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By Angie Fratto


If you’re like me, you savor the good things in life but have a limited budget. So when it comes to family vacations, you look for competitive price tags that don’t shortchange on style. St. Louis is a prime Midwest vacation spot with a menagerie of to-dos, both fantastic and free. Consider these money-saving tips on St. Louis hotels and activities.

Catch the (free) spirit of St. Louis from the Arch to the zoo. Credit: Boy27wonder.

Saint Louis Zoo
I’ve seen all kinds of animal exhibits on my travels, but this one is overloaded with cuteness. Waddle among puffins and penguins,and watch your tykes go wide-eyed petting stingrays in Caribbean Cove. And if your kids love trains like mine do, the zoo’s train is free for tots 2 and under.

Tip: While admission is free, some attractions are extra. Arrive when the zoo opens — many are free during the first hour.

Where to stay: Hyatt Regency St Louis at The Arch
For postcard-perfect views of The Arch and an unbeatable downtown location, check out this 4-star hotel near the St. Louis Riverfront.

Tip: Book a 2 nights stay by Dec. 30, 2011 to snag a $75 credit for dining and/or other services.

Fitz’s American Grill & Bottling Works
As an avid food lover, Fitz’s is a must for mouth-watering cheeseburgers and homemade root beer. Located in hip Delmar Loop, bring the kids during the week for a free soda bottle brewery tour.

Where to stay: Ritz Carlton St. Louis
With its mid-town Clayton address and world-class amenities, you’ll enjoy both convenience and luxury. For the best deals, book your stay on a Friday and/or Saturday, and look for resort credits.

Tip: If you have a hungry family like I do, use resort credit on breakfast at The Restaurant. It’s a brunch style layout, and the staff is gracious with even the messiest of eaters.

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Angie Fratto is a Market Manager for Orbitz Worldwide. She loves to travel with her active family as long as it’s planned around her busy shopping schedule.

Tagged: Family time

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Kristin Dillon

Kristin Dillon

Kristin Dillon is a Chicago-based editor with a serious thing for hotels. In addition to her ever-growing collection of books about hotels from around the world, she loves the show "Hotel Impossible," and once lived in a 14th century hotel in Florence, Italy.

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