Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the St. Louis Area
Top 20 Places to Take Kids in St. Louis - 2021 Survey Results
St. Louis is rich in fun events and exciting places. It was hard for our readers to select their favorites from the hundreds of choices! The venues listed below are wildly popular with kids and families in the St. Louis area. But don’t miss out on ALL the other wonderful places as well! Browse through KidsOutAndAbout.com and discover lots more to do, and don't forget to check out our Everything That's Free page!
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1. Saint Louis Zoo
Enjoying an adventure every time you visit. Knowing a discovery will be made around each corner. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Saint Louis Zoo brings together more than 17,000 wild animals and 3 million visitors each year. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Saint Louis Zoo is part of an elite group of institutions that meet the highest standards in animal care as well as provide fun, safe and educational family experiences.
2. Big Joel's Safari
At Big Joel's Safari Petting Zoo and Educational Park you can see over 60 different animal species, both big and small. We are a family-owned farm and attraction, open to the public from April though October.
3. Upper Limits Climbing Gym
Upper Limits is the premier rock climbing gym in St. Louis, offering something for everyone! Family-owned and operated, Upper Limits offers world-class climbing with midwestern heart. Four gyms, one membership, and 25 years as a leader in the climbing community.
4. Grant's Farm
Explore a unique setting of nature, animals & history in an up-close environment! See the home of Ulysses S Grant and tour the 281 acre wildlife preserve including 900+ animals, representing 100+ species, featuring the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.
Myseum™ is the St. Louis region’s newest destination for kids to have fun and learn a thing or two. Our Interactive exhibits are scientifically fun and unique!
6. City Museum
Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects.
7. The Magic House
The Magic House will engage all children in hands-on learning experiences that encourage experimentation, creativity and the development of problem solving skills within a place of beauty, wonder, joy and magic.
8. Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary
Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary is a Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) Verified 501(c)3 non profit big cat rescue and educational facility that provides permanent lifelong care for abused, neglected or unwanted big cats. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, sell, breed or trade any of our animals; we believe they deserve to live the rest of their lives in a healthy and caring environment. With your support our goal is to provide our animals with exceptional physical and mental care as well as educating the public about the growing captive wildlife crisis. We offer many types of tours for all ages and on-site lodging, so please come and learn all about our rescued big cats.
9. Kokomo Joe's Family Fun Center - St. Peter's
Kokomo Joe's is the ultimate Family Fun Center for both kids and adults. Enjoy time with your family and friends in our clean, welcoming and fun atmosphere. Offering Go Karts, Laser Tag, Escape Rooms, Trampoline Park, Bumper Cars, Bounce Beach, 100+ Arcades, Restaurant & Bar. Private Rooms and Meeting Space available. Open daily. All indoors.
10. My local library
Of course, the libraries in the St. Louis area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them to the list of best places to take kids this year!
11. Ultimate Ninjas St. Louis
Boys and girls of St. Louis….build self-confidence and prepare to reach higher than you ever thought possible with Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) classes. Designed and led by American Ninja Warrior, Jamie Rahn (Captain NBC) who trains at Ultimate Ninjas with many of the same obstacles as seen on Season 13! Ultimate Ninjas also offers private parties and events on weekends so your group can celebrate in our 11,000 SF facility. Adults can exercise in daily group fitness training via ULTIFIT. H.I.I.T fitness wokrouts are designed for beginners and advanced adults. Find out more at www.ultifitonline.com. Build strength from the inside-out at Ultimate Ninjas St. Louis! Your first class is always free!
12. Missouri Botanical Garden
Families with kids of all ages will enjoy visiting the Missouri Botanical Garden, a 79-acre oasis in the city of St. Louis. Vibrant display gardens, sculptures, fountains, educational opportunities, and much more await you! Plan your visit at mobot.org.
13. Six Flags St. Louis
Six Flags St. Louis and Hurricane Harbor water park combine two great parks in one great place for the perfect family getaway. Six Flags St. Louis is the Coaster Capital of Missouri with nine heart-pounding roller coasters. Live shows daily and concerts over the summer.
14. Saint Louis Science Center
The Saint Louis Science Center is one of the top five science centers in the US, serving 1.2 million visitors annually. The complex includes a 4-story OMNIMAX Theater, the air-supported EXPLORADOME and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium.
15. St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League.
16. Laumeier Sculpture Park
Free and open daily, Laumeier Sculpture Park is one of the largest sculpture parks in the country. The 105-acre Park is home to more than 70 works of large outdoor sculpture, interwoven amongst the woodlands and trails, offering visitors an immersive blend of art and nature. Laumeier serves 300,000 visitors of all ages each year with its world-class art collection, rotating contemporary art exhibitions, education programs, summer art camps, and public events.
17. Purina Farms
Purina Farms is a family-friendly attraction where pet lovers go to play, learn and compete. Visit Purina Farms to enjoy live canine performances, up-close encounters with farm animals, wagon rides, and more! You can also check out our event calendar to join us for a special event, plan a field trip, or even throw your child’s or pup’s next birthday Paw-ty.
Our Visitor Center is open Wed-Sun from 9:30a.m. - 3:30p.m, please see website for details.
18. Playtime Party Center - Wentzville
Playtime is not just for kids anymore! We have moved into an 18,000 sq ft building boosting a 4,000 sq ft, 2 story state of the art laser tag arena. We have also added 4 lanes of bowling, a virtual rock wall, 65 piece arcade, inflatable/playground arena, restaurant, axe throwing, and FULL BAR! We have currently hosted 40th birthdays, a 21st birthday, class reunion, wedding reception and team building events with the local business’. We can host your corporate holiday party, as well as your or your child’s birthday. We rent Inflatables too. Check us out at www.playtimepartycenter.com or call 636-887-4244.
19. St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues are a professional hockey team and member of the National Hockey League (NHL). Established in 1967, the Blues play in the NHL's Western Conference at Enterprise Center. dmark.
20. HealthWorks! Kids' Museum St. Louis
We know that being sick is no fun! We also know that good health habits help us prevent getting sick. So, HealthWorks! makes health fun and accessible so kids can live healthier lives. Be sure not to miss our interactive educator led programs that will have your little ones oohing, ahhing, and laughing their way to good health.
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in seven categories. Here were their choices.
Top Arts EducatorCOCA - Center of Creative Arts
COCA is the fourth largest multidisciplinary community arts center in the country and a national leader in innovative arts education. With a mission to enrich lives and build community through the arts, COCA serves 50,000 people of all ages and skill levels, from enthusiastic amateurs to emerging professionals—all taught by a faculty of distinguished arts educators. We provide meaningful arts experiences in our own studios, gallery and theatres as well as in schools, community centers and corporate settings in order to build a vibrant St. Louis that is creative, connected and inclusive.
Top Sports EducatorVetta Sports
Vetta Sports owns and operates nine indoor sports facilities in the St. Louis, Missouri metro area and provides sports programming at several outdoor venues. Vetta Sports has been offering programs for kids (ages 18 months & up) and adults in a fun and safe environment since 1988. The roots of Vetta Sports Club began with their Soccerdome facility in Mid County and have sprouted a cooperative of indoor sports facilities, offering a variety of programs including multi sport camps, birthday parties, Kickaroos, youth leagues, racquet sports, pickleball, volleyball, basketball, soccer and inline hockey.
Top STEM EducatorSaint Louis Zoo
The Saint Louis Zoo's educational services are an integral part of the institution's commitment to conservation. Since the 1960s, the Zoo has offered engaging programs, exhibits and materials that educate our community about wildlife, help visitors feel more connected to animals, and motivate them to take action to preserve the natural world.