If you're looking for activities to keep youth groups entertained, look no further. St. Louis has a variety of attractions to keep tots, 'tweens and teens happy. They'll have so much fun, they won't even mind that some of these stops are educational.
Citygarden combines sculpture, plants, fountains and architecture into one location in downtown St. Louis. Kids love to climb on and around the works of art and, weather permitting, splash in the water features. You might grab a towel before you go!
800 Market St., St. Louis MO 63101, 314-241-3337
Hours: Daily: sunrise-10 p.m.
Tram rides to the top are not available until early spring 2017 (due to ongoing construction) but no trip to St. Louis is complete without stopping to explore the grounds of the Arch. At 630 feet, it's the tallest national monument in the U.S.
200 Washington Ave., St. Louis MO 63102, 877-982-1410
Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Labor Day-Memorial Day: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
This warehouse of wackiness includes 4,000 square-feet of human-made caves and tunnels; an enchanted forest; world aquarium; working shoelace factory; and MonstroCity (a monstrous montage of monkey bars) that includes two Saber-40 aircraft fuselages, a fire engine, castle turret and a handful of four-foot tall wrought-iron Slinkies.
701 N. 15th St., St. Louis MO 63103, 314-231-2489
Hours: Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri- Sat. 9 a.m.-midnight; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ~ Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, Labor Day-March. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
This world renowned, 90-acre zoo is home to more than 14,000 exotic animals; many are rare and endangered. At the new McDonnell Polar Bear Point, visitors can go nose-to-nose with a polar bear in this state-of-the-art habitat that includes underwater views. The Emerson Children's Zoo has two Tasmanian devils!
1 Government Drive, St. Louis MO 63110, 314-781-0900
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day: Mon.-Thu. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Magic House engages all children in hands-on learning experiences that encourage experimentation, creativity and the development of problem-solving skills. Kids can climb to the top of a beanstalk, "work" in a grocery store and enjoy the looping slides.
516 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis MO 63122, 314-822-8900
Hours: Hours vary by season; see website for schedules.
After a having fun, learning and playing, what kid doesn't want to cap the day with a sweet treat? The concrete treats at this St. Louis institution are popular no matter what time of day, or night, it might be.
6726 Chippewa, St. Louis MO 63109, 314-481-2652
Hours: Feb.-Dec.: Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Kids will be wowed by the more than 1,000 tropical butterflies flying freely in the 8,000-square-foot glass conservatory. Watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis; visit the outdoor Butterfly Garden; enjoy indoor insect exhibits. Also enjoy more than 150 tropical plants. Located in Faust Park, where - after you visit to the Butterfly House - there's ample room to roam and play.
15193 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield MO 63017, 636-530-0076
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
This wildlife encounter is a favorite among kids and adults alike. Situated on 305 acres, the sanctuary offers self-guided displays of live eagles, owls, hawks, vultures, parrots, falcons, reptiles and other critters.
125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road, Valley Park MO 63088, 636-225-4390
Hours: Daily: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Missouri's coaster capital. Hundreds of thrills await at Six Flags, with heart-pounding roller coasters, family thrill rides, live shows and many other attractions. Six Flags St. Louis and Hurricane Harbor waterpark combine two parks in one location for a great family getaway. Both are included in one ticket.
4900 Six Flags Road, Eureka MO 63025, 636-938-5300
Hours: Hours vary by month and day of the week; see website for schedules
Grant's Farm is the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, located of the city of St. Louis. The Farm is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 100 species from six continents.
The Farm takes its name from our 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant. Admission to Grant's Farm is free to all ages.
10501 Gravois Road, St. Louis MO 63123, 314-843-1700
Hours: Hours vary seasonally; see our website for details and schedules.
Barnyard animals, dogs, cats, wagon rides, cow milking, hayloft activities and exciting daily canine performances. Call for reservations. Admission and parking are free except when noted during special events. Ten minutes west of Six Flags on I-44.
200 Checkerboard Dr., Gray Summit MO 63039, 314-982-3232
Hours: Open mid-March through Mid-November; see website for hours and schedules
The Saint Louis Science Center complex includes: the renowned James S. McDonnell Planetarium, which first opened its doors 16 April 1963; a four-story OMNIMAX Theater; the state-of-the-art Boeing Hall; the Life Science Lab, where you may help solve a fake crime; the Fossil Prep Lab, for uncovering real dinosaur bones; and a ride on a Segway Human Transporter.New simulators provides a five-minute flight ($5).The flight simulators, situated in the new "Experience Flight" room, within the Planetarium, offer high-tech 3D technology to augment the sensorial experience, allowing guests to participate in the thrill of simulated piloting experiences. General admission is free; however, there is a fee for some special activities.
5050 Oakland Ave., St. Louis MO 63110, 800-456-7572
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.