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Summer break is HERE for some of us and I’ve been getting a lot of requests for the best places to take kids in St. Louis; from kid-friendly restaurants to rainy day activities to summer stuff to do, I’ve put together the ULTIMATE list of St. Louis kids activities.
Here are The Best Things to Do in St. Louis With Kids
I’ve broken it down between Indoor Activities with kids – for rainy or super hot days and Outdoor Activities with kids. I also included a bunch of restaurants that are kid-friendly!
Indoor Stuff to Do With Kids In St Louis
The best places to take your kids when it’s winter in St. Louis or on a rainy day! These are the best indoor activities and attractions in St. Louis for kids. Listed in alphabetical order.
Anheuser Busch Tour
The AB Tour isn’t so much *for kids* but it is kid-friendly and interesting… plus, free samples at the end for adults ;).
Barnes and Noble
The City Museum is INCREDIBLE for bigger kids but at 6, 4 and 2, only my oldest has been and it was slightly overwhelming, even at a less-crowded time.
Creation Station @ the Museum of Transportation
The Creation Station is an AMAZING indoor space for younger kids with a limited number of spots per session. One of my favorite places for playdates because the room is 100% enclosed and childproof.
Dream Play in Chesterfield
I cannot believe I haven’t brought my kids to Dream Play in Chesterfield – they have a pay to play option where your child can play in the showroom on certain days/times.
Endangered Wolf Lodge
The Endangered Wolf Center has tours for kids of all ages.
Personally, my favorite indoor trampoline place in the St. Louis area because there is SO much to do inside! Check their website for “tot times” where only littles can go.
Frisco Train Store
The Frisco Train Store is in Valley Park and it’s FREE and has a million trains for
I had never heard of Grandma’s Playroom but it came recommended by one of my readers and looks awesome for young kids!
I’ve actually never taken my kids to the Healthworks Museum, which is a museum for kids designed to teach them about healthy choices, but it’s on the list of places to go :).
History Museum / History Clubhouse
My kids freaking love Kokomo Joe’s… when my in-laws take them there ;). They have indoor go-carts and a million arcade games.
The Magic House is an amazing indoor children’s museum in Kirkwood – one-of-a-kind!
MauHaus Cat Cafe
You need a reservation but if your kid loves cats, this cat cafe in Maplewood is the SPOT to be!
Miss Kelly’s Open Gym
Open gym at Miss Kelly’s is free if you’re enrolled in classes or available for a fee if you aren’t.
If bounce houses give you the germ red-flag, skip Monkey Joe’s! But if you don’t mind a little exposure, there are tons of inflatables for kids of all ages.
A fun indoor space for scientific learning through play – check out the Myseum website for deets.
Pointe at Ballwin Commons
The Ballwin Rec Center (aka The Pointe) has a big indoor pool with slides & you can just pay at the door if you aren’t a resident.
Love this local pottery painting spot for rainy days or special one-on-one dates with my kids.
Science Center + Discovery Room
The Science Center has something for kids of all ages (my kids have a love/hate with the giant t-rex!) + the Omnimax theater, but there’s also a Discovery Room for younger kids that you need to buy tickets for.
There are tons of indoor trampoline places in STL – check out Sky Zone to see if there’s one near you.
Sports Fusion in Chesterfield seems better for older kids (5+ ish) – this indoor entertainment park has stuff like mini golf, an indoor playground, laser tag, and rock climbing.
St. Louis Public Libraries
There are TONS of amazing new/newish libraries all around St. Louis and St. Charles – check the website for events + kids’ amenities. Here’s a link to all the story times. Special call-outs: a few of the branches have new ‘Discovery Zone’ areas that have been described to me by one of you as “Magic House-ish”. Meramec Valley + Daniel Boone + Florissant Valley branches all have Discovery Zones.
I have yet to visit this gem but I’m LOVING what I’m hearing about it! For kids 7 and under, Urban Fort is an indoor play space/cafe serves food, coffee and alcoholic beverages for the parents ;).
