Best Museums to Visit in St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, Missouri, is home to an array of fantastic museums that cater to various interests. This vibrant city, known for its iconic Gateway Arch, offers plenty of cultural experiences, from art to history, science to sports, and everything in between. This article will guide you through the best museums to visit in St. Louis, MO. So, are you ready to embark on a journey of discovery?
The Saint Louis Art Museum: A Deeper Dive
The Saint Louis Art Museum, founded in 1881, is one of the leading art institutions in the United States. Located within the picturesque setting of Forest Park, the museum’s impressive façade was built as the Fine Art Palace for the 1904 World’s Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Designed by architect Cass Gilbert, the museum’s exterior features sculptures by George Julian Zolnay that represent the themes of art, history, and beauty.
The museum’s extensive collection spans over 5,000 years, encompassing more than 34,000 works of art from diverse cultures and periods. The collection is organized into various curatorial departments, including:
- Ancient Art: Featuring artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Near East, this collection includes stunning examples of sculpture, pottery, and jewelry.
- Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas: This department showcases the artistic traditions of Africa, the Pacific Islands, and indigenous cultures of the Americas, with pieces such as masks, textiles, and ceremonial objects.
- Asian Art: With a focus on Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South Asian art, this collection spans over 4,000 years and includes ceramics, textiles, paintings, and sculptures.
- European Art: This department houses a remarkable collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the medieval period to the early 20th century. Highlights include works by artists such as Rembrandt, El Greco, Monet, and Van Gogh.
- Modern and Contemporary Art: Showcasing art from the mid-20th century to the present, this collection features works by renowned artists like Picasso, Pollock, Warhol, and O’Keeffe.
- Photography and Prints: This department holds an extensive collection of photographs, prints, and drawings, including pieces by artists like Dürer, Rembrandt, and Matisse.
- Textiles and Islamic Art: This department displays a vast array of textiles, costumes, and Islamic art, including illuminated manuscripts, metalwork, and ceramics.
Exhibitions and Programs
The Saint Louis Art Museum hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing both the museum’s own collection and loaned works from other institutions. Past exhibitions have included topics such as Impressionist France, German Expressionism, and African art. The museum also offers an array of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages, including lectures, workshops, and guided tours.
The Saint Louis Art Museum (Google Map) is open Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours on Friday. General admission is free, although some special exhibitions may require an entrance fee. The museum also features a gift shop, a café, and facilities for visitors with disabilities. Free parking is available on-site.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a casual visitor, the Saint Louis Art Museum offers a wealth of artistic treasures waiting to be discovered.
The Missouri History Museum: A Comprehensive Look
The Missouri History Museum, located in the heart of Forest Park, is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history of St. Louis and the state of Missouri. Established in 1866, the museum is operated by the Missouri Historical Society and is housed in a stunning Jefferson Memorial-style building designed by architect Harvey Ellis.
Collection and Exhibits
The museum’s collection comprises over 175,000 artifacts, photographs, documents, and other historical items that tell the stories of Missouri’s past. The permanent and temporary exhibits cover a wide range of topics, providing visitors with an in-depth understanding of the region’s history. Some of the key exhibits include:
- Seeking St. Louis: This core exhibit explores the history of St. Louis from its founding in 1764 to the present day. Through a combination of artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays, visitors can learn about the city’s growth, its role in the expansion of the United States, and the everyday lives of its residents.
- The 1904 World’s Fair: This exhibit takes visitors back to the St. Louis World’s Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, which celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The exhibit features artifacts from the fair, including souvenirs, clothing, and memorabilia, as well as photographs and films that capture the excitement of the event.
- The Civil Rights Movement: This exhibit highlights St. Louis’s role in the civil rights movement, focusing on local activists, organizations, and events that shaped the fight for racial equality. Personal stories, photographs, and artifacts help to illuminate this important chapter in American history.
- The Spirit of St. Louis: Celebrating the city’s sports history, this exhibit showcases memorabilia, uniforms, and equipment from various St. Louis sports teams, as well as highlighting key moments and athletes in the city’s sports history.
