Long weekend in St. Louis in the spring
We hit up the city right off the Mississippi, the gateway to the west, in April. Midwest weather in the spring can either be glorious or miserable and we got a little bit of both. But overall, we had an amazing time and found a few spots that are great for the delightful and less than delightful days alike. We spent a long weekend in St. Louis as a family for a quick weekend getaway. It is easily drivable from Chicago (where we’re at) as well many other lower midwest cities.
I’m only giving you one of these because it’s so amazing, you’ll want to spend all your forced indoor time here. Really.
Well, this one sort of counts as an indoor/outdoor activity. City Museum is an anomaly of epic proportions. It’s like 1 part playground, 1 part roller coaster, 1 part death defying experience, 1 part circus, 1 part cavern, 1 part bling, and 1 part Tim Burton. It’s hard to describe the entire experience and give it justice. I guess the back story is that a welder bought a warehouse, got a bunch of friends together, and just kept welding stuff together into the most massive and jaw dropping playground on the planet. I honestly felt like I was walking on to the set of a Tim Burton movie. It’s not exactly a museum, not exactly a playground, but a magical mix of the two. On crack. You just have to go. Our kids could spend an entire day there and not see everything and not get bored even once. We’re planning a pilgrimage to go back there asap.
St. Louis has an abundance of fun outdoor adventures to keep your kids happy and you parents interested.
The zoo in St. Louis is free, which is amazing in and of itself. It’s a great zoo, to be sure, and the fact that it’s free makes it even better. When we were there, they were doing a bunch of updates and construction so there are bound to be a few new amazing additions. Penny’s favorite part was the goat petting zoo and the tigers. The boys just love watching any and all animal but were especially enchanted with the sea lions this time around.
What makes this zoo extra special is that it is nestled inside a broader park in the middle of the city. Forest Park is acres and acres of beauty. Lakes, parks, walking trails, rolling hills, and so much more abound. Oh yeah, and parking is free too. Can you even believe it?! You could spend all day wandering the park, hitting up the zoo for a few hours, having a late afternoon picnic, and then hitting up some delish BBQ joints for dinner.
It’s a St. Louis classic. You can’t go to St. Louis and not go see the arch. We didn’t go up in the arch, because, toddler. And I’m real scared of heights, so there’s that. But we did play in the park surrounding the arch, which (who knew?) is actually a national park. Our family is big on running, climbing, and jumping, in case you didn’t catch that already. And this park is like our dream spot. Stairs. So many stairs. Giant arch to oogle. Hills to run up and climb down. And plenty of those low walls that park designers love to put in for little boys. Parkour!!!
Any city that we visit, I personally love to just meander the streets and see what we can see. That’s when you find the random deli with your new favorite soup, the donut shop that looks like a sketchy office supply store, or the best spot for playing leap frog everrrrr.
Also, St. Louis has some really lovely architectural facades. I’m smitten.
Where To Eat
And really, here is the most important thing. The eats.
Breakfast \ Coffee
Donuts from Pharaoh’s donuts are a must. You might think you’re walking in somewhere that is condemned. Legit. But I promise it’s worth it.
Blueprint Coffee for a hella good cuppa joe.
Pickles Deli has the BEST soup. And, being a deli, a pretty killer menu full of sammiches.
Fitz’s Root Beer. Yeah, they have food. But the floats are where it’s AT.
BBQ | Which gets it own category, because it defies mealtime.
Pappy’s Smokehouse. Biscuits as big as your head and a salad (I know, I know, salad at a BBQ place. But trust me) that’s totally worth it. Memphis style BBQ.
Sugarfire. Long lines but ever so many good options for eats!! And they have all the sauces on squeeze bottles on the table, so that you can TRY IT ALL. St. Louis Style BBQ.
Do you have spots of your own in St. Louis that you love to visit? Did we inspire you to visit the gateway to the west? Let us know!!