Alton, IL & St. Louis Area
Attractions, Activities, Events & Happenings
St. Louis Attraction: Forest Park
Did you know St. Louis’s very own Forest Park has been ranked the best city parks in America?
Just a half-hour drive from The BEALL MANSION, Forest Park could be called the “heart” of St. Louis. The 1,300 acre park is home to some of St. Louis’s top cultural institutions, as well as favorite area events, including free summer concerts, outdoor performances of Shakespeare, and a huge hot air balloon race.
And the ranking comes just in time for the start of The Muny’s summer season! Check out our Muny Outdoor Theater package – indulge all the luxury of The Beall Mansion, and enjoy fabulous productions at The Muny without the cost and hassle of parking!
There’s tons of fun to be had in Forest Park, especially on a beautiful summer day! There’s so much to do that we just can’t list it all – but here’s a few of our favorites!
Nearing its 100th season, The Muny (established 1919) is the nation’s largest and oldest outdoor theater and a favorite summer tradition in St. Louis. Each season, The Muny stages seven high-end Broadway musical productions from old classics to newer favorites. For every performance there are nearly 1500 FREE seats at the back of the theater, available on a first come, first served basis beginning 1 hour and 15 minutes before the show. Reserved tickets typically run $14 – $87.
Considered to be one of the top zoos in the nation, St. Louis Zoo is home to more than 15,000 animals and tons of shows and attractions. The zoo also has its own railroad line, Zooline Railroad, a Children’s Zoo, and a cornucopia of shops and places to eat. The best part? Admission to the St. Louis Zoo is FREE, but there is a small fee for certain attractions such as the Children’s Zoo and Zooline Railroad.
Offering a hands-on educational experience that’s fun for all ages, it’s no wonder that St. Louis Science Center was named one of the 25 most visited museums in the country by Forbes Traveler. Attractions include the OMNIMAX Theater with a 4-story wrap-around screen, a bridge over Highway 40 with a glass floor and radar guns displaying each car’s speed, and the Planetarium, where you can gaze upon (simulated) stars without the interference of city lights. General admission to St. Louis Science Center is FREE, but tickets must be purchased for special exhibits and for the OMNIMAX Theater.
In 1904, the Grand Basin was the heart and soul of the World’s Fair. Today, after a huge renovation, the Grand Basin is still Forest Park’s crown jewel. The top spot in St. Louis for everything from wedding photos to picnics, the restored Grand Basin is lined with classical promenades and features eight fountains propelling water thirty feet high.
St. Louis Art Museum boasts more than 30,000 pieces of artwork from ancient artifacts to modern art, kid-friendly tours and activities on Sundays, and special lectures and live music on some Fridays. General admission is FREE, but some featured exhibits have a small fee (free on Fridays). Plus, each Friday in July enjoy a free movie on Art Hill, just outside the museum.
Much more than an ordinary greenhouse, The Jewel Box wows crowds decade after decade. With its 50-foot tall walls and art deco design, it truly is a “jewel” in the crown that is Forest Park, shining bright with colorful floral arrangements dotted with seasonal plants.
With views of Forest Park on one side and the Central West End skyline on the other, Steinberg Skating Rink is a top destination for winter activities in St. Louis. But the fun also continues in the summer, when the rink is converted into two sand volleyball courts with an outdoor café to give spectators a perfect view.