The bustling city of St. Louis is a must-see for any art, history, or nature lover. Tourists can still experience the city without having to break the bank! Some of the most well-known sites are free to visit, so why not stop by? Here are a few of the many free things to do in St. Louis!
Citygarden is an urban park and sculpture garden located in the city’s “Gateway Mall” area. It’s home to 24 sculptures, six rain gardens, a “spray plaza,” and a 180 feet (55 meters)- long pool with a 6 feet (1.8 meters)-tall waterfall.
You can also grab a drink at Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. (808 Chestnut Street), which has been open since 1994.
Use the “Citygarden” app to find out more during or before your visit. It is available on the App Store and Google Play.
2. Forest Park
It is impossible to see everything that this massive park has to offer. The total area covers 1,371 acres(555 hectares) with attractions from prominent landmarks to beautiful scenery.
Be sure and bring a picnic, because Picnic Island offers a beautiful spot for picnicking. If you become famished while exploring, then stop at one of the seven restaurants! Many museums, such as the Missouri History Museum, are also located in the park.
This park is perfect for those who want to get out of the city and into nature! You will be surrounded by the beauty of nature, regardless of which area you chose to go!
The park also hosts many venues that are worth visiting. Use the interactive map on the website to plan your perfect day!
3. St. Louis Zoo
Voted the Best Zoo and America’s Top Free Attraction, the zoo welcomes more than three million visitors a year. They care for over 17,000 animals, many of which are endangered.
The Zoo is located in Forest Park, a massive and must-visit park. This is a great attraction for people of all ages, but your kids will especially love it!
4. Cahokia Mounds
The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site lies 13 kilometers north-east of St. Louis, Missouri. It’s the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. Some 120 mounds are included within the 2,200-acre (890 hectares). It was primarily occupied during the Mississippian period (800-1400) and may have had a population of up to 20,000. Cahokia was even larger than London in 1250 AD!
5. Laumeier Sculpture Park and Museum
Laumeier Sculpture Park is a 105 acre (42.5 hectares) outdoor museum and sculpture park. Founded in 1968, the park sees about 300,000 visitors yearly.
It is home to over 60 outdoor sculptures and features a 1.4-mile (2.3 kilometers) walking trail, and educational programs. There is also an indoor gallery, an 1816 Tudor stone mansion.
Those who decide can take an hour-long tour, which is led by trained Laumeier Docents. Tours are interactive and designed to engage participants. Visitors can pick up a park map in the visitors center.
6. St. Louis Science Center
The St. Louis Science Center, founded as a planetarium in 1963, contains over 750 exhibits and is the largest of it’s kind in the country. It is one of the top five science centers in the United States, according to the Association of Science and Technology Centers.
Enjoy a film at OMNIMAX Theater, view the stars at the James S. Mcdonnell Planetarium and discover more with the 700+ exhibits. Most attractions in the museum are free, but some venues are ticketed. Visit the website for more information!
7. St. Louis Art Museum
The St. Louis Art Museum’s three-story building stands in Forest Park and contains paintings, sculptures, cultural objects, and ancient masterpieces from all around the world. The museum has a particularly large collection of 20th-century German paintings but also includes works by masters such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Matisse. Exhibitions change often, so visit the website for more information!
8. St. Louis Old Courthouse
Built between 1839 and 1862, the Old Courthouse stands in the center of St. Louis downtown. Visitors can tour this architectural gem and get an insight into St. Louis’s role in early settlers westward expansion. Also, Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom and Virginia Minor fought for women’s right to vote in this building. Entry into the courthouse is for free, and this is a ‘must visit’ for those who love history!
9. Delmar Loop Planet Walk
Walk three billion miles (2,880 feet) from the Sun to Neptune. This is the perfect place to visit for those who are interested in astronomy. The design is fit to scale and contains information about each planet. Don’t worry! The writing is written in nontechnical language that can be read by children and adults alike. The planet walk is both entertaining and educational!
10. Anheuser-Busch Brewery
Anheuser-Busch Brewery was opened in 1852 by German immigrant Adolphus Busch and is now a famous adult beverage. As one of the largest and oldest breweries in the United States, visitors can witness first-hand the history and techniques put into brewing. The brewery was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Visitors can also observe the Budweiser Clydesdales; the draft horses used to pull wagons carrying beer in the 19th century.
Those who wish can take a public tour, which is free! Those of legal age can have any two free glasses of their products.
Updated: June 11, 2017