Free Activities in St. Louis, MO
If there’s one thing St. Louis has no shortage of, it’s free museums. The Missouri History Museum is no exception. This is the place to go to learn all about Missouri, St. Louis, Kansas City, and everything in between. The 1940s World’s Fair exhibit is one of the most museum’s most popular, and made all the more interesting given the fact that it’s actually situated on the World’s Fair grounds. During summer nights, pack a cooler and a chair and head to the museum grounds for Twilight Tuesdays, a great way to enjoy free live music and refreshing night air.
Okay, so you can't go up inside the Gateway Arch for free. But the Arch riverfront grounds offers so much more than a scenic view! Officially known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Arch grounds are lush and expansive, perfect for strolling and picnicking in the monument's shadow. The real marvel begins when you're standing beside one of the Arch legs and gazing up to the top. A perfect parabola, the Arch is the same distance leg-to-leg as it is high, which means walking from one leg to the other is a 630-foot trek. That's an activity in and of itself! Hidden beneath the Arch underground is the Museum of Westward Expansion, a long-standing tribute to Lewis and Clark and the construction of the Gateway to the West. It's a place many don't even know exists until they're actually standing underneath the Arch and see the entrance. Which just goes to show that there's much more to exploring the Gateway Arch than meets the eye.
Everyone in St. Louis loves Citygarden. It's as if there are two things all St. Louisans love: Citygarden and the Cardinals. Seriously, though, never has a destination been unveiled and met with so much love and enthusiasm. Citygarden is a lush, artistic and structural oasis right smack-dab in the middle of downtown St. Louis. It's so beautiful that no one really minds that a few intersections are permanently blocked so as to accomodate pedestrians and lunching office workers. Citygarden is located between 8th Street to the east and 10th Street to the west, and Chestnut Street to the north and Market Street to the south. But really, you can't miss it. Just look for the happy little kids jumping from fountain to fountain during the day and the stunning array of lights and visual displays at night.
Located 45 minutes southwest of downtown St. Louis (just past Six Flags on I-44,) Purina Farms has something for the animal lover in everyone. Legions of schoolkids have flocked there for decades to watch cow-milking demonstrations, pet the barnyard animals, play in the hayloft or take a horse-drawn tractor ride. Purina's brand new state-of-the-art dog show facility gives even more opportunity to see America's finest breeds in action. You can catch its indoor agility competitions or amazing canine performances of flying disc and other sports. Purina Farms is open year-round; they do ask that you call ahead for reservations. Unlike many other free attractions St. Louis, parking is also free--no hidden fees. All the more reason to come on out!
Grant's Farm is best known as the place to see the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, but it is actually much more than that--it's a wildlife preserve. Comprised of over 281 acres, it houses close to a thousand animals, including exotic breeds like camels, zebras and elephants. Grant's Farm is the ancestral home of the Busch family, and before that, Ulysses S. Grant--so it's got history to spare. That's one of the main things that sets Grant's Farm apart from other free animal attractions like the Zoo and Purina Farms. People don't really understand the historical significance until they experience it firsthand. No wonder it's one of the most popular family and field trip destinations in the metropolitan St. Louis area. Admission is free, but you must pay to park, unless you park offsite or make other arrangements.