Well it only took me 3 months but I finally finished our trip write up! We went in early May and the weather was great. Cool but not cold. We only stayed 2 nights so there was only so much we could fit. Next time I’d love to stay longer and do more. Spend more time in Forest Park, at the botanical gardens, and at the Magic House. Here’s a rundown of our trip.
Where We Stayed
Home2 Suites Forest Park. This hotel is only a year old and was perfect for us. We prefer to stay in suites whenever we travel so that we can stay up after Gretchen goes to bed. Having a partial kitchen is great too. This suite was huge with a fridge, sink, microwave, dishes, and a table to eat at. Gretchen slept on her cot in the living area (pull out couch was there if we wanted it) and we had a king bed in the other room. Huge bathroom with a nice big tub. They offered a really great complimentary breakfast and had an indoor pool (saltwater) that we enjoyed. Location was very central to everything we did. Kind of steep at $250 a night but worth it!
- Anthonio’s Taverna– Italian restaurant in The Hill district. Great Italian restaurant but not too fancy for kids. They do take reservations but we forgot to make them and walked right in and got a table around 5. Sorry, no pictures of our delicious meal (including the St. Louis special, toasted ravioli)
- Gelato Di Riso– this was just a couple of blogs from Anthonio’s and the gelato was FANTASTIC. Wish we had a great gelato place like this in KC.
- Bailey’s Range– this restaurant is downtown near CityGarden and the arch. They have great burgers, salads, and make their own ice cream! Very kid friendly place to eat while not sacrificing great food.
Things We Did:
- St. Louis Zoo– while admission to the zoo is free, parking is not and neither are the extras like the train, sea lion show, feeding the stingrays, and the children’s area. If you have a zoo membership elsewhere you can get a discount but we opted not to get one this year. We were able to see most of the zoo in 3 hours with the help of the train. Gretchen loved the penguins, polar bear, and the hippos. The hippo exhibit was phenomenal. The children’s area of the zoo was very shaded which was nice and there is a playground and splash pad there where you can stop and play.
- Turtle Park– this is a park right by Forest Park and next to the highway that has a bunch of turtle sculptures that kids can climb on. Big turtles, baby turtles, turtle hatchlings. It’s really unique and a fun stop.
- Missouri Botanical Garden– This was my favorite stop on our trip and I could have spent more time here. The gardens are beautiful and there are almost too many to see them all. We got there late in the afternoon so didn’t get to spend as much time in the children’s garden as we probably would have liked as it closes early. It is AMAZING though. Treehouses, slides, a general store for pretend play, and in the summer there is a splashpad to enjoy as well.
- St. Louis Science Center – I was feeling pretty exhausted the morning we went since we’d walked all over the zoo the day before. The museum is free but the extras are not. Our Union Station/Science City membership got us a free admission to the kid’s Discovery Room which was Gretchen’s favorite part. I wish the sessions were longer (you only get 45 minutes in there) since there was so much to do and explore.
- CityGarden– Only a short walk from Bailey’s Range, CityGarden is a sculpture park right in the heart of the city. It was a little cool for us to enjoy the fountains but it would be great in the summer. You can also get a good view of the arch from here.
- Magic House– I was SO excited to take Gretchen here as I have clear memories of going as a kid. We got there right when it opened but after about an hour it got somewhat crowded (depending on which room you were in). This is a children’s museum for kids of all ages. Gretchen is very into playing pretend right now so she loved the vet clinic, pizza parlour, and baby nursery. I loved the things that made me nostalgic, like the static ball, three story slide, and the bubble room. We spent only about 2 hours here but could have spent more, sadly it was time to head home.