Saint Louis Science Center

#8 in Best Things To Do in St. Louis
Saint Louis Science Center picture1 of 2
Saint Louis Science Center2 of 2
Trevis Rothwell/Flickr

Key Info

5050 Oakland Ave.

Price & Hours

Free
Mon-Sat 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m.-4:30...

Details

Museums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Just south of Forest Park's Oakland Avenue border lies the Saint Louis Science Center. At this free museum, travelers can check out more than 700 hands-on exhibits about animals, space, weather and skyscrapers, among other topics. Complimentary science experiments and live demonstrations are available as well.

According to past visitors, the Saint Louis Science Center offers ample ways to keep kids of all ages entertained. However, some museumgoers lamented the crowded atmosphere, particularly on Saturdays, while others wished activities like planetarium shows and Discovery Room experiences did not cost extra. Travelers who drive here and do not park for free at the planetarium will also need to set aside additional funds for parking in the museum's lot, which costs between $10 and $12, depending on the season.

For those who do not drive, there are two easy ways to get to the property: by MetroLink and by trolley. The closest MetroLink station is Central West End, which is located less than a mile northeast. The Green Forest Park Trolley is even more convenient; its No. 6 stop is situated outside the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sundays between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets for select activities, such as IMAX films and planetarium shows, are sold through the online ticket portal, but passes for classes, flight simulators and Discovery Room experiences can only be purchased on-site. Other available facilities include four casual dining venues, an area for nursing mothers, restrooms, a gift shop and a Build-A-Bear store with customizable plush dinosaurs. Visit the Saint Louis Science Center's website to learn more.

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Gateway Arch1 of 13
Forest Park2 of 13
Type
Time to Spend
#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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