St. Louis for Families: Kid-Friendly Activities & Attractions

Who knew that St. Louis would turn out to be a really fun adventure and a great place to visit with kids? To be honest, I didn’t know much about St. Louis, but I really wanted to see Gateway Arch National Park. On our trip, we ended up discovering so many kid-friendly activities and attractions! Keep reading to learn where to stay, where to eat, and what to do with kids!

We’ve visited St. Louis twice now after having so much fun on our first trip. Our visits have been in May and in October. I really enjoyed both visits, but our October visit is my favorite. The weather was very pleasant and we spent most of our time outside, which is always our favorite way to spend the day.

Fall in St. Louis

Where to Stay

Both times we’ve traveled to St. Louis, we’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. This hotel is only steps away from Gateway Arch National Park! The location makes all of the difference. Once here, you really don’t even need your vehicle! Most places are within walking distance, which makes it so easy to explore and not worry about parking. Plus, you can’t beat the views from your room!

The view from our hotel room!

What to Do

St. Louis is packed full of kid-friendly activities and attractions to explore! I’m sure we didn’t even scratch surface on all that this city has to offer. Below are some of our favorite kid-friendly activities!

Gateway Arch National Park

Inside the visitor center

The Gateway Arch is an impressive sight and makes a great family photo op! But, there’s a lot more to this place. The museum in the visitor center is very educational and we enjoyed learning more about it’s construction. Plus, you can take a ride to the top and the views are awesome! Full disclosure, the ride up is not for the faint of heart. And I don’t recommend going on a windy day, the arch actually moves a little with the wind. But it is sure fun to say we’ve been inside!

At the top, 630 feet up!

The City Museum

This museum is amazing!

The City Museum is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced! I mean, knee pads are recommended. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was so excited to take my boys here. We all had a blast! There are so many spaces to explore, ranging from caves to treehouses, and even a rooftop area. It truly is a unique experience and fun for all ages! This is truly one of those places that you just have to see to believe!

St. Louis Ballpark Village

Posing with their souvenirs

My boys both play baseball and they love all things related to the sport! So, it was a no brainer that we would check out Ballpark Village! We spent the afternoon walking around the area, shopping for baseball gear, eating outside, and listening to live music. If you’re a baseball fan, I highly recommend making a stop at this place! There’s a lot to see and do, including shops, the Cardinal’s baseball museum, catching a game, and there are a lot of dining options!

St. Louis Riverfront Trail

Lewis and Clark

I had no idea that there would be so many outdoor adventures in St. Louis! Right behind our hotel, we walked along the St. Louis Riverfront Trail. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed the history of the river, especially the information about the Lewis & Clark expedition! This was a great area to run around with our kids and our pup. This trail is about twelve miles, but we didn’t go that far!

Views along the riverfront!

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

We always enjoy visiting past president’s homes. So, when I learned that Ulysses S. Grant had a home in St. Louis, we dedicated some time for a visit. The grounds are stunning and we learned a lot about this family’s time here. There is a lot to explore, including the museum, the house, and the wooded land surrounding the home.

This shade of green was so unusual!

Haunted History Walk

Our guide was hilarious!

Since we were visiting St. Louis in October, I thought that a haunted history walk would be a lot of fun! We love creepy, scary things and it was definitely creepy! We enjoyed our guide and learned a lot about St. Louis’s past history. I am not sure if this is a seasonal tour, but I highly recommend this activity if you’re there in October!

Kiener Plaza

A fun outdoor park is Kiener Plaza! We ventured this way and let the boys run around and burn off some steam. My boys don’t leave the house without bringing a football along, so they played catch and just ran around for an hour or so. There are fountains and a splash pad, outdoor tables for picnicking, a playground, and a lot of open space!

Fun game of football

Where to Eat

Below are the places that we really enjoyed dining at on our visit! These places were great for us, but most imporantly, our kids liked them and found great things to eat. And if you’ve traveled with kids, you know that to enjoy the day, the kids must be well fed!

Breakfast – We typically grabbed breakfast at the Starbuck’s located inside our hotel. Jereme and I need our daily cup of coffee to start the day. We grabbed muffins and croissants and then took our breakfast outside and ate on the lawn near the Gateway Arch.

Lunch – We found ourselves eating lunch at the Ballpark Village since there were several options there! Our favorite was Sports & Social. We enjoyed the drinks and the outdoor dining option!

