If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity for your kids to do in St. Louis, there are plenty of great options to choose from. When the weather is not conducive to playing outside, indoor places like museums and play centers can be a great way to keep kids entertained. But with so many choices, it can be tough to decide which one is right for your child. Here’s a quick guide to some of the best kid-friendly attractions in St. Louis:
There are a lot of great places to play around here, and I’m going to let you in on all the best spots. Some of them have been around for a long time, and even you played at one when you were a kid. Can you guess which one?
St. Louis has:
“THREE Children’s Museums”
“One dedicated kid-maker space”
“The totally unique City Museum”
“A fantastic Science Center”
“A brand new interactive museum under the Arch”
and “A special room in the Missouri History Museum”
We’re talking about eight different, totally fun, and educational places for kids to play. All of these places are open year-round. This is great news for parents who want to find activities to keep their children entertained during the colder months. With so many options available, there is sure to be something for everyone!
Children’s museums are not the same as traditional museums in that they allow children to learn about art, science, and history through interactive play. At the same time, they have fun. Here, your kids can explore and discover without being scolded for touching everything in sight.
Eight St. Louis Interactive Museums
We have several museums that are geared toward educational play for kids, and one that is a traditional museum that we cannot leave out.
The Magic House: Develop Creativity & Play
The Magic House is a non-profit museum that has entertained children for a long time in St. Louis. The converted Victorian mansion that was started in 1979 has grown into more than 50,000 square feet of fun. The Magic House is a place for all children under the age of 12 but is particularly popular with younger children. For the littlest ones, there is an exclusive playroom just for babies and toddlers. Meanwhile, preschoolers get to enjoy Wonder Works all to themselves – it’s their very own space! This makes it a perfect place for parents with young children to take them for a day of fun. The science experiments that are scattered around the house will appeal to the older kids. There is also the replica Oval Office of the Star-Spangled Center and the Make It Workshop. They will have a blast exploring all of these different areas!
The Magic House is always keeping things fresh with new exhibits. A new World Explorer area is also used for temporary exhibits, along with an exhibit “traveling” room that changes within 6 months. This means that there is always something new to see at the Magic House, making it a great place to visit over and over again!
Myseum: Hands-On Approach
The Myseum is a museum with interactive science, math, and technology play areas. You and your family are sure to have a blast while learning something new! Visitors to the museum will be impressed by the standout exhibits, including the Veterinary office with its plush animal patients, the seaweed swamp made of pool noodles, the dino dig zone, and the slide with a speed radar. These unique and interactive exhibits are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Myseum is a great place for kids from 2 to 12, with a dedicated area for toddlers. Kids can run around in socks and leave their shoes in cubbies, as they are not allowed in certain areas. (Bare feet are not allowed.) Give yourself at least two hours to fully explore Myseum.
Magic House in MADE
In addition to the original Magic House location, there is a second, smaller location in the city that is dedicated solely to being a Maker Space for kids. It is filled with tons of STEAM crafts in every corner to get the kids interested in building, making, and crafting. In the Maker Space, kids can explore their creativity by building a robot, using a 3D printer to learn basic coding, sewing, screen printing, making a vinyl decal, or etching a bookmark. By using different tools and materials, they can create unique projects that are entirely their own.
Younger children will need a lot of supervision even though they’re meant for kids who are between the ages of four and fourteen. Elementary-aged kids will love it, as well as middle schoolers who are really interested in creating, building, and arts.
HealthWorks: Best for Doctors of the Future.
The third children’s museum on our list is HealthWorks, a place dedicated to teaching kids about the human body through play. It was located in Laclede’s Landing before moving to the Science Center. At HealthWorks, kids can learn all about how the human body works, from the ceiling-high Colon Cavern to the giant teeth in the Mouth Plaza. This museum has plenty of hands-on activities, like making x-rays and learning about germs. Although it is rather small, it is honestly best for classroom field trips. Give yourself an hour to explore the place.
City Museum: It’s best for explorers.
The City Museum is a wonderful place to take your kids if you’re looking for something fun and different to do. It’s full of weird and interesting art, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Keep an eye on your kids, though, because it was designed by artists, not playground engineers. Kids will be able to crawl on, in, and through the art created from upcycling industrial objects at the museum. There is a cave system, a human habitrail, a mini train, and a circus.
In comparison to the other museums in the area, the City Museum is less educational and more about providing a fun and enjoyable experience. The treasures that can be found in the museum are mostly art and salvaged architectural treasures. Although it may not be as focused on learning, this doesn’t take away from the overall experience that the museum has to offer.
Saint Louis Science Center: Excellent for the sciences.
The Science Center is dedicated to making science education fun. Everything is done in a lab, and every discipline of science is covered in this way. By providing a fun and interactive environment, the Science Center hopes to spark a love for learning in all who visit! The Science Center consists of two buildings that are connected by a pedestrian bridge. The original Planetarium is located in Forest Park, while the larger museum is outside the park. This arrangement allows visitors to experience a wider range of exhibits and attractions. Parent’s Magazine ranked The Science Center as a Top Ten Science Center for Families. There are over 96,000 square feet of exhibitions to be explored. The traveling exhibit area is always refreshed and new, and keeps the museum fresh. The Saint Louis Science Center is a great place for kids to go for field trips. We have been there for both scout and school trips.
The Discovery Room at the museum is exclusively for kids aged 3-8. Even though there are no exhibits that are specifically designed for toddlers, the whole museum is still very stroller friendly. This makes it easy for parents to bring their young children to the museum to explore and learn.
Gateway Arch Museum: The best for St. Louis history.
The new museum under the Gateway Arch was not specifically designed as a children’s museum, but it was created with kids in mind so that they can fully explore and enjoy it.t they can fully explore and enjoy it. There are metal miniatures in each exhibit area to help kids and differently-abled visitors fully experience the exhibits. By providing a way for all visitors to engage with the exhibits, they hope to create a more enriching and enjoyable museum experience for everyone.
The museum has many exhibits that cover different aspects of St. Louis’s history. There are exhibits on the French colonial era, the American frontier period, and the Civil War. There is also an exhibit on the construction of the Gateway Arch. The museum provides a unique opportunity for kids to sit in a dugout canoe and learn about the “wild west”. They can also see what the inside of the Arch actually looks like. Western expansion is a difficult subject and the museum explores how white settlers from back East affected the native people already living here. This is a great way for kids to learn more about American history in a hands-on way. The Gateway Arch Museum is free to enter and best appreciated by school-aged children and upwards. You’ll need to walk through it in order to get to the tram which takes you to the top of the Arch.
History Clubhouse at the Missouri History Museum: Best History Made Fun
The History Clubhouse is a wing of the Missouri History Museum designed specifically for kids of all ages. In a fun and interactive way, kids can learn through hands-on play at the children’s museum. They can explore different exhibits and try out new activities, all while expanding their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. The museum regularly hosts special storytelling and craft-making sessions for babies who are still in laps, as well as pre-schoolers. By playing in the Clubhouse, children can develop a lifelong love of learning about history. The History Clubhouse is a place where kids can come to learn about the history of St. Louis through hands-on play. They can either fish in the Mississippi the way an ancient Cahokian did, or pretend to be Mark Twain and ride a boat on the river. By experiencing history in this way, kids will have a better understanding of how St. Louis has changed over time.
In order to avoid getting too crowded at the History Clubhouse, you need a timed ticket. Tickets are first come, first served. Storytimes for young children are held in the mornings, while field trips for groups are scheduled from 1-4 pm. The general public is always welcome at any time.