Library and Research Center
The Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center, located nearby on Skinker Boulevard, offers researchers access to a wealth of historical resources. The center’s extensive collections include books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, and photographs that document the history of St. Louis and Missouri. The Library and Research Center also provides various services, such as genealogy assistance and educational programs.
The Missouri History Museum (Google Map) is open daily, with extended hours on Tuesday evenings. General admission is free, although some special exhibitions may require a fee. The museum offers various amenities, including a gift shop, a café, and facilities for visitors with disabilities. Free parking is available in the museum’s parking lot, as well as on the streets surrounding the museum.
The Missouri History Museum provides an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about St. Louis and Missouri’s fascinating past.
The City Museum: An Unconventional Exploration
The City Museum, situated in downtown St. Louis, is an unconventional and whimsical attraction that defies the traditional museum concept. Founded by artist Bob Cassilly in 1997, the museum is housed in a former International Shoe Company building, occupying a vast 600,000 square-foot space. The City Museum is a massive, interactive playground for people of all ages, offering a unique blend of art, architecture, and exploration.
Exhibits and Attractions
The City Museum features a variety of exhibits, installations, and attractions, many of which are created using repurposed materials from the city’s industrial past. Some of the key attractions include:
- Enchanted Caves and Shoe Shaft: Navigate through a labyrinth of caves and tunnels, all constructed from repurposed materials. The caves lead to the Shoe Shaft, a 10-story spiral slide that takes you from the top of the building back down to the first floor.
- MonstroCity: Climb, crawl, and slide through this expansive outdoor playground, which features wire tunnels, ball pits, and slides. MonstroCity also includes two retired aircraft fuselages, a fire truck, and a castle turret for visitors to explore.
- World Aquarium: Located on the second floor of the City Museum, the World Aquarium offers a glimpse into the underwater world, featuring various marine species, including sharks, rays, and tropical fish. This attraction requires a separate admission fee.
- Architectural Museum: This exhibit showcases a collection of architectural artifacts and fragments from historic St. Louis buildings. Visitors can learn about the city’s architectural history while admiring intricate stone carvings, ornate columns, and other unique pieces.
- Circus Harmony: Watch talented young performers from the Circus Harmony troupe showcase their acrobatic skills in daily performances. Circus Harmony also offers workshops for visitors interested in learning circus arts.
- Art City: A studio space where visitors can unleash their creativity by participating in hands-on art projects, workshops, and demonstrations led by local artists.
The City Museum (google map) is open year-round, with varying hours depending on the day of the week and the season. Admission fees apply, with discounts available for children and seniors. The museum offers a variety of amenities, including a gift shop, several dining options, and lockers for storing personal belongings. Parking is available in a nearby paid lot, as well as on the streets surrounding the museum.
With its imaginative exhibits, hands-on experiences, and creative spaces, the City Museum provides a truly one-of-a-kind adventure for visitors of all ages. A visit to this unconventional museum guarantees a memorable experience that will leave you feeling inspired and awestruck.
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation: A Sanctuary for Contemporary Art
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, located in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis, is a contemporary art museum that focuses on fostering meaningful engagement with art and architecture. Founded by Emily Rauh Pulitzer in 2001, the museum is housed in a stunning, minimalist building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando. The serene atmosphere and intimate scale of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation make it a unique and contemplative space for experiencing art.
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation does not maintain a permanent collection, instead hosting a rotating program of temporary exhibitions that feature a diverse range of contemporary art. The museum has presented works by renowned artists such as Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, and Fred Sandback. By offering a changing roster of exhibitions, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation ensures that visitors have a fresh and engaging experience with every visit.
In addition to visual art exhibitions, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation also hosts a variety of events and programs, including music and dance performances, film screenings, lectures, and panel discussions. These interdisciplinary events help to create a dynamic and interactive environment that encourages dialogue and reflection on art and culture.
Architecture and Landscape
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation building itself is an architectural masterpiece, seamlessly blending art, architecture, and nature. The minimalist design, with its clean lines and abundant use of natural light, creates a harmonious space for displaying art. The building features a central courtyard and reflecting pool, offering visitors a serene outdoor space for relaxation and contemplation.
