Free Things to do in St Louis Missouri

One of the best aspects of this city is the free activities in Saint Louis, Missouri. Rather you are a local looking for something new to do or a traveler looking for a more affordable way to travel, then you are in luck. 

Saint Louis, Missouri, offers countless free activities, from the zoo and science center to touring a brewery.

St Charles Chocolate Tour

If you are a Chocolate lover, then a tour of a Chocolate Factory may be up your alley. The Saint Charles Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company offers a FREE 15-20 minute tour at their headquarters, allowing you to see how Chocolate is made!

You can see the factory floor, candy kitchen, and chocolate enrobers. After the tour, makes sure to check out the tasting room! However, the Tasting Room does cost extra!

Tours are offered six days a week, from Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm, and Saturday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Tours run every 30 minutes with a break between 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm. Reservations are required on Saturdays and highly recommended throughout the rest of the week. 

Important Information: Tours run Monday through Saturday. Reservations are required on Saturday. Call 314-338-3501 to make a reservation. You must wear closed-toe shoes. Due to factory maintenance, tours are not offered from June 28 – July 7.

Please note, this information may change without notice. Please check the website for up-to-date information on tours. 

Gateway Arch

Photo by Joe Sohm | Dreamstime

The Gateway Arch is the iconic symbol of Saint Louis. Going to the Gateway Arch and hanging out on the grounds is free, as well as the New Museum at the Gateway Arch. The museum is an educational experience that features multiple exhibits. The exhibit’s primary purpose is to educate about the history of Saint Louis and the westward expansion. Interactive galleries make learning about the history of Saint Louis and the United States expansion fun.

Other activities at the Gateway Arch include taking the tram to the top, watching a documentary, and going on a Riverfront Cruise, although these cost extra.

You can ride atop the 630 feet arch in a tram to an observation deck and look out the 16 windows on each side. Riding the tram to the top of the Gateway Arch is genuinely spectacular.

The Gateway Arch also offers guests a documentary, Monument to the Dream Film, a 1967 film about the Gateway Arch National Park. The film lasts about 35 minutes and has positive reviews on IMDb.

Another great attraction at the Gateway Arch is the Riverboat Cruise. The Riverboat Cruise is a one-hour narrated cruise that gives a historical overview of Saint Louis present and past landmarks.

Although the tram, documentary, and riverboat cruise do cost extra. You can view a complete pricing sheet on Gateway Arch National Park’s website, GatewayArch.com. Since the Gateway Arch is considered an American National Park, you are eligible for America the Beautiful Pass Discount. You can also save by bundling two or more of the attractions together.

Important Information: Riding the tram to the top of the arch is not free. Entering the arch has similar screening processes to airport security. Pepper spray, mace, guns, brass knucks, knives, etc., are prohibited inside the arch. Screening can take 30-45 minutes. The last tram leaves one hour before closing.

Hiking

If you want to spend a day outdoors, then you are in luck! Saint Louis has so many different hiking trails with AMAZING views.

Castlewood State Park is one of Saint Louis, Missouri’s more popular state parks. Castlewood is located in Ballwin, just 32 minutes from Saint Louis. There are two popular trails at Castlewood State Park. The first is the River Scene Trail Loop, about 3.1 miles and is considered a moderate hike. The second popular trail is the Lone Wolf Trail. This trail is only 1.7 miles and is also considered a moderate hike. Both paths have spectacular views. These are only 2 of the 7 trails within Castlewood Park.

All seven trails at Castlewood Park are as follows:
• Lone Wolf Trail
• Riverscene Trail Loop
• Al Foster Trail
• Castlewood Trail
• Cedar Bluff
• Chubb Trail
• Stinging Nettle Trail

Another great hiking destination in Saint Louis is the Salt Lick Trail Nature Reserve. This park has four different trails, with Salt lick Trail providing excellent views. The Salt Lick Trail is 5.8 miles in total and is considered a moderate hike.

