The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum#10 in Best Things To Do in St. Louis
If you're traveling with little ones, save time for a visit to The Magic House. This children's museum in Kirkwood, a southwest suburb of St. Louis, offers a variety of interactive exhibits for younger kids to enjoy, including an area for budding builders, a bubble room and a "Jack and the Beanstalk"-inspired climbing structure. On sunny days, your children can also run around the Outdoor Play Garden, which features a circular stream, hopscotch courts, a garden kaleidoscope and more.
Families rave about The Magic House, citing its exhibits as more educational than those found at other children's museums. Visitors also praise the property's attentive staff, though some caution that the facility can get crowded, especially during holiday breaks and when school groups are on-site. To avoid hordes of families in the summer and on weekends (the busiest times of year), the museum recommends arriving after 2 p.m.
The Magic House's hours vary by day and season, but during the school year, it welcomes visitors between noon and 5:30 or 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 9:30 or 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the museum is generally open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, with extended or reduced hours on Fridays and Sundays. Admission costs $11 for each person 1 and older; seniors receive discounted rates. Waived entrance fees are available for active members of the military and their families, foster parents and their children, and all travelers who visit on the third Friday of any month between 5:30 and 9 p.m. Your ticket covers access to all of the museum's exhibits, plus the Calming Corner quiet area, a cafe, restrooms and a free parking lot. To find out more, check out The Magic House'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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