Moreover, the place is brimming with memorabilia that offers a unique perspective into the team's illustrious history.

I've had the honor of holding the bats used by legends like Stan Musial and Ozzie Smith - the wood still carries their prowess, their spirit.

The space is pristinely maintained, and the volume of things to explore is overwhelming, but in a good way.

I've spent countless hours poring over the fascinating exhibits, reading the stories of triumph and hardship, and following the trajectory of one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball.

The museum is a place for families, history buffs, and anyone interested in the spirit of St. Louis.

Even the little ones will find something to captivate their interest.

My kids particularly enjoy the interactive exhibits, and they're always thrilled to bring their friends for a visit.

I couldn't be more proud to have this gem in our city. It's a testament to St. Louis and its deep-rooted love for the game.

A visit here is a must for anyone in the Lou!

Embrace the Nostalgia at Jefferson Barracks Park

A deer at Jefferson Barracks Park
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Every time I stroll down to Jefferson Barracks Park, it feels like stepping back into the pages of a history book.

This 19th-century army outpost, which still stands tall and proud, is part of the historic heart of my community.

Every nook and corner of the park whispers stories of the past, adding a touch of history to our regular family outings.

One of my favorite pastimes is touring the various outbuildings preserved and turned into historical exhibits.

Each of these buildings has a story to tell, a piece of history to share, and each visit stirs a new curiosity, a new wonder in my heart.

Jefferson Barracks Park has activities for every season, whether it's a laid-back summer day or a crisp winter afternoon.

My family and I often engage in a friendly game of disc golf or try our hand at archery.

During the summer, we love spending hours at the pool, splashing around in the lazy river, and challenging each other on the rock climbing wall.

But for me, the authentic charm of the park lies in its trails.

Every trail, every path winding through the park, is an invitation to immerse myself in the stunning panorama of nature.

I often find myself lost in the beauty of the surrounding wildlife, watching a deer graze in the distance or a bird chirping on a branch.

In the heart of South County St. Louis, Jefferson Barracks Park is a treasure trove of history, recreation, and natural beauty.

It's a testament to our community's heritage and a place where memories are made.

Take a Stroll Through Time at the Missouri History Museum

Exterior of the Missouri History Museum
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Spending the day at the Missouri History Museum is always a treat.

Nestled in the heart of Forest Park, it's a treasure trove of stories, artifacts, and heritage from our state's past.

On any given visit, you'll find me strolling through the exhibits, marveling at the display of Native American history or reflecting on the impact of devastating fires, tornadoes, and disease events that have shaped our state.

Every Thursday, the museum transforms into a vibrant concert hub, ready to take you back in time with the melodies of yesteryears.

It's a tradition of mine to lay out a blanket, settle in, and let the music wash over me.

The food trucks add a quirky charm to the atmosphere, and the museum's clean and convenient bathrooms are a helpful amenity, especially during the summer when a quick respite from the heat is needed.

Thomas Jefferson memorial in the Missouri History Museum
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Moreover, the museum is also a fantastic playground for kids.

Its interactive exhibits ensure that learning is fun and engaging.

This is one of the reasons why the Missouri History Museum has always been a family favorite.

But perhaps the real magic of the museum lies in its dedication to telling our story.

It's a poignant reminder of our past and a beacon of hope for our future.

And every time I leave, I do so with a newfound sense of pride and a deeper connection to my roots.

Interior of the Missouri History Museum
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Take a Stroll Through Kiener Plaza Park

Every time I set foot in Kiener Plaza Park, it feels like stepping into a painting.

The vibrant greenery, contrasted with the breathtaking views of the Gateway Arch, the Old Courthouse, and the St. Louis architecture, make this park an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

Looking at the park from my apartment window is a sight to behold, but the stroll through the park brings the real magic.

With each step, I discover something new; the park's design seamlessly blends wide-open spaces with intimate corners, creating a sense of vastness and closeness.

I've lost count of the fantastic events I've attended at Kiener Plaza Park.

From food festivals to art exhibitions, there's always something happening.

And even on a regular day, it's the perfect place for a picnic or even a game of frisbee.

But Kiener Plaza Park isn't just a visual treat.

What sets it apart is its abstract playground - a safe, fenced area where children can run free.