The museum’s landscape, designed by landscape architect Peter Walker, complements Ando’s architectural vision. The outdoor sculpture garden, with its lush plantings and meandering pathways, provides a tranquil setting for the display of large-scale sculptures and installations.
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation (Google Map) is open Wednesday through Saturday, with extended hours on Thursday evenings. Admission is free, making it an accessible destination for all visitors. Guided tours are available by appointment, offering insights into the current exhibitions and the museum’s architecture. The Pulitzer Arts Foundation is wheelchair accessible, and street parking is available nearby.
A visit to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation offers a serene and inspiring experience that showcases the power of contemporary art in a breathtaking architectural setting. The museum’s commitment to fostering engagement with art, combined with its tranquil atmosphere, makes it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.
The National Blues Museum: A Tribute to the Roots of American Music
The National Blues Museum, located in downtown St. Louis, is a cultural institution dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of blues music. Opened in 2016, the museum pays tribute to the significant role that blues has played in shaping American music and culture. St. Louis has a rich blues history, making it the perfect location for a museum that honors this influential genre.
The National Blues Museum features a variety of exhibits that explore the origins of blues music, its evolution, and its impact on contemporary music. Some of the key exhibits include:
- Roots of the Blues: This exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the early history of the blues, exploring its African origins and the influence of African American work songs, field hollers, and spirituals.
- Blues Legends: Learn about the pioneers of blues music, including iconic figures like Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. This exhibit showcases their stories, music, and contributions to the development of the blues genre.
- Blues and the American South: Discover the significance of the Mississippi Delta and other southern regions in the evolution of blues music. This exhibit highlights the migration of African Americans from the rural South to urban areas, bringing the blues with them and shaping the sound of modern American music.
- Blues Today: This exhibit explores the continuing influence of blues music on contemporary artists and genres, including rock, soul, and hip-hop. The exhibit also highlights the current blues scene, showcasing both established and emerging musicians.
- How Blues Influenced Music: Learn about the impact of blues music on the development of other genres, such as jazz, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll. This interactive exhibit allows visitors to listen to various music samples and trace the connections between different styles.
The National Blues Museum offers several interactive experiences for visitors, including the opportunity to create their own blues song, learn about the different instruments used in blues music, and explore the various regional styles of blues. These hands-on activities make the museum engaging and enjoyable for visitors of all ages.
Events and Programs
The museum hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, such as live music performances, film screenings, lectures, and workshops. These events offer visitors the chance to experience blues music firsthand and learn from experts in the field.
The National Blues Museum is open daily, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday. Admission fees apply, with discounts available for children, seniors, and military personnel. The museum features a gift shop where visitors can purchase blues-related merchandise, and there are several dining options nearby. Street parking and paid parking lots are available in the surrounding area. (The National Blues Museum – Google Map)
By exploring the history and legacy of blues music, the National Blues Museum offers visitors an engaging and educational experience that highlights the importance of this influential genre in American culture.
The World Chess Hall of Fame: Celebrating the Game of Kings
The World Chess Hall of Fame, located in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, is a cultural institution that honors the history, players, and artistry of chess. Established in 1984 and relocated to St. Louis in 2011, the museum’s mission is to promote the cultural and educational significance of the game through exhibits, programming, and the recognition of notable players.
The World Chess Hall of Fame features a variety of exhibitions that showcase the art, history, and culture of chess. The museum’s exhibits change regularly, offering visitors a fresh perspective on the game with each visit. Some of the key themes explored in past and current exhibitions include:
- Chess Masterpieces: This exhibit displays a collection of exquisite chess sets, highlighting the craftsmanship and creativity of chess set designers from around the world.
- The Art of Chess: Focusing on the intersection of chess and visual art, this exhibit showcases works by artists who have been inspired by the game, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.
- The History of Chess: This exhibit explores the origins and evolution of chess, tracing its development from ancient India to its present-day global popularity.
- Notable Chess Players: Learn about the lives and careers of influential chess players, including World Champions, Grandmasters, and trailblazers who have shaped the game’s history.