We Rock the Spectrum
We Rock the Spectrum has tons of open gym times and is “all about inclusion, healthy play, and socialization opportunities for kids”.
Yucando Art Studio
Quinn recently attended a birthday party at Yucando and it was SO cool! It’s an open-studio – no appointment, no clean up, just being creative in their space!
Outdoor Stuff to Do With Kids In St Louis
The best St. Louis summer activities! These are the best outdoor activities and attractions in St. Louis for kids. Listed in alphabetical order.
I have actually NOT taken my kids to the Arch yet – bad St. Louisan! But I need to hop on it because I know they will love the ride up and the view from the top. This is definitely a rain-or-shine activity but I’d be sure to go when the view is clear.
Big Joel’s Safari
Big Joel’s Safari is in Wentzville but sounds SO fun for kids of all ages! It calls itself a petting zoo & educational park so any little animal lover will love.
Boathouse @ Forest Park
MoBot is an amazing Botanical Garden and fun to walk around for the scenery alone, but they also have an awesome kids area with a splash pad – pack your splash pad clothes! We have left nearly nude before ;)!
An all-inclusive playground in O’Fallon – we haven’t visited yet but it’s a must if you’re in St. Charles County!
Butterfly House – Carousel + Faust Park
Another not-quite-in-St. Louis attraction, Cahokia Mounds is the remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico (their words, not mine!). We actually took the kids and it was a really cool place to go, probably better for elementary aged kids.
Cardinals games are a FAVORITE summer activity for us! If your kids are really young and/or get restless during the game, Busch Stadium has an amazing kids’ area! We might try the Cardinals Kids Club – $30 for a ticket and the opportunity for the kids to walk the field before the game!
Castlewood is one of St. Louis’s best parks! Fun to explore the creeks, walking trails, and playgrounds. NOTE: do NOT wade into the river – it’s a very dangerous spot in the Meramec.
City Garden has tons of sculptures and a splash pad, so pack swimming suits, towels & appropriate shoes.
Forest Park is just a total treasure trove for all of St. Louis. Home to the 1904 World’s Fair, fun to explore, has so many St. Louis activities (Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center, Muny). If you visit The Boathouse, you can take a paddle boat out on the lake with kids.
Absolutely one of my favorite summer spots to take the kids – it’s small enough that they get to see everything without spending all day there. Feed the goats, ride the train, get a snowcone, annnd there are 2 complimentary beers for adults at the end. Did I mention Grant’s Farm is my fave? 😉
Hidden Valley Tubing
Hidden Valley – another winter activity – has a Polar Plunge with no age or height requirements but a child has to be old enough to ride in a tube by themselves. Totally on our list!
Kiener Plaza Splash Pad
Kiener Plaza recently got a huge facelift and now includes a playground, splash pad, and lots of shade trees.
Laumier Sculpture Park
Lone Elk Park
One of our favorite ‘drive-thru’ spots in St. Louis – Lone Elk Park has bison, elk, turkey, and deer. You *can* get out of the car but with the kids, we usually just drive through the park looking for animals.
Longview Farm Park
Longview Farm Park is in the middle of Town & Country has a great playground and horses – worth checking out for a change of scenery!
The Muny – aka America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theater – is an awesome place to take older kids in the summer. Muny shows are a summer-only thing and they start after dark (around 8:15pm), so it can be a super late night. I’ve taken Quinn for the last 2 years as a 4 and 5 year old but definitely depends on the kid!
North Pointe Pool
North Pointe is a really nice pool for kids of all ages – they have a lazy river, huge kids area, water slides, competitive pool, leisure pool – basically everything.
Piper Palm Concerts
Wednesday mornings at 9:30 in the summer at the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove – totally putting this on our summer calendar!
We love Powder Valley for a quick hike in the spring, summer
Purina Farms is a favorite St. Louis spot for animal lovers! So many things for littles to do – wagon rides, cow milking demonstration, canine agility shows, baby animal petting… count me in!
