The St. Louis Science Museum is one of the largest science museums in the country. The main gallery is over 700 exhibits from dinosaurs to a cyberville where art and technology come together. It also has a Planetarium, Omnimax Theatre and a Discovery Room. The Discovery room is a great place for young scientists aged 3-7 to explore a range of interactive exhibits. We provide exhibits that allow children to experiment with the properties of magnets, or explore the ways in which water behaves at the water table, and children can even dress up at the medical area or native American area.
Best of all, general admission is free. All special exhibit areas are extra.
The Saint Louis Science Museum is free although you do need to pay $10 for the most convenient parking lot and planetarium tickets are not included. We visited multiple times over the course of our month in St. Louis as there was so much to see and do at this museum. We went during the week and had the place nearly to ourselves.
My kids loved the kid-powered ball coaster where they ran in a big hamster wheel to push the balls up the elevator; the earth science section where they learned about tectonic plate shifting and weather patterns; and the exhibits on how the brain works using optical illusion demonstrations.
Catch some of the demonstrations if you can. We watched a 20 minute interactive demonstration on weather that was really fun and informative for all of us. The volunteers working in the pre-historic fossil area were busy cleaning fossils but very interactive with the kids.
There is a room on space exploration of Mars and a full “Maker Space” where you can build things and test their functionality. I think some kids could spend all of their time in the space!
There is a planetarium with exhibits on life as an astronaut and architecture and building science. We saw the “Live Sky Tonight show” at the planetarium, which was all about the stars and constellations that would be visible in this area at this time of year. We all enjoyed the show, mostly because it was interactive. My kids loved shouting out the answers to his questions if they knew them; it really kept them paying attention and on their toes. You could sit in fold up chairs or get a mat and lay on the floor, which was what almost everyone did.
There is a café and plenty of room to have lunch in the main lobby of the museum.
Being visitors, this time with kids, I was just so impressed with all there is to do in a small-big city. And free to boot!
In Numbers: Free admission for all. Parking isn't, but see tip below for help on that!
For Kids: Touch it all! STEM galore! Kids of all ages, but specifically elementary aged and above, will really enjoy this place.
For Adults: It's indoors, huge, and so much for kids to interact with.
Tip: A review below me mentioned (which my friend who took us did) that parking on the planetarium side will give you free parking and they are connected. And even cooler, you have to walk over interstate skybridge which is way cool. So definitely take advantage of the free parking!
Many of the reviews on this posting are on just the Science Center side which is definitely a wonderful experience but added to that, you must visit the Planetarium which is part of the Science Center but located across the street with a Sky Bridge to get you there.
TIP: This is a BIG 'Tip' to visiting the Science Center where parking is $15 and street parking tends to be taken or its just too cold or humid outside for the extra walking. On the Planetarium side, its completely free! AND its closer to the entrance with fewer visitors. Your kids get to cross the sky bridge which has big windows in the floor to watch the cars pass along and telescopes to look at the Arch in the distance...definitely an experience worth the extra few blocks you need to drive to get there.
To enter on the Planetarium side, you need to cross the interstate onto the Forest Park side. Its a large Dome shaped building with a funnel on top with a fighter jet outside. There is no signage that indicates the Planetarium so you really just need to use common sense on where to go. Its directly across the freeway from where the Science Center is. So you can drive in either direction to cross over the interstate and then circle back.
When you enter there's a great space and dinosaur themed gift shop on the left and then directly to the right is the entrance to the Planetarium Theater for the star show. The elevator to the theater is located inside the gift shop...kind of awkward because you need to request that someone take you up if you have a stroller (like I did).
Every day (except Sunday) there's a pre-K show at 10:30 a.m. Make note though, they don't allow snacks into the building. Big Bummer...but I will admit we broke the law. The kiddos were just too hungry! lol...
Throughout the Planetarium there are great space artifacts like an original space craft, various astronaut suits and other fun space items to look at. On the third floor there's a large room filled with other space exhibits. Within the theater following the show, there are exhibits surrounding the planetarium screen including a Mars Rover and an area specifically for toddlers.
As you cross the sky bridge there's an area with four space simulators (payment required), space photo booths, and other fun interactive things to do with the kids.
I had been to the Science Center several times but never ventured across to the Planetarium...it was definitely worth it and now we will be faithful patrons!
