St. Louisans are among the luckiest of any group in the United States. The rather expansive Metro St. Louis area is dotted with attractions for adults and children alike. In fact, with so much to do, it can be a challenge to narrow down a list of St. Louis’ best stuff for infants and toddlers, which is why we’ve taken the time to pull together a list for you! – Danielle Eickenhorst
808 Chestnut Street
St. Louis, MO
Citygarden is a 2.9-acre play space and garden located in the heart of downtown St. Louis. It features plants, water fountains and art sculptures in a two-block area of St. Louis. Infants and toddlers will enjoy strolls along the paths throughout the garden, playing with the bunny sculptures, smelling the flowers, stomping on the floor chimes and splashing in the water. Citygarden is open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m., and is available to all free of charge. Additionally, lunch and dinner are served Monday through Saturday at The Terrace View restaurant located in the garden. Kid-friendly food items such as penne, rigatoni and cheeseburgers are available.
Saint Louis Zoo
One Government Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63110
St. Louis area residents have access to a world-class zoo with no admission fee. The St. Louis Zoo, based in Forest Park, offers enriching activities for children of all ages. Infants and toddlers will love the Children’s Zoo and the Conservation Carousel, which are both free for children younger than age two.
The Children’s Zoo is a separate smaller area within the main zoo that requires a small admission fee of $4 for those age two or older, though admission is free to everyone each day from 9 to 10 a.m. Children can observe otters, marsupials, meerkats, snakes, guinea pigs, goats and more in a more intimate environment. When weather permits, an area of water geysers jets water in an area where children are encouraged to play in order to keep cool. Monthly story times are held on the first Tuesday of each month, starting at 10:30 a.m.
The Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel, located on the north side of the zoo, features 64 species of wooden animals that children can ride. Admission is $3, though children younger than age two ride free. The carousel is free to everyone each day from 10 to 11 a.m., and is available for rides from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Proceeds from the Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel benefit the WildCare Institute, which strives to create a sustainable future for wildlife and people worldwide.
The Magic House: St. Louis Children’s Museum
516 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63122
The Magic House provides some of St. Louis’ best stuff for infants and toddlers in the form of hands-on activities. The Baby and Me section caters specifically to infants and toddlers with a baby-sized gym, peek-a-boo house, and toddler-sized bus and boat that kids get to “drive” themselves. A water play station, complete with smocks to keep clothes dry, is great for little hands that like to splash and pour. A special Kids Construction zone allows toddlers with a passion for construction and transportation to “build” a house, and to load a wheelbarrow and build with real blocks. Children of all ages can create music in the Music Play Center by rolling balls, playing keyboards and plucking strings. The Magic House is open Monday, Tuesday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $8.75 for those ages one and older.
St. Louis County Public Library
1640 South Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63131
The St. Louis County Library has more then 20 locations throughout the St. Louis area, with its headquarters on Lindbergh Boulevard. Locations throughout the metro area have daily story times for children ages six months to six years, available free of charge. Check the Web site for locations and times.