If you are visiting St. Louis or if you live here, I want you to realize that there are so many fun things to do in St. Louis. Whether you are looking for St. Louis date ideas, St. Louis attractions,
Background: As some of you might know, the 2013 Financial Blogger Conference starts on October 17 (one month to go!). I am very excited, and it will be my first time meeting other bloggers, which still makes me sad that it’s been this long.
I text and e-mail other bloggers all the time (and I’m Facebook friends with many as well), but it will be nice to see them face-to-face, and also hear them talk.
I’m also excited for the tons of things that I will learn. I definitely think I will benefit from the conference as I am making the switch to self-employment soon.
I’m also very happy that the conference this year is right here in St. Louis. St. Louis isn’t a big touristy town, but there are plenty of things to do if you have never been here before.
Also, please don’t let those “dangerous city” rankings get you down or think negatively of St. Louis. I have heard some people say this. The reason for why we have low rankings is because St. Louis is not in a county (no, the city of St. Louis is not in St. Louis County, as confusing as that sounds), whereas these dangerous city statistics are based on whole county information for all other cities (not just the city alone), and since St. Louis is not in a county, the statistics of the safe suburbs surrounding St. Louis are not included/counted (whereas about 99% of other cities include the safer suburban metro areas in their stats) and this heavily distorts the St. Louis rankings.
The same goes for population count in that the small population numbers that you often see for St. Louis never include the whole county (whereas other cities include the whole metro area), and that is why people think St. Louis is much smaller than it is!
St. Louis is safe.
St. Louis is safe. Of course, don’t walk down dark allies, don’t hop into random cars, and don’t be on the search for drug dealers, as the same can be said for pretty much every single city that has ever existed. Still use your common sense! There are also many nice areas surrounding the city of St. Louis. Most people live in the metro area of St. Louis, and not in the actual city. Why? I don’t know!
Since there are not many bloggers in the St. Louis area, I have received many e-mails from those attending the conference asking about what they should do when they are in town. I figured that there are plenty of other people probably interested, so why not make a whole post?
Many things in St. Louis are FREE, which I think is what helps make St. Louis very awesome to visit.
Nothing in this post is sponsored, the links are to make your selection a little more easier.
Weather in St. Louis.
The weather in St. Louis can vary, by a lot. Last December there was almost a full week of 90 degree weather, and this past April, it actually snowed a couple of feet. Weather in October in St. Louis can be warm (such as in the 80s), or it can be cold and in the 40s. I definitely recommend checking out the weather forecast before you come, but even that may not help!
It’d be best to bring whatever you can. I have been out in shorts in October, and also a coat the very next day. It can vary from day-to-day. It may be 40 degrees in the morning and 90 degrees by the afternoon. It makes planning outfits pretty difficult!
Busch Stadium is a fun attraction in St. Louis.
If you are a Cardinals fan, then Busch Stadium may interest you. St. Louis is a big baseball town, so a lot revolves around the Cardinals! Busch Stadium is located within walking distance of the FinCon hotel.
Budweiser Brewery Tour is a great St. Louis date idea.
I have gone on this brew tour a couple of times, and it is a lot of fun (if you like beer). Sometimes the line can be long though, so make sure you get there early or that you have enough time to wait in a line and still go through the tour.
You will go on a tour, and in it you will spend time with the awesome Clydesdales, learn about the brewing process, and at the end you get to sample a couple of beers. Also, these are full-size samples, not just little tiny cups.
Cost – FREE! The tour is free, and parking is free also. The beers at the end are free too.
The Arch is a popular attraction in St. Louis.
Have you ever been to the top of the Arch? Surprisingly, I haven’t been since I was very little, so I don’t have much that I can remember. The St. Louis Arch is the tallest monument in the U.S.
Cost – It depends. You can enter the Arch for free. If you want to go to the top of the Arch, the price is $10 for an adult ticket.
The St. Louis Zoo is a free attraction in St. Louis.
I love the St. Louis Zoo. It’s one of the top zoos in the U.S. and offers plenty to do.
Cost – FREE! It’s free to get in. Parking is free also, as long as you don’t mind walking. Sometimes you can find parking very close, but other times you may have to walk a little bit. The walk has never bothered me.
Certain things in the zoo do cost money, such as petting the stingrays and the riding the train. The costs are relatively minimal though.