Watching them, I've noticed how the unique design encourages natural play.

Lastly, I can't forget the ease of access to this park.

With convenient parking options in the heart of downtown, Kiener Plaza Park is a gem that's easy to reach but hard to leave.

Unravel Mysteries of the Universe at St. Louis Science Center

Exterior of St. Louis’s Science Center
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Nothing quite compares to the feeling of stepping into the vast St. Louis Science Center exhibit.

Known around town as a staple for family-friendly educational and entertaining experiences, this place truly has it all.

Featuring interactive display exhibits that vary from the depths of the ocean to the furthest reaches of the universe and a variety of free attractions, it's a locale that never fails to fascinate.

One of the center's mesmerizing attractions is the McDonnell Planetarium.

The shows it offers are a sight to behold, and you'll feel like you're journeying through the cosmos.

Every time I visit, I find myself lost in the vastness of our universe while gazing at the twinkling stars projected in the stunning dome.

The planetarium show never gets old, no matter how many times you've seen it.

T-Rex sculpture in Saint Louis Science Center
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Step outside onto the planetarium grounds when you're done exploring the planetarium grounds.

Here, you'll find life-sized dinosaur models that bring prehistoric times to life.

Seeing the awe in children's eyes as they marvel at these gigantic creatures of the past is remarkable.

The Game Room is another hit with the kids. They can't seem to get enough of it!

Whether you're a science enthusiast or just looking for a fun-filled day to spend with friends or family, the St. Louis Science Center is a must-visit.

Prepare to have your curiosity piqued and your thirst for knowledge quenched.

What are you waiting for? An unforgettable journey into the realms of science awaits!

Ceiling sculptures in Saint Louis Science Center
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Spend an Artistic Oasis in the Heart of the City: Citygarden Sculpture Park

Eros sculpture at Citygarden Sculpture Park
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Strolling through the city's busy streets, I stumbled upon a green oasis that made my heart sing. Citygarden Sculpture Park is a place that combines the tranquility of green spaces with the vibrancy of art.

As you enter the park, you are greeted with fresh, manicured lawns surrounded by eye-catching sculptures.

The place is fundamentally dotted with pathways and seating, making it a perfect spot for a tranquil lunch break or a leisurely afternoon read.

I often find myself unwinding here after a day of hustling in the St. Louis downtown area.

The park's natural beauty is commendable.

For instance, the lush gardens filled with various plant species transport you to a world of serenity and peace, starkly contrasting with the bustling city life.

As an amateur photographer, I must say the vibrant flowers make fantastic shots!

What sets Citygarden Sculpture Park apart is its striking water features and video wall, which provide a modern and edgy twist to the otherwise serene environment.

I enjoy watching the children's faces light up as they play around these water features.

The park also offers clean restroom facilities and picnic spots, ideal for family outings on sunny days.

\Citygarden Sculpture Park is a hidden gem in the heart of St. Louis, offering a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

It’s a beautiful blend of art, nature, and urban life.

Visit Tower Grove Park

Signage of Tower Grove Park
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Waking up in the heart of St. Louis, Missouri, I first slip on my sneakers and head to the stunning Tower Grove Park.

The park is a vibrant tapestry of history and nature, with every corner unveiling a new story to be told.

Every visit to the park feels like stepping into a time machine.

As I walk through the grand gates, I am met with the sight of the historic carriage rides reminiscent of when this 1868 park was first built.

The nostalgia is palpable, and I can't help but feel connected to the past lives that once frolicked on these very same grounds.

The grass tennis courts are something to behold.

Playing a match with friends is a fantastic way to stay active and a unique experience, as the lush grass under our feet adds a historic charm to the game.

Not many places offer this special touch anymore.

I often stop at the wading pool when I make my way through the park.

Then, I take a moment to soak in the serenity as the cool water gently laps against the edge.

Daytime view of Tower Grove Park
STLJB / Shutterstock.com

On sunny days, I bask in the comforting warmth on one of the benches, with the historical gazebo in the backdrop.

But the park is a living, breathing ecosystem.

As a nature enthusiast, abundant flora and fauna is a real treat.

There's always something new to learn and discover, from towering trees to various plants.

Not to mention the friendly creatures that call this park home; the sense of harmony here is endearing.