Dinner – Our favorite dinner place was the Old Spaghetti Factory! We all love good pasta and the kids enjoyed the three course kids menu!

All in all, St. Louis was a pleasant surprise! If you’re looking for a fun city to explore with your kids, that won’t break the bank, then I recommend giving St. Louis a chance. You won’t run out of kid-friendly activities and there is so much to see and do. It’s also a very dog friendly city, so if you have a dog, bring it along!

If you’re driving in from the south, be sure to stop by Uranus Fudge Factory for lots of great sweets and lots of laughs!

St. Louis Adventures

Hey y’all! I’m so so so excited to tell you all about our fall weekend trip to St. Louis, MO! I honestly loved it all, maybe because it was our first big family road trip since March, maybe it was because signs of fall were everywhere. Regardless, if you’re looking for fun family trip ideas, read on!

Here are our weekend highlights: Walking around Gateway Arch National Park, taking a Haunted History Walking Tour, visiting President Ulysses S. Grant’s Homesite, finding William Clark’s Gravesite, and driving by the home the movie The Exorcist originated from.

It’s about a 9 hour drive from us in TX and we got a late start. Jereme and I both worked a half day on Friday. We didn’t arrive at our hotel until midnight, but at least we had 2 full days ahead of us. I’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch both times I’ve visited this city and we LOVE it. We were upgraded to a room with a view of the Arch and were so excited.

The view from our room!

We started off Saturday with a quick coffee and breakfast at the Starbucks located inside the hotel. Then we ventured out to Gateway Arch National Park. The great thing about the hotel is that it is right at the Arch, so we didn’t have to drive to the park! We took photos, ran around with our fur baby, played football with our boys, bought some fresh squeezed lemonade and took in all the fall sights! We drove in in the dark and didn’t realize the trees were changing colors. It looked and felt much different than the TX weather we left behind! We didn’t go inside the Arch on this visit, but my boys and I have done this and it’s an adventure all in itself! The views are amazing and definitely worth it if you want to purchase tickets!

We were located close to the old courthouse where the Dred Scott case was fought. I didn’t know all the details about this case, of course I wasn’t paying attention back in school. But, we visited the courthouse and saw the statue of Dred Scott and his wife Harriet. We also researched the case and I felt like my family and I learned so much about this infamous case and it’s impact on the Civil War. One thing I can say about this city, it’s full of history and I am happy to share this with my boys, especially in light of recent events.

After we left the courthouse, we ventured over to the baseball stadium. It was closed for tours, but there were picnic tables and an outdoor concert going on. We stopped in for a quick beverage and a break. I began looking for activities for the night and Jett suggested a ghost tour since it’s close to Halloween and we love all things creepy!! So, I found a Haunted History Walking Tour that was open to all ages. We met up with our small group at 8 pm at Morgan St. Brewery and had a quick pizza dinner and cappuccino to go. From there we walked a few blocks around the oldest part of the city and listened to the funniest storyteller share the most scary and gruesome stories from St. Louis’s past! Here we learned that the story from The Exorcist movie was real and had actually happened in St. Louis. So, of course we had to find it the next day ha! And did you know that St. Louis is America’s 4th most haunted city? We didn’t, but believe it after all the stories we heard!

The amazingly hilarious storyteller on the Haunted History Walk

The house from the real life exorcist!

The following day we went to President Grant’s home in St. Louis. The Park Ranger leading our tour was so knowledgeable and again, we learned so much about Grant and is humble upbringing and his stance against slavery. We have visited several presidents’ homes, it’s great fun for the whole family.

The acreage around the home was gorgeous!

Finally, we found William Clark’s gravesite. We have stumbled across various historical sites regarding Lewis & Clark’s expeditions so it was really cool to see this memorial at the river and to discover that Clark is buried in St. Louis. My boys were amazed to remember that the last historical site we visited for Lewis & Clark was in Harpers Ferry, WV. It really put their traveling distance in perspective and gave us more to research and learn about these two explorers!

The weekend was wrapped up with a stop at Uranus Fudge Factory in Missouri! We can never drive past this place without laughing and stopping. Great fudge and great taffy make the long drive home better!

We explored, we ate well, we did all the creepy things for October, and left with a wealth of new historical knowledge! I hope you get the opportunity to visit this amazing city. Stay safe out there, friends!