The Hall of Fame Inductees
The World Chess Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the achievements of players, journalists, and contributors who have made a significant impact on the game of chess. The inductees are commemorated with plaques and biographical information, celebrating their accomplishments and contributions to the chess world.
Events and Programs
The World Chess Hall of Fame hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, such as lectures, workshops, film screenings, and tournaments. These events cater to chess enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels, offering opportunities to learn, compete, and socialize with fellow chess lovers.
The World Chess Hall of Fame is open Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours on Thursday evenings. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated to support the museum’s mission. The museum features a gift shop where visitors can purchase chess-related merchandise, including books, sets, and apparel.
The World Chess Hall of Fame is located within walking distance of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which hosts national and international tournaments, making St. Louis a hub for chess enthusiasts. A visit to the World Chess Hall of Fame offers a fascinating and engaging experience that highlights the cultural, artistic, and historical significance of the game of chess. (The World Chess Hall of Fame – Google Map)
The Saint Louis Science Center: Igniting Curiosity and Discovery
The Saint Louis Science Center, located in the heart of St. Louis, is an interactive and engaging institution that promotes science education and exploration for visitors of all ages. Established in 1963, the Science Center has grown to become one of the largest and most visited science museums in the United States. With over 700 exhibits spread across multiple buildings, the Saint Louis Science Center offers a fun and educational experience for the entire family.
Exhibits and Attractions
The Saint Louis Science Center features a wide variety of exhibits and attractions that cover various scientific disciplines, including biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and astronomy. Some of the key exhibits and attractions include:
- GROW: This exhibit focuses on agriculture, exploring the science behind farming and food production. Visitors can learn about crop cultivation, animal husbandry, and the technology that powers modern agriculture.
- Mummies of the World: This fascinating exhibit showcases a collection of real mummies and artifacts from around the world, offering insights into ancient cultures and the science of mummification.
- Ecology and Environment: Learn about the complex interactions between living organisms and their environment, and discover how human activities impact ecosystems and contribute to climate change.
- Flight and Space Exploration: This exhibit features interactive displays and artifacts that explore the history and science of aviation and space travel, including a full-scale replica of the Mercury-Redstone rocket.
- Life Science Lab: Get hands-on with biology in this interactive lab, where visitors can participate in activities such as DNA extraction and microscopy.
James S. McDonnell Planetarium
The James S. McDonnell Planetarium, located within the Science Center complex, offers visitors an immersive experience in astronomy and space exploration. The Planetarium features a state-of-the-art projection system that provides breathtaking shows about the cosmos, as well as live star shows led by experienced educators.
Events and Programs
The Saint Louis Science Center hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, catering to visitors of all ages and interests. These include science-themed workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and special events, such as the annual SciFest and First Fridays, which feature themed activities, presentations, and movie screenings.
The Saint Louis Science Center is open daily, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday evenings. General admission is free, though some special exhibits and attractions may require a separate fee. The Science Center offers numerous amenities, including a gift shop, a food court, and an OMNIMAX theater that showcases large-format films on a variety of scientific topics.
With its diverse and engaging exhibits, interactive attractions, and commitment to promoting scientific literacy, the Saint Louis Science Center provides an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. (Saint Louis Science Center – Google Map)
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum: A Premier Collection of Modern Art
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, located on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, is one of the oldest teaching museums in the United States. Founded in 1881, the museum is renowned for its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as its holdings in European and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Kemper Art Museum offers visitors an enriching experience that spans various art movements, cultures, and time periods.
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum features both permanent and temporary exhibitions that showcase its diverse collection of over 7,000 works of art. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts. Some of the key artists represented in the collection are:
- Max Beckmann: The museum holds one of the largest collections of works by German Expressionist artist Max Beckmann, including paintings, prints, and drawings.
- Willem de Kooning: The Kemper Art Museum is home to a significant collection of works by Abstract Expressionist painter Willem de Kooning, including his iconic painting “Woman.”
- Jackson Pollock: The museum’s collection includes important works by American painter Jackson Pollock, a key figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement.
- Pablo Picasso: Visitors can admire works by influential modern artist Pablo Picasso, such as his celebrated painting “La Vie.”