In spring, the park morphs into a botanical paradise.

The dogwoods, magnolias, tulips, and daffodils burst into full bloom, painting the park in various colors.

It's truly a sight to behold.

The park is a community hub where you can see people walking their dogs, kids learning to skateboard, joggers enjoying a morning run, and families having a picnic.

Tower Grove Park celebrates history, nature, and community spirit. It's more than just a place.

The waters of Tower Grove Park
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Soar High through the Gateway Arch

Daytime view of the Gateway Arch
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I admit I consider myself one of the luckiest folks alive.

Living in the shadow of the iconic Gateway Arch has been phenomenal.

This glimmering monument is not just the symbol of St. Louis; it's also the gateway to the West and stands tall in my front yard.

I start my day every morning with a jog along the St. Louis Riverfront, with the majestic stainless-steel monument rising.

Seeing the sun's first rays glinting off the Arch, casting a spectacular silhouette against the early morning sky, is a sight to behold.

It's a humbling reminder of our city's rich history and monumentality.

As a local, you bet I've been to the top of the Arch more times than I can count.

Each time, it's a surreal experience.

There's a tram that takes you 630 feet to the apex.

From there, you can see the entire city unfurl below you, the mighty Mississippi flowing past, and on clear days, you can see as far as Illinois. It's breathtaking.

Looking up the Gateway Arch
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

But the Arch is more than just a fantastic view.

Inside, there's a museum full of interactive exhibits that bring to life the history of the American West.

It's a fascinating journey, and I try to visit at least once a year.

Likewise, it's informative and a great way to appreciate the monument.

And if you have the time, I recommend taking the riverboat tour.

It's a leisurely cruise down the Mississippi that provides a unique perspective of the city and the Arch.

Plus, it's a great way to relax and spend a sunny afternoon.

Whether you're a history buff, a sightseer, or just out for a jog like me, the Gateway Arch has something to offer.

It represents human ingenuity and symbolizes our collective journey to the West.

Spend a Relaxing Day at Bohrer County Park

Just imagine this: my dogs bounding around the open green spaces, the kids scampering around on the slides and swings while I sit back and enjoy the tranquility.

Bohrer County Park is a little gem in the heart of our bustling city.

I usually try to arrive early to secure a parking spot, which is never a problem at the park.

The facilities here are top-notch.

For example, the public restrooms are always pristine, a small detail that enhances the overall experience.

The abundance of water fountains throughout the park ensures that everyone, even our pet dogs, stays hydrated.

I swear, each visit to the park feels like a mini vacation.

It's a sanctuary for both the young and the young at heart.

The play area is a haven for the kids, with different sections catering to varied ability levels.

My five-year-old can't get enough of the swings and the climbing structures.

What I also appreciate is the variety of seating options available.

From benches to outdoor picnic tables, there's always a spot where you can sit back and soak in the atmosphere.

The tiny, picturesque pond adds to the visual appeal of the park. And yes, for the sporty ones, there are tennis courts too!

And did I mention the water park?

It's a hit among my kids during the hot summer months.

Imagine spending an entire day splashing around, having fun, and making memories!

Whether you're looking for some peaceful 'me' time or a fun-filled day with your family, Bohrer County Park is the place to be!

Discover the Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Exterior of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation
Garfield226, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most fascinating aspects of living in this city is stumbling upon its hidden gems, and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation is one such gem.

Nestled in the city's heart, this contemporary art home has always piqued my curiosity.

From the understated elegance of the building to the intriguing exhibits it houses, every visit feels like a journey into an artist’s sanctuary.

What draws me in every time is the unique blend of permanence and transience; the small but remarkable art collection coexists with rotating art exhibits.

So, each visit offers something new, something different.

The fleeting nature of the shows, coupled with the limited hours of operation, adds a sense of urgency and exclusivity to the experience.

Lose yourself in the beauty of the architecture.

It's not just a venue for art — it's a work of art.

The serenity of the outdoor area always stays with me long after I've left.

For example, the Serra sculpture is an absolute showstopper, and the reflecting pond adds an element of tranquillity.

If you're ever in the mood for a cultural expedition, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation is the place to be.

It's a haven for art lovers and a testament to the city's rich cultural heritage.

