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Explore St. Louis with Children

Updated on August 28, 2014

Entertaining Grandchildren

We live in a suburb of St. Louis and each summer my grandchildren from Atlanta come to stay with us. Each year I look for new and different things to show them in the area. This year they are 8 and 10 years old . I showed them several of the choices of places to visit and their choices were all some of their favorites from the past. All of these places had some new exhibits this year so we decided to go back and revisit some St. Louis Greats.

  • The Butterfly House
  • The St. Louis Zoo
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • The Muny

Along with these visits we spent time together going to a water park,visiting the library, doing crafts at a nursing home with residents, going to a movie and doing crafts at our house.

It was a busy and fun filled week.

Here are the highlights of our St. Louis visits. They are all places that my granddaughters, Rachel and Ella and I highly recommend.

Butterfly House Birthday Cake

Ella is standing by one of the many birthday cakes that are found throughout the area in honor of the 250th birthday of St. Louis.
Ella is standing by one of the many birthday cakes that are found throughout the area in honor of the 250th birthday of St. Louis. | Source

The Butterfly House

The Butterfly House has been a favorite of my granddaughters since they were very young. I think the first time I took the oldest, Rachel there she was just 2 years old. When they were small they loved to go in the beautifully landscaped conservatory garden. This area is a 8000 sq ft glassed in area which houses 1000's of tropical butterflies. When the girls walk in the conservatory there are butterflies everywhere. New this year were little gnomes placed throughout the conservatory. The girls were given a sheet when they entered showing photos of all the gnomes and they were challenged to find the little men hidden throughout the conservatory.

Now that they are older, the girls are very interested in photography. They each have their own point and shoot digital cameras and they love to capture shots of the butterflies and flowers in the garden. After visiting the conservatory we went to the outside butterfly garden where they were able to photograph native butterflies and flowers.

The Butterfly House is located in Faust park which has several other attractions that the girls enjoy. There is a beautiful old carousel that has been restored that the girls enjoy riding. There is also a nice sized playground and a picnic area.

Parking is free in Faust Park, but there is a small charge for entrance to The Butterfly House.

Paper Kite Butterflies

Paper Kite Butterflies
Paper Kite Butterflies | Source

Butterfly House located in Faust Park

15193 Olive Blvd:
15193 Olive Boulevard, Chesterfield, MO 63017, USA

get directions

The Butterfly House is located in a suburb of St. Louis approximately 20 minutes from the downtown area.

A Day at the Zoo

Rachel and Ella outside the St. Louis Zoo
Rachel and Ella outside the St. Louis Zoo | Source

St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo is one of the top Zoo's in the country and would you believe there is no entrance fee to the zoo. We spent the entire day at the zoo and the only money we spent was for our lunch, a ride on a carousel, and stuffed animals for the girls.

We started out by going to an area called the Rivers Edge. This is a beautiful section of the zoo that consists of winding paths where you can see animals from four continents. One of the girls favorite parts in the Rivers Edge was watching the Elephants. They were very entertaining. As we traveled along the paths of this section we also saw cheetahs, a mongoose and hippos. There was also a section for Missouri river animals where we saw channel catfish and frogs. We spent about 1 1/2 hours exploring the paths and watching the animals in the Rivers Edge.

After Rivers Edge we stopped for a bite of lunch. We had hamburgers and nachos and the cost was around $12 for three of us. We had brought bottles of water from home.

After the Rivers Edge we headed over to Big Cat Country. This area of the zoo is where we found lions, tigers and leopards. Next to the Big Cat Country is the Red Rocks area. This is where my granddaughter Ella was anxious to go. We had a good time wandering through this area and taking photos of giraffes, kangaroos, camels, zebras and many more animals. The St. Louis Zoo is such a great place to take a walk, see lots of animals and practice our photography.

After our visit to the Red Rock area we went through the famous bird cage. This bird cage was first built for the 1904 World's Fair. In fact, it was about this time that the St. Louis Zoo started. The bird cage holds many different exotic birds and ducks.

Our next stop was to get some "Dippin Dot" ice cream. It was a great treat as we neared the end of our zoo visit.