- Andy Warhol: The museum showcases works by Pop Art icon Andy Warhol, including his famous “Campbell’s Soup Cans” screenprints.
Events and Programs
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum offers a variety of events and programs throughout the year, such as lectures, film screenings, workshops, and guided tours. These events cater to a diverse audience, including students, families, and art enthusiasts, and are designed to foster engagement with the museum’s collection and exhibitions.
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is open daily, except on Mondays and university holidays. Admission to the museum is free, making it an accessible destination for all visitors. Guided tours are available by appointment, offering insights into the museum’s collection and special exhibitions. The museum is wheelchair accessible, and parking is available on the Washington University campus. (Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum – Google Maps)
By showcasing its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as its commitment to engaging the community through educational programs and events, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum offers a rich and rewarding experience for visitors interested in the evolution of artistic expression.
The Soldiers Memorial Military Museum: Honoring the Service and Sacrifice of St. Louis Veterans
The Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, located in downtown St. Louis, is a historic institution that commemorates the service and sacrifice of military personnel from the St. Louis region. Opened in 1938, the museum serves as a memorial to those who have served in the United States Armed Forces and provides visitors with an understanding of American military history through exhibits and artifacts.
The Soldiers Memorial Military Museum features a variety of exhibits that explore the military history of the United States, with a particular focus on the contributions of St. Louis servicemen and women. Some of the key exhibits include:
- St. Louis in Service: This exhibit highlights the role of St. Louis and its residents in various conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to the present day. The exhibit includes artifacts, photographs, and personal stories that provide a unique perspective on the city’s military history.
- The Great War: Focusing on World War I, this exhibit showcases the experiences of St. Louisans who served on the front lines, as well as those who contributed to the war effort on the home front.
- World War II: Explore the impact of World War II on St. Louis and its residents, including the stories of local service members and the city’s role in producing wartime materials.
- Korean War, Vietnam War, and Beyond: Learn about the experiences of St. Louisans who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and more recent conflicts, and gain an understanding of the challenges faced by veterans returning home.
Court of Honor
The Court of Honor, located outside the museum, is a solemn space dedicated to the memory of St. Louis service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The names of fallen soldiers are inscribed on the cenotaph, and visitors are encouraged to reflect on the sacrifices made by these individuals and their families.
Events and Programs
The Soldiers Memorial Military Museum hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, including lectures, film screenings, and commemorative ceremonies. These events provide opportunities for the public to engage with the museum’s mission and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by St. Louis veterans.
The Soldiers Memorial Military Museum is open daily, except for major holidays. Admission is free, making it accessible to all visitors. The museum is wheelchair accessible, and parking is available in nearby lots and on the street. Guided tours can be arranged for groups by contacting the museum in advance.
By honoring the service and sacrifice of St. Louis veterans and offering engaging exhibits that explore American military history, the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum provides visitors with a meaningful and educational experience that fosters an appreciation for the dedication and bravery of our nation’s service members. Soldiers Memorial Military Museum – 1315 Chestnut St, St. Louis, MO 63103
The Campbell House Museum: A Glimpse into 19th Century St. Louis Life
The Campbell House Museum, located in the historic Lucas Place neighborhood of St. Louis, is a beautifully restored Victorian-era mansion that offers visitors a glimpse into the life of a prominent St. Louis family during the 19th century. Built in 1851 and home to the Campbell family for over 80 years, the museum now serves as an important cultural institution, showcasing the architecture, interior design, and lifestyle of a bygone era.
The Campbell Family
The Campbell House Museum was once the home of Robert Campbell, a successful fur trader and entrepreneur, and his wife Virginia. The couple, along with their children, lived in the house from 1854 until 1938. The museum’s extensive collection of original furnishings, artwork, and personal belongings offers insight into the lives of the Campbell family, as well as the broader social and cultural context of 19th-century St. Louis.
Tours and Exhibits
Guided tours of the Campbell House Museum provide visitors with an intimate look at the lavish interiors and authentic Victorian furnishings of the home. Some of the key features of the house include:
- The Parlor: This elegant room, adorned with ornate wallpaper and plush furniture, was used by the family for entertaining guests and hosting social gatherings.
