The St. Louis area is rich with activities that are stimulating and appropriate for preschoolers. Whether you’re a local parent or a tourist looking for kid-friendly activities, you can find hundreds of options throughout the metro area that will appeal to your children’s sense of play. St. Louis’ best stuff for preschoolers is sure to keep your preschooler engaged and enlightened. – Danielle Eickenhorst
Saint Louis Zoo
One Government Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63110
St. Louis area residents have access to one of the premiere zoos in the country, the St. Louis Zoo located in Forest Park. The zoo offers activities that interest people of all ages. St. Louis’ best stuff for preschoolers at the zoo includes the Children’s Zoo, where children get hands-on access to certain animals and close encounters with others. Children will enjoy feeding goats in a fenced area, tromping around the water geyser area and riding down an acrylic slide that offers an insider’s view point of the otter pool. There’s also a sea lion show that takes place several times daily in the outdoor amphitheater on a seasonal basis. The show lasts approximately 30 minutes and showcases the talents of the zoo’s sea lions, including balancing tricks, jumping, flipper walking and more. Stingrays at Caribbean Cove is a newer exhibit to the St. Louis Zoo that allows children to watch, touch and feed gentle fish, stingray and horseshoe crabs as they swim through a 17,000-gallon pool. Zoo employees instruct children on how to properly handle and interact with these creatures. Admission prices vary; check the Web site for more details.
10501 Gravois Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63123
Named after President Ulysses S. Grant, Grant’s Farm is a legendary St. Louis attraction that is free to all ages. The Farm is home to more than 900 animals, including elephants, horses, deer, bison and buffalo. Visitors begin their journey on a short tram ride that allows them close passage near bison and buffalo through Deer Park. After a short ride, they are let off in an area where they have the option to hand-feed pygmy goats with milk bottles. For those that choose to bypass the petting zoo area, there are a variety of animals to view up close. Daily animal education shows feature an intimate look at the habits and talents of elephants, parrots, reptiles and more. Lunch can be purchased in the Tier Garten, where visitors can also grab a shuttle to return to the parking area. Don’t forget to do a quick walk-through of the Clydesdale stables located on the far end of the parking area, where children can view more than 20 Clydesdale mares, geldings, stallions and foals. Admission is free, but parking starts at $10.00 per vehicle.
Museum of Transportation
3015 Barrett Station Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63122
Located in South St. Louis, the Museum of Transportation is a perfect field trip for preschoolers who are passionate about transportation. The museum features more than 300 pieces of transportation equipment, including a variety of locomotives, automobiles, streetcars, buses, aircraft and a boat. Monthly playtime projects combine creativity and transportation through play and crafts at the Creation Station. Known by locals as the “Train Museum,” the museum allows children to ride a shuttle down to an area with a miniature train that they can ride for a small fee. Additionally, some fully-restored steam and diesel engines, freight and passenger cars are available for children to walk through and explore. The train museum is supported by donations and collection of admission fees. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 5 to 1 and free for children age 4 and younger. Hours vary based on the season.
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 location and time information.