St. Louis is the perfect family vacation spot.
For our annual summer road trip, we packed up the kids and headed to the Gateway to the West. I talked to a few friends and did a bit of planning beforehand. So, I had our hotel secured, tickets purchased, and days planned out. We were ready for St. Louis!
While St. Louis can be hot and humid during the summer, it’s not too different from our temperatures in Wisconsin. Plus, many of our activities were outdoors, so summer was the perfect season for us to travel.
On the Road
Again, we rented a car for our trip. We don’t like to put the extra miles on our own cars, plus after my accident, I’m extra cautious. So, we got a small SUV through Costco (which is a really great way to rent!) packed up the car the night before, and headed out around 9 am. Since we are about an hour and a half out of Chicago, so we wanted to avoid rush hour traffic. St. Louis is about a five hour drive.
In addition to new types of snacks and drinks, I packed each of the boys a backpack filled with new coloring books, crayons, markers, and a few small toys. I also got them “activity” books. Don’t tell them they are learning over the summer!
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Stay and Eat
We stayed at a hotel that a friend recommended. The Drury Inn we chose was near the Zoo and museums, but not downtown. In that location we had free parking, and we felt safe. We also had an indoor/outdoor pool, free breakfast, free popcorn/soda in the lobby, and what they call free Kickback.
What is the Kickback? Around dinner time, adults get three free beverages, and everyone gets snacks. The awesome part was that the snacks were basically dinner. Chicken fingers, tacos, hot dogs, and salads were all part of the buffet. I’d have to say it was one of my favorite parts of the hotel!
It was nice and clean, the staff was friendly, and it was very kid friendly.
Time to Play
Our first scheduled activity was a visit to the St. Louis Arch, followed by a baseball game. It was super lucky that our Milwaukee Brewers were playing the St. Louis Cardinals! Since both the Arch and stadium are in the downtown area, we decided to combine those two activities in one day. I bought both tickets ahead of time. The baseball tickets from home before we left, and the Arch tickets from their app in the morning.
We drove our car to a train stop a couple minutes from out hotel, and then took the train downtown. It was very easy to navigate, and then we didn’t have to deal with parking downtown.
When purchasing tickets online, you need to purchase them at least 2 hours in advance. They then have trams departing every 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how many trams are running that day. There is a museum in the bottom, and you get to watch a short movie/intro before going up. They recommend about 45 minutes to an hour for the actual Arch trip.
We got basic tickets, just for the Arch. You can also get combo ticket to include a longer movie or a ferry ride too.
Mr. B and my husband enjoyed the museum the most, but the twins founds a lot to look at too. Everyone was a little nervous for the actual ride to the top.
It turns out, there are not windows, and you ride up in a pod. Five people fit in each, so it was perfect for our family. Everyone did a great job in the pod!
It was pretty warm in the viewing area because there are a lot of people allowed at one time. We all got to look out for as long as we wanted, and as soon as you’re ready, you line up to go back down. Prepare the kids for being patient because only so many people can go down at once.
After riding back down, we took lots of pictures outside, and then decided to walk to the stadium.
Cardinals Vs. Brewers
We finished the Arch around lunchtime, so we found a spot to eat right across from the stadium. All of the sports restaurant/bars are very family friendly, but there is not really anything else downtown. We were afraid it might rain, so we wanted to get an umbrella, but there weren’t even any Walgreens or drug stores around.
The downtown is definitely more of a business district. The stadium does have a store, so we got some disposable rain ponchos, just in case.
Then, we found another sports bars for some beers and kiddy cocktails. We played games and people watched until gametime. There were lots of other Brewers’ fans there too!
It was a great game, and we really enjoyed sitting in the outdoor stadium with no roof. It reminded me and my husband of our old baseball stadium, County Stadium.
The weather started to change, plus the kids were getting tired, so we decided to head out around the 7th inning. Luckily, the rain held off until we got on the train. And when I say rain, I mean RAIN. We had flash flood warnings go off on our phones!
They ended up calling the game. The Brewers won!
More Fun and Games Ahead
We still had three more days in St. Louis so meet me back here for future posts about our time at the museums, the City Museum and the St. Louis Zoo.
Have you been to St. Louis? What was your favorite part?