Recently, I mentioned that we spent One Rainy Day in St. Louis.
We have wanted to go to the St. Louis Zoo for a while now, but we planned our activities in the car while we drove, knowing it was probably going to rain all day. So we had to skip the zoo, but we still had a great day. Here’s what we did.
1. We got up early and drive straight to the St. Louis Arch. We LOVED walking through the Riverfront Park, even in the rain.
This well designed park seems like the perfect place to spend an afternoon. The dogwoods were especially gorgeous, and they surround ponds full of ducks and geese. The walkway runs along the great Mississippi River on both sides of the Gateway Arch.
2. The Arch wasn’t open yet so we went across the street to the Old Courthouse.
The kids thoroughly explored this building. The stairs go all the way up to great views of the dome, which is painted with portraits of presidents. There’s also an exhibit on the history of St. Louis, as well as a couple of films.
We watched one about St. Louis’ role in the Civil War. Union soldiers were fighting a battle with troops from Arkansas. Simon was rooting for Arkansas to win until I explained that actually, Arkansas fought on the wrong side of that war. He was aghast to learn that his home state had fought to keep slavery and later told Taido that he didn’t like Arkansas anymore.
3. After the Courthouse, we went back to The Gateway Arch.
I had been up in the Arch before so I volunteered to stay with Simon, who did NOT want to go up that high, while Taido and the big kids went up in it. Mary Polly did not enjoy it (scary!), but Taido and Ben thought it was super cool. They took lots of great pictures from way high up! There are some great exhibits in the visitor center at the bottom of the Arch, so Simon and I explored those. We picked up a scavenger hunt sheet for jr. rangers and found everything on the page.
4. Next up, Trader Joe’s.
We don’t have one in Little Rock. So you understand.
We also picked up lunch here, and the kids picked out treats to take home.
5. Next, there was the City Museum.
We have heard about this museum from several friends, so we were excited to explore this crazy place. It is really a giant playground made of all kinds of recycled materials from old buildings. Impressive tunnels run throughout the building, which is several floors high. Because of the rain and some renovations, the outside slides and roof were closed, so we only explored the inside. Mary Polly and Ben were game for going all through the tunnels and caves, but Simon mostly stuck to the tables and tables of art supplies. We also enjoyed the mini circus and another room full of wooden ramps.
Side note: I probably would not go back to this museum on a rainy Saturday, because the tunnels were super crowded. However, I still climbed about one million stairs though to do the 10 story slide, almost all in the dark. Crazytown!
6. My family obliged my desire to see the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
This cathedral boasts the largest mosaic installation in the world. So beautiful! Inside and out.
7. Last, but not least, we stopped for the FREE tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
We stopped and did this just because it was on so many lists of things to do in St. Louis and because it was free! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The whole process of how beer is made and aged was very fascinating to me. The kids were not as enthralled as me, but they enjoyed seeing the Clydesdales, riding the tour trolley and getting free sodas at the end. Adults get to choose two beers from twelve different varieties. I loved trying one that was made with Honeycrisp apples! Yum.
We had a great rainy day in St. Louis, and now we are excited to go back and visit in the sunshine! What’s on your list of great things to do in this fun town?