Saint Louis Science Center

The Saint Louis Science Center is a unique attraction that Saint Louis has to offer that features more than 700 interactive exhibits. Some of the exhibits and attractions at the Science Center are free, while others cost.

Here is a list of some free exhibits the Science Center offers. One free exhibit at the Science Center is the Structure exhibit. This interactive exhibit gives you and your family a hands-on experience in learning how water infrastructures, bridges, skyscrapers, and highways work.

Another free display the Science Center offers is Liftoff. Liftoff is an educational experience that teaches about Space and Aviation.

The Science Center also has the Ecology and Environment Exhibit. This exhibit is an interactive exhibit that allows the opportunity to dig up Dinosaur fossils at an imitation dig site. Once you dig up Dinosaur fossils, you can watch the staff prepare REAL ones. How cool is that!

In addition to digging up dinosaur bones, you can watch T-Rex make his next meal or watch a tornado form! These are just a few free exhibits the Science Center offers. View a complete list of the different exhibits the Science Center provides.


Important Information: Please note that some exhibits may cost, and food and drink may be prohibited in some areas.

Grant's Farm

Grant’s Farm is a must-see attraction in Saint Louis! It is incredibly unique, and it is FREE. Parking on the street is limited. Once street parking is filled, you will have to pay for parking. Parking is $15.00 per vehicle and $35.00 for buses and RVs. However, if you live in the region, then Grant’s Farm offers seasonal parking passes at an affordable price.

Grants Farm is a unique experience that provides 100 different species of animals and over 900 animals in their facility. Grants Farms offers many attractions, including a free tram ride that takes you to see all the different animals at the Farm. In addition to the Tram Rides, there are the Clydesdales Stables, allowing you an up-close experience with Clydesdales themselves. Grants Farm also offers Animal Shows for a personal animal encounter experience.

If you get hungry, the Bauernhof is a great place to eat. It has a unique outdoor German-style courtyard that gives you the feel of being in Germany. Grant’s Farm offers complimentary samples of Anheuser-Bush products (for those over 21 years old) in their hospitality room!


However, not all attractions at Grant’s Farm are free. Carousel rides, camel rides, and feedings will cost a little extra. You can also go on a behind-the-scenes tour with the Clydesdales, Deer Park Safari Private Tour, or visit the Grant’s Farm Estate Tour. However, this will cost you extra!

Important Information: Free beer samples (individuals 21 or older) are provided in the Bauernhof in the hospitality room. Parking does cost unless you can find parking on one of the side streets. Outside food and drinks may not be brought into Grant’s Farm. Only service dogs are welcome in the park. Bring lots of quarters to feed the animals!

Saint Louis Art Museum

Photo by Legacy1995 | Dreamstime

If you are into art, you will love the Saint Louis Art Museum. The Saint Louis Art Museum is located in the heart of Forest Park. The Saint Louis Art Museum features sculptures, art pieces, and ancient artifacts worldwide. It is a great educational experience for your whole family!

Exhibits include Egyptian, American, African, Asian, and Islamic art. These are just a few of the styles of art they feature within the museum. You will be entertained for hours with three stories packed with more than 34,000 paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and more.

You can download the entire facility’s online floor plan to help plan your visit to see the different styles of art you are interested in. 

Or you can take the museum’s daily guided tours (Tuesday – Sunday). Daily free one-hour times are available to the public on Tuesday through Friday at 10:30 am and Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm. No reservations are required for the tour. Make sure to stop by the Panorama Restaurant for a modern dining experience.


Important Information: St Louis Art Museum is closed on Mondays. They have free admission to the main art exhibit on Fridays. Strollers are welcome, although they may be restricted in certain parts of the building. The last entry to the building is one hour before closing. Lastly, free parking is available across the Art Museum and is limited. The parking garage allows additional parking for $15 for non-members and $5 daily for members. Please note that the exhibits are constantly changing, and not all exhibits are free.

