Explore St. Louis

St. Louis on a Budget

11 kid-friendly attractions with free admission

Squeezed? Aren’t we all. St. Louis feels your pain and has the cure: 11 outstanding family-friendly attractions with free admission (although you may pay for parking and special exhibits/activities). In no particular order:

1 Saint Louis Art Museum

The city’s premier and comprehensive repository of art, with exceptional holdings in American art, contemporary German art and pre-Columbian art.

2 Saint Louis Zoo

One of the best in the U.S. Be sure to visit Sea Lion Sound, The River's Edge and the Insectarium. And look at those flamingoes!

Saint Louis Zoo
Saint Louis Zoo (©D. Lancaster)

3 Saint Louis Science Center

700+ exhibits on all things scientific, plus giant-screen movies and tons of interactive stuff.

Saint Louis Science Center
Saint Louis Science Center (©D. Lancaster)

4 Missouri History Museum

The perfect place to begin exploring St. Louis, loaded with little-known facts and fascinating artifacts.

5 Citygarden

Sculptures by internationally known artists and get-wet water features at 8th and Market, downtown.

Citygarden
Citygarden (©D. Lancaster)

6 Laumeier Sculpture Park

World-class sculptures in and out of the woods on 105 acres. Bring your dog, have a picnic, hike to heart's content.

Laumeier Sculpture Park
Laumeier Sculpture Park (©D. Lancaster)

7 Old Courthouse

Beautiful in and out, and a great history museum. History happened here, too, like the original suit filed on behalf of slave Dred Scott, a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court and helped foment the Civil War.

8 Grant's Farm

Animals, animal shows, animal rides and a tram ride through the 160-acre park. Plenty of refreshments, too.

9 Purina Farms

Barnyard animals up close, canine demonstrations, hayloft play area: a kid's dream come true.

10 Holocaust Museum and Learning Center

Surprisingly optimistic look at the unthinkable. The Jewish persecution before and during WWII and the establishment of Israel are ably chronicled.

Holocaust Museum & Learning Center
Holocaust Museum & Learning Center (©D. Lancaster)

11 Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

A generous helping of Civil War history and more at the homestead where Ulysses Grant lived on and off during his adult life.