For our first anniversary (Leap Day) back in February Michael and I wanted to go on a trip to Hawaii. Since both #2 & #3 were still nursing that was out we decided to look at a vacation in the lower 48. Then the accident happened and Michael had to use up all his paid time off and then some to take care of the kids & I until my Mom got here to help us until I was able to sort of function on my own. Then there were the doctor appointments we had to drive to 2 hours away in St. Louis for the children as follow ups to the accident so more time off without pay.
It looks like this year will be another year of staycationing for us in the lovely St. Louis. Even though it's not what we had planned, we will still have a lot of fun. If you want to check out staycation ideas for a city near you, or one vacation ideas if you're going on one, check back tomorrow and I will have links to several other staycation blog postings.
There are many free things to do in St. Louis any time of year, but when the summer months come there are even more. I will talk about some of our favorite things to do that are free or low cost in the St. Louis area. I have pictures for some of the things I am posting, but most of the pictures that I took from 2010 until the end of Nov 2012 were on my N900 which was destroyed in the accident. Now I upload my pictures to the desktop with in a few days of taking them and back them up on a flash drive.
When ever I think about St. Louis, I think the Gateway Arch.. We would always see it on our way down to Tulsa to visit Grandmaw & Grandpaw, but I never actually saw it up close until I was 18 years old. I think it is absolutely beautiful at night. The shot was horrible, we need to go back to the Millennium Hotel's revolving restaurant so I can get a better picture of the arch at night.
The museum of Westward Expansion is a neat place to explore at the Arch and it's free. You can also take a ride up the arch. It is $10 for adults and $5 for children 3-15 years old. We walk up and down the stairs that lead to the river front.
There is also Fair St. Louis the 4th, 6th and 7th of July. There will be an airshow on the 4th and the always awesome US Army Golden Knights will be there. Heart will be playing on the 4th as well. On the 6th it will be Third Eye Blind. The 7th will bring Dierks Bentley. All concerts start at 8 pm. There is a beautiful fireworks display after each of the concerts. It is free to attend, there will be food and beverage venders there for you to purchase refreshments. You are only allowed to bring in one individual serving plastic bottle per person if security can ensure it doesn't contain alcohol. You will have to pay for parking, or you could take the Metro.
The Fair St. Louis Foundation also has four other free concerts this summer on the 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st of July. To see the four artists that will be playing visit the Fair St Louis Foundation website.
Another neat thing in the arch area is they have quadracycles for rent! This summer we plan to rent one to give it a try. I would like to get a Surrey to replace our van once we move into town, whatever town that may be, and this will allow us to test drive it. There are large and small ones for rent as well as regular bicycles at Discovery Bike Rentals.
St. Louis Zoo
My favorite thing to do in St. Louis is go to the zoo. Zoo admission is free, however there are some things like the children's zoo, carousel, stingrays and railroad that have a low cost. We usually just go see the animals. There is a Safari pass that is $10 per person that allows you to use use all of those things, plus a movie and a 4-D simulator. We haven't bought the pass yet but it seems like a good deal. Also, parking is now $15 dollars. In the 7 years that I've been going to the St. Louis zoo though I've only paid for parking three times. We usually park at the Turtle Playground which is nearby and walk to the zoo so that we don't have to pay for parking. see below.
Turtle Playground is on the corner of Oakland and Tamm. There are several turtles to look at and play on. Our boys love stopping to play for a little while on our way to and from the zoo. On weekends after 11 am the parking lot is usually full. I'm not sure what it is like during the week. Also, now that it's wedding season we've seen several wedding parties there with photographers.
St Louis Science Center
The Science Center is a fun indoor place that we sometimes go with the kids. Again with free admission, but paid parking ($10 for the day). We usually park on the planetarium side and walk across the interstate. One of our boys loves it, the other boy likes it as long as he doesn't have to walk over the block of glass so you can see the interstate.
Is located from 8th to10th street and Chestnut to Market in downtown St. Louis. There are many fun things to do in the park and lots of art. The parking in the area is metered so bring along some quarters. In the summer time the Spray Plaza is something that our oldest boy enjoys a lot. There are lots of kids, even some adults, playing in the water.
Kiener Plaza is at 600 Market Street. We love the fountain and walking the stairs of the amphitheater.
I am sure that there are many other free events going on in St. Louis this summer. As I become aware of them I will update this posting to include them. If you know of any feel free to let me know in the comments.