St Louis is a wonderful family filled town with lots of things to do with your kids. The newest place with things to do in St Louis is Union Station. Union Station was built in 1894 as the largest and busiest train terminal in the USA and now has undergone a $187M renovation to turn this location into one of the top family friendly downtown St Louis attractions.
So what is there to do at St Louis Union Station? Well there is: St Louis Wheel, St Louis Aquarium, the Union Station Rope Course, Union Station Light Show, Union Station Mirror Maze, St Louis Carousel, a Mini Golf St Louis, and several delicious Union Station Restaurants. In this article we are going to explore this great new location and tell you about all of these family fun activities for things to do in St Louis with Kids. Also, after you finish this article don’t miss checking out all of our other Family Fun Adventures Around The USA.
St Louis Union Station Address: 1820 Market Street, St Louis, MO
Transparency: Some of these attractions we recieved complementary passes to attend. Here at Mommy And Me Travels we always provide our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, and/or experiences on topics, events, and/or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. You can read more about this on our disclosure page here.
St Louis Aquarium
The St Louis Aquarium at Union Station is the centerpiece of the newly renovated complex. The aquarium is spread over 2 stories inside Union Station and covers more than 120,000 square feet featuring one of a kid exhibits with 13,000 fresh water and marine aquatic animals. So what should you expect from visiting the St Louis Aquarium?
Upon entering the STL Aquarium, visitors will get to take a 3-D virtual train ride to learn about Union Station St Louis History and how it has morphed from a railroad station into this amazing family friendly complex. Some of the other highlights of the 3-D train ride is getting to explore the rivers, Mississippi and Missouri. Your kids will get to learn about the different fish species in these rivers and also get a sneak peak at the playful otters they will meet later during their visit.
After your exciting train ride it is now time to explore the interactive exhibits around the St Louis Aquarium. Grayson’s favorite thing to do at each tank was to play on the touch screens next to each of those tanks so he could then go and locate each “fish” inside the them. Sometimes we couldn’t even find them all, but that’s ok because there is always next time.
Tanks that you don’t want to miss on your visit to the STL Aquarium are: Shark Canyon which is 250,000 gallons with over 60 sharks and rays, the playful otters of Sawyer, Finn, and Thatcher, and definitely pay a visit to Lord Stanley who is a rare blue lobster that was donated to the aquarium in honor of the STL Blues winning the Stanley Cup in 2019.
To visit the St Louis Aquarium you will need to secure a time slot for entry. They do this to ensure everyone has a great experience and they are able to manage crowd control due to their interactive exhibits. The current cost of entry for the STL Aquarium is $25 for adults, $18 for kids 3 and up, and Free for kids 2 and under. They also have annual passes that you are able to purchase that are great for those planning to go more than once. Bonus for Military Members: When you are purchasing your tickets Military Members receive a 20% discount on tickets making this even more budget friendly for your family adventures.
While the St Louis Aquarium alone would be a top place to visit with kids for the interactive exhibits that will leave your kids with a great educational experience where they got their hands wet and played with many different animals by touch, we still have a lot left to explore here at Union Station St Louis. Return To Table Of Contents
St Louis Wheel
When you are driving along interstate 64 through St Louis you can’t help but to notice the St Louis Ferris Wheel that sits right next to Union Station. First, I’m going to let you in on a secret. The St Louis Wheel is actually an Observation Wheel not a Ferris Wheel. Now you will be able to impress your friends when the say, want to go to the St Louis Union Station Ferris Wheel? You can educated them and tell them all about how it is actually an Observation Wheel 🙂
The St Louis Wheel is a 200 foot tall observation wheel where the gondolas are 100% enclosed making this a great family adventure all year round. There are 42 climate controlled gondolas, one is VIP. 41 of the enclosed gondolas on the STL Wheel have a glass exterior, interior lights, and either air conditioning or heating depending on the weather outside. The VIP gondolas has those items of the other gondolas plus the floor is glass and the seats are bucketed.
The ride around the St Louis Wheel at Union Station will take between 12 and 15 minutes. You will be able to see nearly 20 miles on a clear day which means you will definitely be able to have a great view of the St Louis Arch, City Museum, and Busch Stadium on your approximate three rotations.
If you or your kids are scared of heights I recommend that you ride in a normal gondola as you will feel more secure. Grayson is scared of heights but once we started on our first rotation he was loving all of the sights around St Louis that he was able to see. We have taken the trip both during the day and at night. Definitely recommend you do both times as you can see further during the day but you’ll get to view St Louis all lit up during your night rotation. You can always communicate with the operators if you start around and someone gets super scared and wants to get off.
Current ticket prices for the St Louis Wheel is $15 for adults and $10 for kids, the VIP gondola will cost you extra. If you are attending special events like the Polar Express STL then you can show your ticket for that and get discounts off the STL Wheel. Don’t forget to always ask if discounts are available as all they can say is there is no discounts at this time.
