St. Louis trip for kids

Do a trip report here....go to another city and want to relate it to what KC is doing right or could do better? Give us a summary in here.
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KCMax
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St. Louis trip for kids

Post by KCMax » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:34 am

We're taking a trip to the Lou with a 5 year old and 2 year old. The kids are obsessed with trains. I think we're going to take an Amtrak to Columbia and stay with friends there for a night, then continue to St. Louis (alternatively we may drive to Columbia, and then Amtrak it to St. Louis).

What would be the most convenient location to stay? Downtown? What about Central West End/Forest Park?

Any recommendations for good (kid tolerant, although we don't need corn dogs and chicken nuggets - our kids will eat almost anything) restaurants to eat at? For attractions I think we're going to hit the kid's museum - Magic House and the Museum of Transportation. We will probably also hit the zoo or the aquarium (which one is more "must see?") Are all of these accessible through Metrolink?

So if you knew a family had a weekend to spend in St. Louis, what would you recommend? Anything off the beaten path we should check out?

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by brewcrew1000 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:08 am

I really like the City Museum but it might be for a older kids, i had a great time when i went there. If you are going on the weekend and there no events going on that weekend, you can usually get a 4 star hotel like the Hyatt next to the Arch for 50 a night on Priceline name your own price. I have also gotten the Hyatt (Now something different) at Union Station for 50 a night. Use websites like betterbidding and biddingtraveler so you know which hotels you might land.

The Science Center might also be a fun time, its free
Last edited by brewcrew1000 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by Volker Dad » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:09 am

Your 5 year old would probably love City Museum. Also, make time to get a Chocolate Malt at Crown Candy.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by chaglang » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:09 am

Awesome. We took the 4 y.o. last fall and had a blast at the Magic House and the zoo. We spent most of the day at the Magic House. The zoo could have been an all-day thing as well, but we did it on a Sunday before we left town so it ended up being a very full morning. The zoo is accessible via ML, but I don't think the Magic House is. Does STL have ZipCar?

We stayed at the Grand Center Guesthouse near SLU. I wouldn't recommend it. It was isolated. We almost stayed at the Sheraton St. Louis City, and that's probably where we'll go next time. It's close to the Amtrak station, but you may need to take a cab to connect. It seems like it would be on the ML line, but I don't know for sure.

I lived in the CWE during college, but it was a different experince going back with a kid. It didn't seem too kid-friendly. For grownups, however, it's awesome. We ate at Wildflower near Euclid & Laclede, and they did a great job accommodating a picky 4 y.o. The food's great there and I would absolutely recommend going. It's next door to Brasserie (sp?), which IIRC Chizrow recommended. But as far as staying in the CWE, I probably wouldn't do it.

The day we were at the Magic House, a friend who lives out there took us to Dewey's Pizza for dinner. Highly recommend. It seemed like the Waldo Pizza of downtown Kirkwood.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by chingon » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:30 am

KCMax wrote:We're taking a trip to the Lou with a 5 year old and 2 year old. The kids are obsessed with trains. I think we're going to take an Amtrak to Columbia and stay with friends there for a night, then continue to St. Louis (alternatively we may drive to Columbia, and then Amtrak it to St. Louis).

What would be the most convenient location to stay? Downtown? What about Central West End/Forest Park?

Any recommendations for good (kid tolerant, although we don't need corn dogs and chicken nuggets - our kids will eat almost anything) restaurants to eat at? For attractions I think we're going to hit the kid's museum - Magic House and the Museum of Transportation. We will probably also hit the zoo or the aquarium (which one is more "must see?") Are all of these accessible through Metrolink?

So if you knew a family had a weekend to spend in St. Louis, what would you recommend? Anything off the beaten path we should check out?
Magic House (the StL equivalent of Science City) will be nice for those ages. Its not as cool as Science City. Its actually pretty easy to get to from Amtrak (the Kirkwood stop), but otherwise you'll want a car to get out there.

Coming in on Amtrak, you can stay anywhere on the Metrolink and have a pretty good shot at most stuff. CWE is less kid-tolerant than the Plaza, but I've always found the restaurants and such in the Loop to be kid-tolerant (though, the Loop on weekend nights is pretty rowdy right now).

You absolutely must take the 5 year-old to City Museum downtown (the 2-year-old is a little less in its wheelhouse age and development wise). That shit is truly one-of-a-kind. For that reason, plus the Arch, I like to stay in downtown when I'm without a car.

The zoo is not accessible via Metrolink. Its a long, long walk, especially with kids. Ditto the Science Center (which is also in forest Park and is nice enough and is free).

With a 2 and 5 year old my trip would look like:

Amtrak to downtown, stay downtown. 1 full day at City Museum. 1/2 day at StL Zoo, maybe a 1/2 day at Magic house, or maybe 1/2 day at Science Center.

Never been to the aquarium in StL.

For restaurants my kids like the Schlafly brewpubs, Fitz' Root Beer shop in the Loop, Rooster downtown for breakfast, and random S. Grand for mediterranean.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by chingon » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:36 am

chaglang wrote:The zoo is accessible via ML
Really? Maybe we got off at the wrong stop. I thought the closest stop was the CWE stop and it was every bit of a miserable 2 mile walk.

Walking with a 2 year old is severely different than walking with even school aged kids.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by mean » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:43 am

It's a fairly short walk to the zoo shuttle bus stop from the CWE metrolink station. Not sure about short enough for a toddler.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by chaglang » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:14 am

chingon wrote:
chaglang wrote:The zoo is accessible via ML
Really? Maybe we got off at the wrong stop. I thought the closest stop was the CWE stop and it was every bit of a miserable 2 mile walk.

Walking with a 2 year old is severely different than walking with even school aged kids.
You're right. I thought the DeBalivere stop is near the zoo, but on the other side of the park. I forgot how big FP is and how winding the roads are. I wouldn't walk it with a 2 y.o., especially if you're going to walk around the zoo for several hours.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by KCMax » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:18 am

It appears Science Center and the zoo have a trolley service running from Metrolink. Great suggestions. Keep em coming, especially places to eat.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by chaglang » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:45 am

IIRC there are some restaurant suggestions in the St. Louis city visit thread.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by brewcrew1000 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:11 pm

When I'm in St Louis I like to Stop at Gus's Pretzel near the brewery. Super cheap soft Pretzels, its nice to take them to a ball game or around town like the zoo. On a saturday afternoon, the Hill is a good option for lunch, lots of little delis and such sprinkled all around The Hill, my favorite is Gioias Deli home of the Hot Salami Sandwich.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by Highlander » Sun May 26, 2013 1:58 pm

KCMax wrote:It appears Science Center and the zoo have a trolley service running from Metrolink. Great suggestions. Keep em coming, especially places to eat.
Our hotel had a shuttle service and dropped us off at the entrance to the zoo. It was a hotel in CWE associated with one of the hospitals. After some serious walking at the zoo, we walked over to the Art Museum, then the Museum of Missouri History and then to the light rail stop. Post Zoo, the Art Museum may be doable with a 2 year old (if you moved quickly through) but I would not venture any further on foot. The light rail stop is just way too far unless they are content to sit in a kid backpack.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by AJoD » Tue May 28, 2013 2:24 pm

You might consider Grant's Farm:
http://www.grantsfarm.com/

Free beer, which is nice.

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Re: St. Louis trip for kids

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Tue May 28, 2013 6:06 pm

Son worked there for awhile during his college years. Not a bad place to visit.

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