Even if it were not FREE, this would be considered one of the best science centers in the country! Some of the exhibits and things to do inside the museum do cost, but there is plenty to do without paying! The kids like walking over the interstate highway and looking down at the road through the glass floor, and there is a full-blown planetarium as part of the science center, complete with its own rocket! The Science Center is located at the edge of St. Louis's Forest Park, which is the largest city park in the country, even bigger than Central Park in NYC, with more to do! Also has the ALSO FREE St. Louis Zoo (I consider this zoo best in the US), the ALSO FREE St. Louis art museum (also one of the best in the US), the ALSO FREE St. Louis history museum. If you want to see an outdoor broadway play, many of which are themed for kids, you can watch it FOR FREE at the Muni in forest Park, which is the largest and oldest outdoor theater in the US. There are tons of other free things to do in St. Louis. A great family destination, conveniently located via a short plane ride, right in the center of the country. Check out this link for a list of other free things to do in the St. Louis area: http://stlouis.about.com/od/freethingstodo/a/Free_Attraction.htm
My son and I love the science center! We can spend the whole day going between the two buildings and visiting all the exhibits! My sons favorites are the flight simulators, the dinosaurs on the bottom level and going over the bridge so he can look down at the cars through the floor.
This definitely is better than the science center in our hometown of Nashville, TN. Free admission, free parking are the pluses. The negative part and it may have just been we went on the 4th of July week. It was crowded and all the exhibits were BUSY! My kids couldn't do much. It was nice and clean though. My youngest son built a dinosaur at the Build a Bear and he loved the huge dinosaur that moved in the middle of the museum.
St Louis weather can be unpredictable. On days when the weather isn't cooperating, the Science Center is the perfect place to go! It's free to get in and explore the abundance of kid-friendly and educational exhibits. Everything is hands on and there's plenty of space for kids to run around and burn some energy. The Omnimax, a HUGE theater, costs extra but is a must-do experience. The kids will be in awe! My daughter's favorite exhibit is the life-size dinosaurs. Talk about cool!!
I have been going to the Science Center since I was little and it has just gotten better and better every year. The center is now a couple buildings; the older one has more traditional exhibits and the the newer one has some great new stuff that's more interactive. Go on a nice day since there's stuff to do outside as well.
One of my favorite attractions in St. Louis. It has fun for everyone. It's not even that expensive. There are a lot of hands-on activities that make learning fun. It kind of reminds me of Epcot a little. I especially like how they have a bridge over a huge highway overpass and a bunch of radar guns where you can see how fast the cars are going by.
This is an amazing science museum!! I'm so happy that we decided to go there when we were visiting my family in St. Louis. I loved the dinosaur exhibit, and there was something new to learn and see around every corner! I loved the theatre as well! Was perfect to rest my feet.
This museum was fun and educational. There was plenty to do for kids of all ages. It is also interesting for the adults as well. They have an Imax theater in the museum which makes for a nice break when needed. Make sure to plan ahead if you want to watch a movie the tickets seem to sell out quick.
My kids loved it here especially the part where the bridge over the highway and the windows were they could look down at the cars driving on the freeway. It was very well explorative for them as well as educational we will definently be going back there again.
I have a 5 yo and a 3 yo boy and saw lots of interesting things on our trip to the science museum. We even had a chance to go to their discovery playhouse room, which is normally an extra fee, for free which was exicting for the boys. Beyond that, though, the museum proved to be a little over the boys' heads.
The science museum is a great place for the kids to run around, have fun and learn. The museum is FREE! All you have to pay is parking. A plus when you have a large family. Our kids love going to the museum and each time we have gone they have had something different to see or do.
This place is huge and can provide hours of entertainment. And best thing of all? It is 100% free! There are movies, activities and more. My children had a blast and even better? It was raining outside so provided great entertainment for the kids when there was nothing else to do. You can build your own web page, do hands on science experiments and more. The only downside? It was pretty crowded (maybe the weather?) so you had to wait a while to experience a lot of it.
The science center is free but you pay for parking (unless you are a member). The two most interesting things in the museum are a walking path that goes across the freeway with windows to look below you and the Build-A-Bear that is inside. The exhibits are older and for older kids. The shows put on by people who work there were okay. We attended the shows because we couldn't find any exhibits to entertain a two-year-old.
What is not to love about the St Louis Science Center. It is free to enter and there are so many exhibits and interactive displays to keep everyone busy. For and additional fee, you can enjoy te Omnimax theatre or the James McDowell Planetarium. For the youngest visitors, they also have the Discovery Room which is a small fee. The Discovery Room is filled with many interactive stations from music to medicine to a enormous water table. There are many traveling exhibits that come through the Science Center and if you park at the "old" Planetarium entrance parking is free.
The Science Center is a great place to spend the day. I have visited the Science Center several times with day care classes and school field trips. Althoughmy daughter enjoyed her trip there, she was not as excited about it as the Zoo and even commented that she would rather go to the zoo.
There are some great exhibits though and most children are going to enjoy them (and adults too!)
I took my grandson to the Science Center last summer only to find the same free stuff that they had when I took my own kids years ago. Paid a few dollars for him to play in the Discovey Room which was fine but the sessions are only 45 minutes long. Although there is no admission to enter the Science Center, all the "good stuff" has an additional charge.
Another great free thing to do in St. Louis! There are all kinds of exhibits for children to learn from. The IMAX and planetarium cost extra, but are worth it if there is a good show playing, or if your child is old enough for the planetarium. A great place to spend a rainy afternoon!