Enjoy a Cultural Afternoon at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

Sculpture in front of Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

Whenever I think about taking a break from my routine life, I wander in the mesmerizing halls of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Nestled within the charming grounds of Washington University, the museum is a treasure trove of spellbinding European and American art pieces.

The modest museum is a feast for the eyes, with an eclectic mix of permanent collections and rotating exhibits.

I especially enjoy the works of Jackson Pollock and William De Kooning; their art never fails to ignite my imagination.

One of the museum's highlights is the massive elevator lift, a rare sight as there are only five such lifts worldwide.

Each time I ride it, I feel a sense of awe at the sheer grandiosity of it.

The museum also features a quaint bookshop nook and a coffee bar.

I love spending my time sipping coffee, engrossing myself in a good book, or simply contemplating art in the tranquil ambiance of the sitting area.

Just outside the museum, you'll find an array of fascinating art sculptures.

The museum grounds are a visual delight, offering a serene green space perfect for a stroll after absorbing the rich art inside.

Whether you're an art enthusiast or just someone needing a peaceful retreat, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is a gem in St. Louis that should not be missed.

And the best part? It's free!

Visit the World Chess Hall of Fame

Exterior and sculpture of the World Chess Hall of Fame
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You don't have to be a grandmaster to appreciate the World Chess Hall of Fame.

I'm no chess expert, but this place has become my frequent haunt.

What drew me in initially was the majestic historic building it's housed in.

But once inside, you'll find an intriguing and enlightening world.

Walking through the three floors of this museum is like stepping into an enchanting world of chess.

There's something new to discover on every visit.

The exhibits are diverse, showcasing a comprehensive history and various chess-related things.

One of my favorite exhibitions was about the connections between famous musicians, composers, actors, and chess.

It was fascinating to see how chess has influenced and been influenced by these creative minds.

As a bit of a history buff, I love seeing the obscure chess boards on display.

It's a delightful mix of history and art.

Their gift shop is a treasure trove.

It has chess boards and pieces that range from affordable to high-end, some even selling in the thousands of dollars.

I picked up a beautifully crafted chess set on my last visit that didn't break my bank.

The third floor is a hit among kids, where they can learn chess and engage in other fun activities.

I've seen their eyes light up with excitement as they make their first moves on the chess board.

It's heartening to see the next generation interested in this timeless game.

So, whether you're a chess enthusiast or just looking for a unique outing, the World Chess Hall of Fame is a great place to visit.

Make an Unforgettable Journey into Art at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Exterior of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
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If there's one place in St. Louis where creativity and inspiration flow as freely as the Mississippi, it's the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

Walking through its doors is like stepping into another world where traditional ideas about art are challenged, stretched, and sometimes turned on their head.

The museum is a treasure trove of modern art exhibits ranging from the abstract to the profoundly thought-provoking.

On one of my visits, the upstairs area was dedicated to art from high school kids, all of them exploring themes of equity and equality.

Brimming with youthful passion and energy, these pieces left me inspired and hopeful for the future.

Downstairs, however, is a different story.

You'll find the more adult, perhaps risqué, exhibits here.

This section can be both a visual delight and an intellectual challenge, from abstract sculptures to graphic paintings.

A word of caution, though - there is nudity in some exhibits, so perhaps it's best to leave the little ones at home for this part of the visit.

One thing that has always struck me about the museum is its commitment to sustainability and energy conservation.

Even on quiet weekdays when I've often felt like the only visitor, the museum keeps its exhibits running, creating a space for art to enjoy at any time.

Celebrating Juneteenth at the museum was a delight.

The kids had a blast with the fun activities; the bubbles floating around outside added to the festive atmosphere, and the ice cream from the food truck was the perfect sweet ending to our day.

If you're looking for an outing that combines art, learning, and fun, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis should be on your list.

It's a place that encourages conversation, introspection, and, most importantly, appreciation for the myriad ways art can be expressed.

Final Thoughts

As someone who calls St. Louis home, I can't stress enough how lucky I am to be surrounded by such a wealth of culture and stunning sights, all without spending even a single dime.

Whether you're a fellow resident or planning a visit, make sure you don't miss out on these fabulous free activities that St. Louis, Missouri, offers.

It's a city that gives back to its residents and visitors far more than it takes, making it unique.

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