There’s one more part of St. Louis to highlight, and that’s the southwest. Just like the rest of the area, there are several places that your family will thoroughly enjoy visiting!
#1: Grant’s Farm
Grant’s Farm is one of St. Louis’ most popular sites, and for good reason! As a prime example of agri-tourism, they have enough to keep your family busy for hours. Take a ride on a camel, or let your kids ride a pony. Bottle feed baby goats and visit Deer Park, where you can see all sorts of rare animals from North American Bison to European Black Buck Antelope. Whatever you do, you won’t want to miss the incredible shows! These informative, exhilarating demonstrations teach about the incredible creatures on the property.
When you get tired, take a spin on the carousel or visit the cabin where Ulysses S. Grant stayed when he worked at the farm. This is also the home of the Budweiser Clydesdales, so take a tour to meet them and figure out everything that makes them so special, besides being featured on the cutest Christmas beer commercials.
However you spend your time on the farm, it will be time well spent!
#2: The Magic House
The Magic House is another fun, hands-on museum that is designed to ignite your kids’ curiosity, creativity, and problem solving abilities. In a day and age when imagination isn’t quite as plentiful in younger generations, there has never been a greater need for a place like this. Your younger kids can learn from different displays about static electricity and the science behind music. Your older kids will be enthralled by a room dedicated to forensics where they can solve a mystery while studying fingerprints, crawl through duct work to spy on suspects, and discover secret passageways. There are also temporary exhibits that you’ll definitely want to check out. There are so many displays and exhibits intended for children of all ages, making this another place where you can spend several hours and it feels like minutes. Admission is $10 per person.
If you like wildlife, and specifically like birds, you really need to check out World Bird Sanctuary. They have over 200 species, and have special displays on birds of prey from all over the world, featuring owls, falcons, and hawks. But they also have exotic birds, like parrots, and other birds from around the world, like an Egyptian Vulture! Their mission is to preserve animals, especially endangered birds, in their natural environment, and they do so quite skillfully, but they don’t feature birds only. You can also view an impressive display of snakes, insects from Madagascar, and mammals like armadillos and bats. This is a great way to expose your kids to the natural world in a safe and educational setting.
Although this one is a bit of a drive from St. Louis, your family will definitely have to check out is Broemmelsiek Park’s Friday Night Star Gazing, which is hosted on every Friday evening throughout the year, weather permitting. Using complex telescopes as well as the naked eye, participants can view the night sky like never before. This free program is run by trained facilitators who will point out specific constellations and other cosmic features that will make you appreciate the wonder and majesty of our universe just before hitting the hay.
Details: Starts at dusk. Location: Broemmelsiek Park Main Entrance (1615 Schwede Rd., Wentzville, MO 63385)
The WF&P Railroad is one of the top family attraction in the Greater St. Louis area. Located in Glencoe, MO, this attraction’s purpose is to keep the history of steam trains alive and well. This park has several ride-able model trains… and they aren’t like the cutesy kid-sized cars disguised as trains that you’ll find in your local mall. These actually require tracks and truly run on steam. Mom and dad can ride them too! Each ride, which last about 30 minutes, costs only $4 and travels along the beautiful Meramec River. However, they’re only open on Sundays from 11 AM – 4:15 PM.
#6: Six Flags
There are very few people in the world who don’t like amusement parks at all. There’s just something about all the rides, the energy, and the constantly available carny food that’s attractive to the modern American mindset.
While you’re there, be sure to check out the best attraction, Hurricane Harbor which is a massive water park. For those in your family who prefer the adrenaline rush, check out the Tornado, where you can ride down a 132 ft. (40.2 m) long funnel, or the Dive Bomber, which is a 5-story slide that is practically a free-fall! But that’s not the end of the ride! After that, you have some serious twists and turns to reckon with before hitting the pool at the bottom. But, if you prefer saner rides, check out the Hurricane Bay wave pool or the Surf Rider, a simulator that can give you a taste of what surfing the waves really feels like!
This post originally appeared on Daring Penguin Travel Blog, published January 10, 2016. It was part of a larger article, 30+ Places to Check Out in St. Louis.