Laclede’s Landing is another great St. Louis date idea.
Do you like dancing? Or going out for a drink? The Landing is one of my favorite places to go. There are tons of bars and dancing. The Landing is also great for people watching.
The Landing is around a 2 mile walk from the FinCon hotel.
Forest Park in St. Louis.
There are many things to do in Forest Park. It is one of the largest urban park in the U.S.A (or so I’ve been told). Over 12,000,000 people visit Forest Park each year.
You can ride your bike, go rollerblading, walk the trail, go on a paddle boat, kayak, watch movies in the park, go to the Muny and so on. There are often car shows at Forest Park as well. I’m not sure when the ice rink opens but there is also an outdoor rink that is a lot of fun too.
We even took our engagement photos in Forest Park. It is definitely beautiful!
Grant’s Farm is a fun idea for a family outing in St. Louis.
Grant’s Farm is another fun place to visit, particularly if you have children. It is located in Grantwood Village in Missouri. Grant’s Farm is an animal reserve with plenty of wonderful animals to see. There are over 900 animals and over 100 species to see.
There are elephants, kangaroos, goats, turtles, Clydesdales and more to see here. There is also a petting zoo.
Cost – Free admission. If you have a car, then parking is $12. If you have a bus, then parking is $30. Still pretty cheap!
The City Museum – One of my TOP picks is an amazingly fun St. Louis attraction.
Don’t let the name of this place fool you. It is not a place where you behave wonderfully and you have to be super quiet. The City Museum is a fun place where anyone of any age can have fun, and there are even bars located in it. Also, if it is cold enough, they even let you roast marshmallows in their outdoor fire pit. I believe over 1,000,000 people visit the City Museum each year, so it is definitely a popular place to visit in St. Louis.
Check out the great reviews on Yelp to see for yourself. It is a grown-up playground.
You can climb into an airplane hundreds of feet above the ground (and you get to it by climbing through a metal cage in the sky, pretty much). You can ride a ferris wheel on top of the tall building. You can go down a 10 foot indoor slide. You can crawl underground and hope to not get stuck. There are tons of fun things to do here!
Cost – Pricing varies, but usually it is around $10 per person. This is something that I really recommend for anyone who comes to St. Louis. Most people might at first think that it’s weird, or that they are too old, but really it’s a lot of fun no matter what your age is. Whenever I go here, it is usually full of adults (of course if you go during the day, there will probably be a lot of children though). I recommend going at night-time (and it’s cheaper at night at only $8!).
Delmar Loop in University City is one of the fun St. Louis area attractions here.
If you like eclectic shopping, then the Delmar Loop is probably for you. It is also home to many restaurants and also the Pageant, where you can see great live shows.
Casinos in St. Louis.
If you are a fan of going to casinos, there are a good amount of casinos in the St. Louis area. There is Lumiere, which happens to be only around 1 mile from FinCon.
Haunted Houses in St. Louis.
In October, there will be many haunted houses open in St. Louis. Many of the top rated and largest haunted theme parks are right here in St. Louis, and I definitely recommend them! They can be a little expensive, at anywhere from $20 to $50 a person though. Parking is usually around $5. The wait is usually pretty long though. There have been times when I’ve only waited 5 minutes, but sometimes the wait is over 2 hours to get in. They also sell speed passes to make the wait much less.
Haunted houses and theme parks include: Lemp Brewery (which is a real haunted place, but they transform it into a haunted house around Halloween is one of the great St. Louis attractions), Creepy World, The Darkness and so on. You can also go to some local haunted houses where people with lots of land and corn fields will throw their own haunted house. For some reason, I always find these the scariest too!
Six Flags St. Louis is a great idea for family fun in St. Louis.
I’m sure many people don’t visit St. Louis just for Six Flags, but there is one here! It is located in Eureka, Missouri and is probably around a 30 to 45 minute drive from downtown St. Louis.
Soulard Oktoberfest is one great St. Louis attraction.
The Soulard Oktoberfest is from October 11 to October 13, 2013, so it is a little bit before FinCon. However, if you are here the weekend before, then I definitely recommend it. It is a lot of fun!
This can be another one of those fun St. Louis date ideas, a fun outing, a St. Louis attraction and more.
Have you ever been to St. Louis? What St. Louis attraction is your favorite?