Union Station Rope Course
After your family adventure around the St Louis Ferris Wheel (Observation Wheel), take your next adventure to a different type of heights with the Union Station Rope Course. You will find the rope course on the 2nd floor once you enter the building. There are two different Rope Course St Louis areas so that everyone in your family can have a ‘swinging’ good time. The first course is the Tykes Rope Course. This is great for those in your party that are younger. Josh who is currently 2 (and pictured above) can easily make his way around the course and even loves the zip line for the tykes. He will spend hours on it if he’s allowed. Unfortunately the time limit is 30 minutes. Grayson is at the age that he can play on the tykes course or do the larger one in the rafters. He loves both!
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The second Union Station Rope Course is the larger one that your older kids and adults in the party will enjoy. This rope course is in the rafters above, so sorta like the 3rd floor, of the historic Union Station. The course is more than 90,000 cubic feet which includes a 100 footlong zip line. This rope course has different obstacles and also includes a zip line to ensure all skill levels in your family can enjoy the adventure. Grayson at 6 is able to make his way through most of the obstacles on this rope course without assistance, although some are harder and he needs our help. Check out our about page, if your interested in learning more about Grayson and Josh.
The current cost of the Union Station Rope Course is $15 for the large course and $5 for Sky Tykes. If your kids are under 12 and want to do the course in the rafters than they will have to be accompanied by an adult.
Mini Golf St Louis
Part of the new addition within the family complex is Union Stations Mini Golf. Family’s with kids of all ages will enjoy the beautiful 18 hole course that has been skillfully designed and is also ADA accessible so all can take part in the family fun. There are very few mini golf St Louis locations, so having one you can take your family to with the 200 foot St Louis Wheel as your backdrop is definitely a great addition to your fun day at Union Station. The current cost of the Union Station Mini Golf is $10. Return To Table Of Contents
St Louis Carousel
During your fun family day at Union Station, don’t miss the opportunity to ride on the 36 foot wide carousel located in the family complex. This St Louis Carousel sits right in front of the St Louis Observation Wheel and next to the Union Station Mini Golf. Who doesn’t love a good spin on the an old favorite fun activity, the carousel? Family members of all ages will be able to choose from a mass array of 30 exotic animals and beautifully crafted horse, or 2 themed crafted chariots. This is definitely one of the family fun activities that both Josh and Grayson ask to do every time we visit Union Station. Don’t miss taking a spin on this St Louis Carousel, currently priced at $5.
Union Station Mirror Maze
Located on the second floor across from the Union Station Rope Course is the Union Station Mirror Maze, A-Maze-ing. The A-Maze-ing maze is a reimagined experience from the 1904 World’s Fair that took place in St Louis. While you are finding your way through the labyrinth of mirrors you will get to test your knowledge of the World Fair with interactive activities through this fun house. We only did this activity once and found it to be great for that one time. My boys liked it but haven’t ask to go through it since. The current cost for entrance is $8. Return To Table Of Contents
Union Station Light Show
Are you looking to take a break from all of the excitement at Union Station and rest your feet. Check out the fire and light show that happens every hour on the man made lake. Here the adults can sit and relax while the kids run and play at the park which is designed as a train car. The Union Station Light Show is choreographed to music (Gloria, St Louis Blues Theme Song) where lights dance, water shoots over a 100 feet, and fire flames sparkle up to 25 feet. While you are waiting for the show to start, don’t forget to feed the super large coy fish in the lake. Fish food is available at machines around the lake. For free things to do with kids in St Louis, this is definitely a must see visit for your family fun adventures. Return To Table Of Contents
Union Station St Louis Restaurants
Where is there to eat at St Louis Union Station? There are 3 sit down type restaurants located perfectly around the family complex so that you don’t even have to leave. The Union Station Restaurants are: Soda Fountain Union Station, Landry’s St Louis Seafood, and Station Grill St Louis. We like to grab a bite to eat at either Landry’s or Station Grill then head over to the Soda Fountain for dessert. You might ask yourself why we do this? Well we enjoy sitting down to have dinner together which Landry’s and Station Grill have great atmospheres for this. We also love the freak shakes at the Soda Fountain so that is why we skip dessert during our dinner and head across the complex.
Not in the mood for a sit down location during your visit? Just want to grab a snack or something to drink? No worries, there are concession stands set up throughout that are perfect for this type of thing. Adding to the uniqueness of St Louis Union Station is that these concession stands are artfully crafted out of shipping containers and can be found strategically placed as you wonder around the newest downtown St Louis attractions.
Final Thoughts on St Louis Union Station
If you are looking for things to do in St Louis with kids, you really don’t have to look any further than St Louis Union Station. Due to the massive amount of activities both inside and out your family can enjoy this downtown St Louis attraction area year round. We have been during the summer and winter many times and always have a great couple of hours. Have you visited St Louis Union Station yet? If so, leave your experience below in the comments. We always love hearing from our readers. Have questions? You can also drop those in the comments and we will try to help.
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