Missouri History Museum

Photo from Arak7 | Dreamstime.

The Missouri History Museum is a great educational experience. The Missouri History Museum features a variety of different exhibits and events. Some of the more permanent exhibits that Saint Louis offers are the History Clubhouse, The 1904 World’s Fair, and Seeking St. Louis.

The History Clubhouse is an interactive exhibit for families with children. Many activities include piloting a steamboat, serving food at the 1904 world’s fair, or putting on a puppet show. It is a fun, hands-on experience that allows your children to learn about the history of Saint Louis.

Another remarkable exhibit is the 1904 World’s Fair, featuring artifacts, photographs, and trophies from the 1904 Olympic Games and World’s Fair. It is a great way to go back in time and experience the World’s Fair.

Lastly, Seeking St Louis is the exhibit that takes visitors on a journey to becoming Saint Louis City. Highlighting monumental events such as the Civil War, Cholera, Disasters, and even Triumphs.

These are only some permanent exhibits the Missouri History Museum has to offer. Also, they have temporary exhibitions that allow for a unique educational experience all year round.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Come tour the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis which opened in 1914 and is considered a masterpiece of art; taking almost a century to build. Featuring one of the largest mosaic collections, with around 42 million glass tesserae pieces covering the walls and ceilings.

The church also has a Mosaic Museum that is requested a $2 contribution per person to visit. It is on the lower level of the church. The museum displays demonstrate how mosaics were built inside the church and several other incredible artifacts.

Important Information: The Cathedral Basilica features guided tours Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Reservations are required; please contact 314-373-8241 to make your reservations.

Purina Farms Visitor Center

Photo from Legacy1995 | Dreamstime.com

Purina Farms Visitor Center is a great way to enjoy a free family outing in Saint Louis. Purina Farms Visitors Center has wagon rides, an animal barn, and a hayloft play area. Purina Farms even features a unique exhibit called Discover Life with Dogs and Cats. The interactive exhibition features facts, games, and a way to test your knowledge!

In addition to the interactive exhibit, they have real-life demonstrations like cow milking. Purina Farms also features an animal petting zoo allowing you to get up close and personal with the animals. Enabling you to develop a friendship with chickens, pigs, and rabbits.

Purina Farms Visitor Center offers a canine performance with diving, flying discs, and agility. There is so much to do at Purina Farms, and it is a great way to spend time with the family.

Important Information: Parking is free most days, except there may be a parking fee during special events. Some events are time-based, so check out their website before visiting. No outside food or drinks are allowed unless a picnic area is rented.

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Laumeier Sculpture Park is an outdoor museum that features over 60 unique sculptures. Laumeier Sculpture Park was founded in 1976 and is the largest sculpture park in the country.

You can take a free self-guided tour to view the park’s various sculptures. The park features three different paths, all less than a mile long, that allow you to walk the entire park seeing the various sculptures the park has to offer.

The first trail, Central Pathway, takes about 25 minutes to complete and allows you to see several of the park’s sculptures. The second path, Art Hike Trail, takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The third trail, Western Woodland Trail, only takes 10 minutes.

Each trial is unique in its offerings of what you see and experience. A path to guide you through the outdoor sculpture park is one of the benefits of visiting! You never have to worry about getting lost.

Economy Museum

The Economy Museum is a fun and interactive way to learn about the economy. The museum features over 100 interactive displays, games, photos, and videos to educate individuals about the economy and its importance.

The museum features 5 zones. The 1st zone educates about the Federal Reserve. The 2nd zone teaches about investing, credit scores, and earnings. The 3rd zone is interactive, allowing you to understand how individuals interact with the economy. The 4th zone features engaging educational videos. Lastly, Zone 5 highlights how the economy affects you!

It’s a great way to learn about money and the government’s role in producing it.

