Missouri Botanical Garden

#9 in Best Things To Do in St. Louis
Missouri Botanical Garden picture
Missouri Botanical Garden
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Key Info

4344 Shaw Blvd.


Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

One of the more unique things about the Missouri Botanical Garden is that kids love it. And why wouldn't they? The Doris I. Schnuck Children's Garden features a limestone cave (to explore), the Spelunker's Slide (to hurtle down), a treehouse (to climb) and a steamboat (to board), among other attractions.

And the sights geared toward adults aren't that shabby, either. Some previous visitors said feeding the koi fish in the Japanese Garden and admiring the Chihuly glass sculptures throughout the property were the highlights of their trips, while others recommend enjoying a picnic lunch (during the warmer months) or taking in the lights and holiday decorations (in the winter).

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located southwest of downtown St. Louis in the Tower Grove Park area. It is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wear comfortable shoes – the garden is expansive, so you'll do a lot of walking. Admission is $12 for adults; kids ages 12 and younger get in for free. Keep in mind, though, that there is a special $5 admission for kids ages 3 through 12 to get into the seasonal Children's Garden. All entrance fees cover access to the gardens, plus facilities like restrooms, two gift shops, a cafe and a pavilion that serves brunch every Sunday. Free parking is also available on-site, or you can take MetroBus' No. 8, 14 or 80 bus to the property (by doing so you'll receive $1 off your admission after showing your bus ticket). To find out more, check out the Missouri Botanical Garden's website.

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#1 Gateway Arch

This monument to the country's westward expansion is also an engineering marvel, which St. Louisans remain proud of more than 50 years after its construction. The stainless steel Gateway Arch, which was designed and submitted by Eero Saarinen during a national competition, rises 630 feet into the air and spans 630 feet from leg to leg. Visitors can learn more about the history of the arch at the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Gateway Arch Visitors Center. Opened in July 2018, the building sits below the arch and includes six new galleries that detail the history of the West. What's more, the park now boasts more than 5 miles of walking and biking paths.

Although it's free to enjoy on the ground, many former travelers suggest paying the $10 to $13 fee to ride to the top of the Gateway Arch, citing its incredible aerial views. For another stunning vantage point during the warmer months, consider buying a one-hour sightseeing cruise ticket, which costs $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 15. Tickets for both activities can be purchased in advance on the Gateway Arch ticket portal.

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