Our final summer adventure before school starts this week (I don’t want to talk about it) was a road trip to St. Louis, Missouri. It was our first family trip to St. Louis which seems weird to say since it was only a three and a half hour drive from Indianapolis. Once we got there, I kept saying, “Why haven’t we come here before?” I felt so cheated that I had just realized how amazing St. Louis is and that it’s been so close all this time.
All the details you need so you can get to St. Louis this weekend:
We stayed at The Cheshire, a really cool boutique hotel where every room is named after a British poet, playwright, or author. We stayed in the A. A. Milne room (the author of Winnie the Pooh) and loved exploring the antiques and vintage decor throughout the hotel. It’s pet-friendly, which makes me super happy, and when you check in they have fun welcome bags for kids that the girls got a kick out of.
The Cheshire has two on-site restaurants, plus a Starbucks, so you don’t have to go far to feed your belly. We had breakfast one morning at The Restaurant and didn’t regret the choice. The girls had beignets and I absolutely loved the bacon-avocado-egg sandwich with fresh fruit, plus the place was absolutely beautiful.
Of course we visited The Gateway Arch while in town. Harper ended up freaking out just a *little* bit as we climbed in the tram to go to the top, so Ellie and I went by ourselves. It’s definitely not for people afraid of small spaces, but once we got up there, the view was worth the four minute ride.
There’s so much to do right around the Arch so from there we walked to the Ballpark Village located near Busch Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals play. It was a few hours before game time so the atmosphere was festive and fun. There’s this great restaurant at the top of the Hilton at the Ballpark called 360 where you can see the whole city and get an amazing view of the stadium too. It’s definitely not the best place to take kids, but we stayed just long enough to get some desserts (order the Kit Kat bars if you want to forever ruin the store-bought kind because once you try 360’s melt-in-your-mouth kind, you can’t go back.), not break anything, and take in some stunning views of the city.
We spent the rest of the day at City Museum. GUYS, pay attention. City Museum is where it’s at. This was, hands down, Ellie and Harper’s favorite stop. We could have spent two full days here and probably not have done it all. I don’t even know how to put it all into words, but the best way to describe it would be a giant warehouse turned into every kind of kid playground, maze, slide, secret passage, rope swing, climbing apparatus, water thing, skate park, and a million other things that kids dream about. When you go, wear tennis shoes and play clothes because you’re going to crawl, climb, sweat, roll and slide for hours. We’ll go back to St. Louis just for the City Museum, no lie.
When we got hungry while playing at City Museum we walked a block over to HIRO Asian Kitchen for an amazing meal. The girls scarfed down their chicken fried rice while Chris and I got to be a little more adventurous with our meals. And for “dessert” the owner, Bernie, made us some from-scratch mashed potatoes and gravy with fried chicken (I know what you’re thinking, fried chicken at an Asian restaurant? But it was unbelievably good.) that they only serve on Sundays. If you’re in STL on a Sunday, go get some fried chicken from HIRO’s.
We also hit up Strange Donuts while we were there. You know all those crazy donut concoctions you see on TV that you want to try? Strange Donuts is your place. We tried maple bacon, jalepeno cream cheese, samoa, gooey butter, sprinkle donuts, grasshoppers that tasted like Andes mints, and more. We actually got nine donuts for two adults and two small kids. Let’s just say we ate a lot of donuts and loved every glorious second of it.
We couldn’t miss visiting the St. Louis Zoo–it’s free to get in, just like so many places in the city. We also visited Missouri History Museum with no admission fee. They have this great kids area call the History Clubhouse where the girls spent over an hour playing and exploring. I highly recommend taking your kids.
We finished up our trip with delicious BBQ from Salt and Smoke (get their BBQ sweet potato chips while you’re there, I’m still dreaming about them) and a little adventure through the Union Station Grand Hall. The massive train-station-turned-hotel has a breathtaking main hall with a free light show every hour on the hour (starting at 5:00 PM) and a great bar and dinner-only restaurant. We were still full from our BBQ lunch, but managed to find some room for dessert and drinks. Because there’s always room for chocolate, right?
We only got to spend the weekend in St. Louis and came home wanting so much more. So here’s the thing, I need one of you to go back and explore more for me. Explore St. Louis wants to give one lucky reader a two-night stay with an attraction and entertainment package included so you can fall in love with St. Louis just like we did. Enter below using Rafflecopter.
If you can’t wait and need to start planning your own St. Louis trip now, head to Explore St. Louis to get started or earn more chances to win by entering the Explore St. Louis’ Funnest Family and Ultimate Tourist contests. Good luck!