Taynia | The Fiscal Flamingo says
Ah I wish I could go. It sounds like fun. Would be nice to meet everyone. Maybe next year.
Yes, next year! 🙂
Sounds like St. Louis is the perfect hosting city!!
Hope everyone has fun at fincon.
The Norwegian Girl says
I love the fact that you´ve got a financial blogger conference in the states! that´s so awesome! Only thing we´ve got in Norway is Blog Awards for all the superficial fashion bloggers… I wish there were more PF bloggers in Norway.. 🙁
One day you will have to fly out to the U.S. and attend FinCon 🙂
I’ve always wanted to see the big arch in St. Louis for some reason! Have fun at the conference!
Lisa @ Cents To Save says
I am planning on going next year! Have a great time!
Yes, you definitely should! Thanks Lisa.
I went to a Music teachers conference in St. Louis last November. I had a great time! The hotel was lovely and my friends and I enjoyed walking around downtown and shopping at Macy’s 🙂 We ate most of our breakfast/lunches at a local grocery store, that had a little dining area in it. I would definitely go back.
Thanks Christy 🙂
DC @ Young Adult Money says
That’s quite a list, Michelle! I went back and forth about FinCon and finally decided not to go. My wife scheduled her wisdom teeth extraction that Friday so I will be at home working on the blog and trying to forge that I’m not at FinCon having fun! My wife does really want to see the Arch someday, as her grandpa helped build it.
Awww hopefully one day soon!
Lance @ Money Life and More says
I’ve never been to St Louis, but I’m definitely going to be there for FinCon! I don’t know how much I’ll get out around the town since I’m only there late Wednesday night until early early Sunday morning. I guess we’ll see!
Can’t wait to meet you Lance!
I was in St. Louis for a conference in May. It is a lovely city and it’s obvious that a lot of work has been done to beautify the city. I did find it strange that people thought it was dangerous. There were literally NO PEOPLE on the streets! Which was a shame because it is really a nice town with nice people. The City Museum is AWESOME. It is one of the coolest and most unexpected finds I’ve accidentally discovered when traveling. The food is great there! Thanks for the post.
Yes, I wish people knew that St. Louis is not anymore dangerous than other big cities!
And yes, the City Museum is awesome!
EL @ MoneyWatch101 says
Thanks for sharing the awesome sights in your city. I would love to attend, but cannot go this year. ?You spoke so fondly of ST. Louis that you can convince anybody to move there. Thanks for that.
Thank you 🙂
Matt Becker says
I’ve heard great things about St. Louis, though I’ve never had the chance to visit and unfortunately won’t be making it to FinCon. I’d love to catch a Cardinals game if I’m ever down there.
You better come to FinCon next year!
Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia says
Michelle, this is the perfect new (temporary) side hustle for you: St. Louis Tour Guide during FinCon! You could cash in nicely.
FinCon sounds like an awesome experience. I’m sure you’ll tell us all about it!
Haha yes! So many people have emailed me questions about STL.
I had gone to St. Louis many years ago. My mother owns her own food business and she use to have business out that way. We had gone to the Arch once, but sadly the lines were too long. I love that it’s free to go in though! There’s a really nice museum (at least when I was there) that goes through some early American history. I loved all of the displays in it as a kid!
Yes, there are a lot of fun things to do here. And a lot of it is FREE which is even more awesome.
Jason Hull says
The brew tour is great. Even if you’re not a Budweiser fan (me! me! me!), it’s much better than you’d think because the beer that they serve there in the tasting room truly is fresh, which makes a world of difference. Plus, you get to taste whatever is coming out of the mad scientist lab, so you sometimes can try a beer that hasn’t hit the shelves yet.
Yes! And there are tons of different flavors that are super fresh 🙂
Little House says
Too bad FinCon always falls within the first few months of the school year. 🙁 St. Louis sounds like a pretty fun city and I’m sure this year’s FinCon will be a blast. I’d love a Budweiser tour. We have a plant not far from my home now, but they don’t offer tours (I’ve called and asked.) Maybe someday I’ll make it out there!
Yes, some day you better come!
Mrs PoP says
Thanks for the tips! Who wants to go to the zoo with me? =)
Me me me! 🙂
Grayson @ Debt Roundup says
Great resource Michelle. Thank you for providing it. I am going to FinCon and I am excited about it. I have never been to St. Louis, so this should be a good time.