Saint Louis Zoo

Come check out the 500 species the Saint Louis Zoo hosts on over 90 acres. If you are interested in seeing penguins waddle, watching a snake slither, or hearing a lion roar, the zoo is where it all happens.

There are six different sections of the zoo to visit, River’s Edge, The Wild, Discovery Corner, Historic Hill, Red Rocks, and Lakeside Crossing. Each section provides a unique experience.

River’s Edge features an adorable hippo, bush dogs, and even Asian elephants.

The Wild features the indoor Penguin & Puffin Coast, Grizzly, Polar Bear, Chimpanzees, and Gorillas.

Then there’s the Discovery Center, a more interactive area with animal shows, a playground, and a petting area.

Don’t forget to check out the Historic Hill with the Cypress Swamp, Primate Canopy Trail, and a primate and birdhouse.

The Red Rocks section features Tigers, Lions, Zebras, and Giraffes, among many other animals.

Lastly, Lakeside Crossing has stingrays, restaurants, and gift shops. The zoo is a great place to visit and spend the day.

Important Information: Admission to the zoo is free. Parking is available along the side roads. Parking along the side of the road is free. However, if the street parking is full, you may have to pay to park in a parking lot for an additional fee. Some amenities within the zoo cost extra; please check their website to learn more.

Full List of Free Things to do this Weekend with your Kids in Saint Louis Missouri

  1. St Charles Chocolate Tour 
  2. Gateway Arch
  3. Hiking
  4. Saint Louis Science Center
  5. Grant’s Farm
  6. Saint Louis Art Museum 
  7. Missouri History Museum 
  8. Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis 
  9. Purina Farms Visitor Center 
  10. Laumeier Sculpture Park 
  11. Economy Museum 
  12. Saint Louis Zoo 

Above are some of the free places to visit in Saint Louis, Missouri. We hope this helps you find something fun and free to do this weekend in Saint Louis, Missouri while saving you money!

Let us know where you favorite free hot spot is in Saint Louis in the comments below. We would love to hear from you. 

About Author, Sara Elizabeth
Writer, Amora V Lifestyle
Co-Owner of AmoraVBoutique.com

Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Amora V Boutique. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.

Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.

When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.

Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this travel blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of any organizations mentioned or affiliated with. The information provided in this blog is accurate and up-to-date to the best of the author’s knowledge, but readers are advised to do their own research and confirm any information before making travel plans or decisions. The author is not responsible for any loss, injury, or inconvenience sustained by readers while traveling based on the information provided in this blog. Travel at your own risk and always prioritize your safety and well-being. Any reviews or comments written are the subjective opinion of an Amora V Lifestyle member and not Amora V Lifestyle. Amora V Lifestyle performs occasional checks on commentary left by users. It’s worth mentioning that we may also use comments in our articles. By posting a comment, you are giving us permission to use it in our content. Please check out Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for full disclosure. This article was paraphrased from the Saint Louis Art Museum Website, https://www.slam.org, from Saint Louis Science Center website, https://www.slsc.org, from Grant’s Farm website, https://www.grantsfarm.com, Saint Charles Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Companies website, https://www.chocolatechocolate.com/product/were-expanding/, Gateway Arch website, https://www.gatewayarch.com, Castlewood State Par website, https://mostateparks.com/park/castlewood-state-park, Missouri History Museum, website, https://mohistory.org/museum, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis website, http://cathedralstl.org, Purina Farms website https://www.purina.com/about-purina/purina-farms, Laumeier Sculpture Park website at https://www.laumeiersculpturepark.org/, Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery website, https://www.budweisertours.com/locations/st-louis-missouri.html, Economy Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank website, https://www.stlouisfed.org/inside-the-economy-museum, Saint Louis Zoo website, htps://www.stlzoo.org/ The article has no affiliation with any of the companies listed above. Pricing may change without notice. We cannot guarantee pricing. Please contact the facility before going to ensure pricing is correct

 

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