- The Dining Room: The formal dining room showcases an impressive collection of silver, china, and crystal, demonstrating the opulence and refined taste of the Campbell family.
- The Bedrooms: Each of the family’s bedrooms is uniquely decorated, reflecting the personal tastes and interests of the occupants. Highlights include the master bedroom with its four-poster bed and the children’s room filled with toys and games from the era.
- The Study: The study features an extensive collection of books and personal artifacts, providing a glimpse into the intellectual pursuits and interests of the Campbell family.
In addition to the guided tours, the museum hosts special exhibits that delve into various aspects of 19th-century life, such as fashion, technology, and social customs.
Events and Programs
The Campbell House Museum offers a variety of events and programs throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and special themed tours. These events provide visitors with opportunities to deepen their understanding of the history and culture of the Victorian era and the lives of the Campbell family.
The Campbell House Museum is open for guided tours from Wednesday through Sunday, with tours starting on the hour. Admission fees are charged, and group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. The museum is wheelchair accessible on the first floor, but due to the historic nature of the building, the upper floors are only accessible by stairs.
A visit to the Campbell House Museum offers a unique and immersive experience, transporting visitors back in time to experience the elegance, refinement, and intrigue of 19th-century St. Louis life through the eyes of the Campbell family. (Campbell House Museum – Google Map)
The Museum of Westward Expansion: Exploring the Journey West
The Museum of Westward Expansion, located beneath the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, is a fascinating institution that chronicles the history of the American West and the expansion of the United States during the 19th century. The museum explores the diverse stories and experiences of pioneers, explorers, Native Americans, and other groups that played a role in the westward movement, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of this significant period in American history.
Exhibits and Displays
The Museum of Westward Expansion features a variety of exhibits that explore different aspects of the westward movement, from the early exploration of the Louisiana Purchase to the eventual settlement of the Western frontier. Some of the key exhibits include:
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition: Learn about the daring journey of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who were commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. The exhibit includes maps, journals, and artifacts from the expedition.
- Life on the Frontier: This exhibit delves into the daily lives of pioneers and settlers as they ventured westward, including the challenges they faced and the tools they used to survive and thrive in a new environment.
- Native American Cultures: Gain an understanding of the diverse Native American tribes that inhabited the West and how their lives were impacted by westward expansion. The exhibit features artifacts, clothing, and artwork that showcase the rich cultural heritage of these indigenous groups.
- The Fur Trade: Explore the role of the fur trade in the westward movement, including its impact on the economy, environment, and relationships between different groups of people.
- The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad: Discover the monumental feat of constructing the first transcontinental railroad, which connected the Eastern and Western United States and played a crucial role in the settlement of the West.
Events and Programs
The Museum of Westward Expansion hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, such as ranger-led talks, reenactments, and educational workshops. These events provide visitors with opportunities to engage with the museum’s content in a more interactive and immersive way.
The Museum of Westward Expansion is open daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission to the museum is free, making it accessible to all visitors. The museum is wheelchair accessible, and parking is available in nearby lots and on the street. Audio guides and guided tours are available for an additional fee.
By exploring the diverse stories and experiences of those who played a role in the westward movement, the Museum of Westward Expansion offers visitors a comprehensive and engaging understanding of this pivotal period in American history.
The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum: A World of Fun and Learning for Kids
The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, is a popular family attraction that offers a world of interactive exhibits and hands-on learning experiences for children of all ages. Located in the charming suburb of Kirkwood, the museum has been inspiring curiosity and fostering a love of learning in children since 1979. With over 50,000 square feet of exhibit space, The Magic House provides a fun and engaging environment for kids to explore, discover, and learn through play.
The Magic House features a wide variety of exhibits that cater to different age groups and interests, encouraging children to learn through hands-on experiences. Some of the key exhibits include:
- Children’s Village: Designed for young children, this exhibit allows kids to role-play in a kid-sized community, complete with a grocery store, bank, hospital, and more.
- WonderWorks: This exhibit encourages children to explore the principles of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through hands-on activities, experiments, and interactive displays.
