Trip Ideas: St. Louis Worlds Fair
"Meet Me in St. Louis" is more than just a movie and a Judy Garland tune in St. Louis. The world traveled to St. Louis for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, more commonly referred to as the 1904 World's Fair, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's vision of a continental United States through the purchase of the Louisiana Territory and to honor Lewis and Clark's journey to the west.
Morning
One of the largest urban parks in the United States; at 1,371 acres, it is approximately 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York City. The park is home to the St. Louis Art Museum; the Science Center; the world famous St. Louis Zoo; the Jewel Box greenhouse; the Missouri History Museum; The Muny open-air theatre; biking, jogging and skating paths; an ice-skating rink; a golf course; lakes; and other activities. Note: The address shown is for the Forest Park Forever Association, located within the park.
5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis MO 63112, 314-289-5300
Hours: 24 hours.
Serving as the Fine Arts Palace during the fair, it was the only permanent building built for the 1904 event. Today, the museum houses masterpieces and ancient artifacts from around the world and its collection of modern art includes many outstanding examples of German Expressionist art. Other major works on display are by Cezanne, Degas, Matisse, Picasso, van Gogh and Monet and African and Oceanic arts collections.
1 Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis MO 63110, 314-721-0072
Hours: Tue.–Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Another spectacular Fair structure is the massive walk-through birdcage that served as the Smithsonian Flight Cage exhibit. Today, it’s part of the Saint Louis Zoo’s Bird Garden. You can walk through the domed structure, which also includes a cypress swamp environment.
1 Government Drive, St. Louis MO 63110, 314-781-0900
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Evening
The Muny in St. Louis, one of America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theatres, offers professionally-mounted Broadway musicals each season. The Muny presents its shows in a setting framed by the majestic oaks of Forest Park.
1 Theatre Drive, St. Louis MO 63112, 314-361-1900
Hours: Box office: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Afternoon
The museum offers exhibitions and interactive galleries plus lectures, theater, special programs and concerts. From Lewis and Clark to Lindbergh, Scott Joplin to Miles Davis, breweries to baseball, the Civil War to the World's Fair, the museum invites you to participate in the past, present and future.
5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis MO 63112, 314-746-4599
Hours: Daily: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
A featured performer at the World’s Fair, Scott Joplin wrote the famous Rag “Cascades” that was inspired by the fountains that welcomed visitors to the fair. This antebellum structure was home to the "King of Ragtime" during some of his most productive years. Furnishings reflect the era when Joplin lived in the house; also features a display on the 1904 World's Fair.
2658 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis MO 63103, 314-340-5790
Hours: March-October: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; February: Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.