We know the importance of keeping children active all while staying within budget. Because of this we frequently challenge ourselves to see just how much fun we can have doing activities that don’t cost us a dime. Those are often our best times. Below I have compiled a list of some of the most exciting FREE kid friendly activities in the local St. Louis and surrounding areas. Adults will have a great time as well. The name will link you to their website. We hope that you will find and try at least one of these activities this summer. We would love to know about it….send us an email or you can shoot us a message on social media. We’re on Facebook and Instagram… just search for us by name.
St. Louis Zoo – St. Louis is known to have one of the best zoos in the country. To top it off, it has free admission. It is located on 90 acres in beautiful Forest Park. The Zoo is home to more than 603 species of animals, many of them rare and endangered.
St. Louis Science Center – The Saint Louis Science Center is a collection of buildings including a science museum and planetarium. With over 750 exhibits in a complex of over 300,000 sq ft, it is among the largest of its type in the country. The admission is free but there may be a charge for special exhibits.
Missouri Botanical Garden – The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis. The Garden offers 79 acres of beautiful horticultural display, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home, and one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids. They also host the Whitaker Music Festival which has a free outdoor concert on Wednesdays every June through August.
Missouri History Museum – Admission to the Missouri History Museum is always free. Admission fees apply to some special exhibitions and special events. This is also the location for Twilight Tuesdays, featuring outdoor live music. It is not currently active but will resume in late August. See website for details.
Laumeier Sculpture Park – Laumeier Sculpture Park is a living laboratory where artists and audiences explore the relationship between contemporary art and the natural environment. The Park is free and open to the public year-round, with the exception of special events. Laumeier is closed to the public the Thursday–Sunday of Art Fair weekend in May, Harvest Festival Sunday in October and Christmas Day.
World Bird Sanctuary – The World Bird Sanctuary is both a unique St. Louis attraction and entertaining environmental education opportunity. With over 305 acres and over 200 animals in our care, we offer a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. They offer free admission every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am and 2:00pm…. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Grant’s Farm – A popular St. Louis destination since 1954, Grant’s Farm is the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, named for Ulysses S. Grant who originally worked a portion of the land. This activity is free but there is a charge of $12 to park.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour – There is no other brewery experience in the world quite like an Anheuser-Busch brewery tour. From the historic architecture of our St. Louis brewery to the latest brewing technology used, each of our tour centers has a captivating story to tell. This is a free event and although most people think beer, this tour offers a great educational opportunity for children.
St. Louis Art Museum – The Saint Louis Art Museum has a collection of more than 33,000 works. Over 3,000 highlights of the collection are searchable online. This information changes weekly as objects are added, updated, and enhanced with current research.
The Muny – The Muny is the nation’s largest and oldest outdoor theatre. It runs from mid-June to early August. If you can withstand the St. Louis heat and stand in line for a few hours, you can enjoy one of the 1500 free seats available at the back of the theater.
Cahokia Mounds – Cahokia Mounds is home to the remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. The 2200 acres indoor and outdoor museum is located about 25 miles outside the local St. Louis metropolitan area. Take your walking shoes as you will be eager to climb the 154 steps to get to the top of the highest mound here. There’s a beautiful view once you get to the top and it is all free. They do ask for donations.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – This museum was originally located beneath the Gateway Arch. All the exhibits are currently located at the Old Courthouse building. Please be sure to check out their website before embarking upon this journey. They are currently overhauling the entire area around the arch grounds.
CityGarden – Citygarden is an urban park and sculpture garden in St. Louis, Missouri owned by the City of St. Louis but maintained by the Gateway Foundation. It is located between Eighth, Tenth, Market, and Chestnut streets, in the city’s “Gateway Mall” area.
National Great Rivers Museum – This museum is located next to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois. Visitors can learn all about the Mighty Mississippi and other rivers through the educational and interactive exhibits
Purina Farms – Purina Farms has hands-on activities and animal demonstrations. Kids can pet barnyard animals and play with the dozens of dogs and cats Purina houses at its pet center. Admission and parking are always free, but there may be a charge for special events.
There are a variety of seasonal festivals throughout the year that are free to the public. Check our website at the beginning of each month for information on upcoming events in the local St. Louis area.