- Art Studio: Kids can unleash their creativity in the museum’s fully-equipped art studio, where they can paint, draw, sculpt, and engage in other artistic activities.
- Waterworks: Children can learn about the properties of water and its importance in everyday life through interactive water play, including a water table, waterwheel, and more.
- Fitness & Nutrition Center: Kids can learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and proper nutrition, through fun, interactive exhibits and activities.
Special Events and Programs
The Magic House hosts a variety of special events and programs throughout the year, such as themed weekends, holiday celebrations, and workshops for children and families. These events offer unique opportunities for kids to learn, play, and interact with their peers in a fun and stimulating environment.
Birthday Parties and Group Visits
The Magic House is a popular destination for birthday parties, offering themed party packages that include private party rooms, museum admission, and hands-on activities for the guests. Additionally, the museum welcomes school groups, scout troops, and other organizations for educational field trips and group visits.
The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, is open Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours during the summer months and on selected holidays. Admission fees are charged, and memberships are available for families who wish to enjoy the museum all year long. The museum is wheelchair accessible, and free parking is available on-site.
By offering a diverse array of interactive exhibits and engaging experiences, The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, provides a fun and educational environment for children to learn, grow, and develop essential skills through play. (The Magic House – Google Map)
The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site: Exploring the Life and Legacy of a Prominent American Leader
The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, located just outside of St. Louis, is a significant landmark that commemorates the life and legacy of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States and a prominent military leader during the American Civil War. The site includes Grant’s former residence, known as White Haven, as well as several outbuildings and a visitor center that offers exhibits and educational programs.
White Haven: A Glimpse into Grant’s Life
White Haven was the childhood home of Grant’s wife, Julia Dent, and the place where the couple lived for several years before and after the Civil War. The main house, a stately Greek Revival-style mansion, has been meticulously restored to reflect its appearance during Grant’s time. Guided tours of White Haven provide visitors with an intimate look at the family’s living quarters, as well as insights into the personal and political life of Ulysses S. Grant.
Exhibits and Interpretive Programs
The visitor center at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site features a variety of exhibits that explore different aspects of Grant’s life and career, including his role in the Civil War, his presidency, and his impact on American history. Additionally, the center offers interpretive programs, such as ranger-led talks and special presentations, which provide further context and understanding of Grant’s life and times.
Grounds and Outbuildings
The site encompasses 9.65 acres, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the grounds and several historic outbuildings. These structures include:
- The Summer Kitchen: This small building served as a workspace for food preparation and storage during the warmer months.
- The Ice House: Used for storing ice harvested during the winter, this structure helped keep perishable food items fresh throughout the year.
- The Horse Stable: This restored building showcases the importance of horses in the daily life of the Grant family and the broader 19th-century American society.
- The Chicken House: This small structure was used for housing and raising chickens, which provided the family with eggs and meat.
The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site is open daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission is free, making it accessible to all visitors. The site is wheelchair accessible, and free parking is available on-site. Guided tours of White Haven are offered throughout the day, and reservations are recommended due to limited space.
By providing an intimate glimpse into the life and legacy of Ulysses S. Grant, the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the personal and political aspects of one of America’s most influential leaders. (Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site – Google Maps)
St. Louis, MO, is a treasure trove of museums that cater to various interests and ages. From art and history to science and play, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. So, whether you’re a local or just passing through, make sure to add these museums to your itinerary for an enriching and unforgettable experience.
- What is the most famous museum in St. Louis? The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the most famous museums in St. Louis, known for its extensive and diverse collection.
- Are there any free museums in St. Louis? Yes, many museums in St. Louis offer free general admission, including the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Saint Louis Science Center.
- Which museum is best for families with young children? The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum is perfect for families with young children, offering interactive, hands-on exhibits that encourage learning through play.
- How long should I spend visiting the museums in St. Louis? It depends on your interests and the time you have available. However, dedicating at least a full day or two to explore the museums would provide a well-rounded experience.
- Is the Gateway Arch part of a museum? While the Gateway Arch itself is not a museum, the Museum of Westward Expansion is located beneath the Arch and offers exhibits related to America’s westward growth.