Take an old-school riverboat tour on the Mississippi – I remember doing this as a kid but haven’t taken my kids… yet ;).
Fenton’s pool & rec center came highly recommended by one of you!
Rocket Ship Park Maplewood
This is a really fun park but better for older kids – I’d say 5+. The ‘rocket ship’ is almost 3 stories high, so there’s just a lot going on!
I actually haven’t taken my kids to Six Flags, either, but my in-laws have taken them and it’s always a fun time for them!
Soulard Market is only open Wednesday-Saturday but totally a St. Louis institution!
Steinberg Skating Rink
Not for the summer months, but Steinberg is one of the best places to go ice skating when the temps are cool enough.
Suson Farm is a hidden gem! They have a good playground and a few lakes but the huge highlight for kids is the working farm. They have cows, pigs, ponies, goats, basically tons of cuteness! And it’s all free.
Swing-a-Round Fun Town
SAF has bumper boats, go-karts, batting cages
A different, more local option, we love to hit Thies Farm for pick-your-own strawberries in the spring.
Tilles Park Splash Pad
Tilles Park is one of my favorite local splash pads.
Tower Grove Park
Tower Grove has two playgrounds + a splash pad area.
Wabash, Frisco & Pacific Railroad
Another thing I haven’t done yet! The railroad is an outdoor train ride for kids (and adults) and only runs on Sundays May-October.
Wildwood Community Park
Not really in my neighborhood but people RAVE about this park in Wildwood!
World Bird Sanctuary
The World Bird Sanctuary is probably best for older kids but they have owls, eagles, falcons, hawks, parrots and lots of other animals, plus a Nature Center, Hiking Trail, and Guided Tours.
St. Louis has THE BEST zoo and it’s FREE! We have a membership for free parking, train tours, and carousel rides, but you can totally just pop in to visit anytime. Favorites: penguin house, Kali the polar bear, the big cats, the primate house, and the sea lions. You can also bring your own food and snacks!
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN STL WITH KIDS
Some general eating-in-St. Louis-with-kids tips:
- hit up happy hours – the restaurants are less full, the food comes faster, the kids are disturbing fewer people, you pay less to eat a meal that’s only half enjoyable 😉 – note! that exact excerpt came from a reader and I couldn’t have said it better!
- aim for places that are known for fast
service, like a diner or Mexican restaurant. My kids have about an hour, max, in them for a non-meltdowndining out experience so we try to cram it all in before they get crazy.
Kid-Friendly St. Louis Restaurants
- Chik Fil A – for obvious reasons 😉
- Biggie’s on Watson
- First Watch – breakfast
- Half & Half – breakfast
- Club Taco – has a nice patio
- Twin Oaks Pizza – can’t beat pizza for kids
- Layla – for burgers
- Five Star Burgers
- Jason’s Deli
- McAlister’s Deli
- The Fountain on Locust – lunch and fancy ice cream
- Happy Joe’s Pizza – games, pizza, and beer!
- Crown Candy Kitchen for a milkshake
- Upstairs at 4 Hands
- The Shack – mimosas for mom & dad, hot cocoa for the kids + you can draw on the walls
- Melting Pot – kids get to cook their own food + fire on the table = win!
- Hartford Coffee – haven’t been yet but indoor play area + coffee = amaze
- Stellar Hog for bbq in a fenced-in area with toys
- Mellow Mushroom – known for their pizza + great outdoor enclosed patios
- Grace Meat + Three for chicken
- Pastaria for pasta/pizza – they have a killer happy hour where kid’s meals are only $5!
- Mac’s Local Eats for burgers with the kids
- Ted Drewes Frozen Custard – 100% a St. Louis institution!
- Fitz’s in the Loop
- Russell’s on Macklind – fun fact! our wedding cakes were from Russell’s
- Frisco Barroom – we recently stumbled upon this gem in Webster and it’s got a great vibe despite the whole ‘bar’ in the name thing