Before we left we stopped by the carousel for the girls to ride on the animals of this clever merry-go-round. There was a cost of $3 each for this ride. Of course before we left we had to make one more guessed it...the gift shop. The girls are stuffed animal nuts so of course they wanted one from the zoo.

Although we spent a full day at the zoo we didn't begin to cover all there is to see. In past years some of the girls favorites from the zoo included:

  • Penquin and Puffin Coast
  • Childrens Zoo
  • Monkey House
  • Sea Lion Show
  • Riding the Zoo Railway
  • Petting the Stingrays

Elephants in Rivers Edge

There were both African and Asian elephants at the zoo.
There were both African and Asian elephants at the zoo. | Source

Explore Rivers Edge

Lego Butterfly and Flower

The exhibit for the summer of 2014 was a lego exhibit of lego flowers, insects and animals.
The exhibit for the summer of 2014 was a lego exhibit of lego flowers, insects and animals. | Source

Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden is a beautiful place to visit. It is located in the southern part of the city. I love to go there to photograph the beautiful flowers and waterfalls. I am so happy that my granddaughters also enjoy visiting the gardens.

This year there was a special exhibit in the Climatron, a climate controlled building for tropical plants. The exhibit featured legos set among the plants. There were 19 different lego exhibits. One of my favorites was a beautiful Eagle. Rachel like the Monarch butterfly and Ella like the exhibit with lego squirrels, birds and birdfeeder.

Another favorite of the girls is the children's garden. In this area there are many places for the girls to explore including rope ladders, an old boat, rocks to climb, slides, a puppet theater and much more. It is a great place to spend a couple of hours.

There is a small fee to enter the gardens and an additional fee for both the climatron and the children's garden. Parking is free.

Great Place to take Photos

Lily pond shows refection of Climatron.
Lily pond shows refection of Climatron. | Source

Visiting St. Louis

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St. Louis Muny

One of the highlights of the girls visit each year is a night at the St. Louis Muny. The Muny is a large outdoor theatre in Forest Park. Each summer the Muny brings St. Louisians 7 great musical productions. In 2013 the girls saw Mary Poppins.

This year the production while the girls were here was Seussical the Musical. Both girls thoughly enjoyed the show.

Take me to the Muny

Gazebo in front of Muny in Forest Park
Gazebo in front of Muny in Forest Park | Source

More to do in St. Louis

Here are some of the places we have taken Rachel and Ella to on previous years visits.

  • The Magic House
  • Science Center
  • Art Museum
  • Arch
  • City Museum
  • Boat rides in Forest Park
  • Ferry ride across Mississippi
  • Cardinals Ballgame
  • Grants Farm

Do you have a favorite place to visit in St. Louis?

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    • ThatMommyBlogger profile image


      3 years ago from The Midwest

      I've done everything on your list except the ferry ride across the river. I didn't realize that was an option. Missouri has so many fun things to do!

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I do believe this is the last week for the Levi display at the gardens. Hope you get to see it oceansunsets

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Well, this was just beautiful! I love your photography, and thanks for sharing all you did about the different places. I live not too far, and have gone to all of those things but the Muny, which I still cannot believe! Do you know if the Lego part of the exhibit is still going on at the botanical garden? I love to go there, and have a membership, and should have known about that whole thing, except my work has me so busy that I haven't been all summer long. I hope I didn't miss out.

      The memories you made with your granddaughters sounds so amazing and special. What a true joy to get to share all of that with them, and they will never forget that gift you gave to them of your love and time. St. Louis is an amazing place, and I know I have enjoyed it. A great hub, enjoyed it!

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Thanks for your comments Cynthia. Sharing photography with my granddaughters is so much fun. It is wonderful to see the pleasure they get from taking good photos.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      I have visited the St. Louis zoo myself and loved every minute of it! I know your granddaughters will have fond memories of their time with you and at the zoo. How totally awesome that you are sharing your joy of photography with them.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      so nice, you make me want to take time to visit our zoo as well, haven't been there in so long!

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Stops for stopping by.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 

      4 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      It looks as though there are lots of interesting things to do in St Louis. That Lego Butterfly looks amazing!


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