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St. Louis Arch

Be sure to take the kids to the top of the Gateway Arch. Photo: iStockphoto

Our series of fam-friendly travel guides

The Gateway to the West is filled with fun for the whole family.

Get a great view of the city from atop the Gateway Arch
You can’t visit St. Louis without stopping to see the iconic landmark, whether it’s from 630 feet high at the top (ride a tram to get there), the beautiful grounds around its base, or from the adjacent Mississippi aboard a riverboat cruise.  Each offers a unique vantage point, but whichever you choose, plan ahead and get tickets early. There are always crowds.

Climb, slide, run and jump all over the place at the City Museum
Less museum and more a mega playspace the likes of which we’re sure you’ve never seen, the City Museum is someplace you don’t want to miss. Housed in a 600,000-square-foot building that was once a shoe factory, this incredible creation by artist Bob Cassilly employs found objects as funhouse-style treehouses, caves, slides and tunnels. There’s an art area, a toy railroad, and a four-story Ferris wheel that sits atop the museum. If you get lost, just look for building with school bus sticking out of its roof.

Swig a root beer at Fitz’s American Grill & Bottling Works
If you time your visit to Fitz’s right, your kids can watch the famous root beer, orange cream and other sodas being bottled on a vintage factory line in the rear of the restaurant. It’s even more fun when you’re sipping one of the signature ice cream floats like the Ghostbuster, made with root beer, vanilla ice cream, marshmallow fluff an chocolate syrup.

Visit the Budweiser Clydesdales at Grant’s Farm
The ancestral home of the Busch (as in Anheuser-Busch) family and the site of Ulysses S. Grant’s cabin is also where you’ll finda stable of 25 of the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses. Admission is free and tours of the grounds, which also include exotic wildlife attractions, are available.

Get your frozen custard served upside down at Ted Drewes
The servers at St. Louis’ famed frozen custard shops (there are two locations) deliver the legendary concretes (custard blended with candy, fruit, nuts or other ingredients) upside down with a spoon and a straw to demonstrate their thickness. No one’s gotten tired of the schtick—or the creamy dessert—since it first opened in 1929.

See a musical at the Muny
The oldest and largest outdoor theater in the country stages family-friendly musicals every summer. This year’s lineup include Les Miserables, Mary Poppins and West Side Story.

Ready to get away? Check out great travel deals to St. Louis from Orbitz. 

Tagged: Family time

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Judy Sutton Taylor

Judy Sutton Taylor

Judy Sutton Taylor is a journalist, travel lover and mom in Chicago, Illinois. Find her on Twitter at @jsuttontaylor.

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