We better meet up Grayson! FinCon will be a lot of fun.
I would love to go to fincon. I need to start saving now so that I can go next year. It sounds like there will be plenty to do!
Yes, the days will be packed with activities!
jefferson @See Debt Run says
I am so excited that everyone will get to experience our fair city next month! Great post, Michelle. I think you captured it very well. St. Louis is a great city for a convention, and perhaps an even better city if you have kids and are looking for a fun (and inexpensive) weekend.
Thanks! St. Louis is great 🙂
Cat @ Budget Blonde says
Wish I was going so much!!!!
I wish you were too!
Jacob | iHeartBudgets says
If the Arch is near the Hotel, we need a group picture! Even if not, I am definitely going there, because it looks pretty awesome from the pics, and I bet it’s better in person.
Thanks for the rundown. I’m getting pretty excited as well, and hoping to glean as much as I can from people much smarter than I 🙂
Yes it is! It’s very close.
Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions says
Thanks for posting! I can’t wait for FinCon. I have been to St. Louis twice this year already, but it was for business so I never made it out of the airport hotel. Sad, right?
I hope you can escape the hotel 🙂
Metrolink – great way to get to all of these sights in St. Louis. City Museum is amazing — I highly recommend it!
Thank you for including that link. I don’t know how I forgot about it!
Jason B says
Wow that’s a great list of things to do. I will not be attending Fin Con, but I need to add St Louis on my bucket list.
Do it! 🙂
Retired By 40 says
I live in St. Louis (well close to it, at least), and would totally be going, but am due with baby RB40 on October 15th….. 🙁 To everyone who is going: Have fun! St. Louis isn’t exactly a top tourist destination, but there are awesome restaurants on “The Hill”, and many parks and museums are FREE. The Art Museum, The Zoo (which Michelle mentioned), and others are free. The science center is really cool too, although there is a fee for that one 🙂 Fitz’s Root beer factory is a really cool place to visit as well – and the root beer is really good!
I had no idea you lived around here. Where are you from? I live in the St. Charles MO area 🙂
Sustainable Living (Jeff) says
I have been to St Louis and I am going to fincon. Thanks for putting together this list. I did a few of these last time, but not all of them, and I’d like to explore more around st louis. Im getting in around noon thursday.
Welcome Jeff 🙂
People think St Louis is dangerous because the FBI crime statistics show it is. However, the FBI says you have to take these stats with a grain of salt because they don’t say what influences these crimes. Many of them happen in the same areas that the majority of people will avoid anyways. Which is what you pointed out. Besides, as long as you stay out of East St Louis you should be fine.
Personally I have always enjoyed my time in St Louis with my friends and we usually get out there 2 – 3 times a year. Soulard can be quite a fun area to go to, even when they aren’t having a festival (even though Mardi Gras there is a blast). My only problem with St Louis is I tend to be there in the middle of July every year and that town is a suana then!
Soulard is a ton of fun! 🙂
John S @ Frugal Rules says
I had to laugh when they announced where FinCon was going to be because they said something about the nice weather St. Louis can have in October. As you well know, weather in the Midwest can be all over the place in October, Lol. That said. we’ll be there and excited for it. We visited St. Louis a few years ago and went to a few of the places you listed and liked many of them. The Brew Tour is nice, even if you’re not a Bud fan like me. 🙂
Haha I know! The weather is so unpredictable!
Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans says
This is great! If I were going, I’d go to the Budweiser Brewery – who doesn’t like free beer?? Anyways, this makes me even more jealous that I’m not going this year! Maybe next year…
Haha yup free beer is the best!
Suba @ Wealth Informatics says
Sounds like a great city! I won’t be attending this year 🙁 . Looking forward to next year!
To everyone attending this year – have a lot of fun!!!
We must meet next year! 🙂
I so wish I could go to FinCon! I just recently started my PF blog (please check it out!). But I am still working to build up my posts and not be so much of a newbie. I have only been to St. Louis once (and not even really because we just drove through and took some pictures of the arch). I would love to go back and really experience it though!
Hey! I will check out your blog now. You should definitely go to FinCon next year 🙂
aw, i love this list and that i can say i’m from st louis and have done all of these. very cool city, even though it’s not a real big hot spot. there are tons of fun things to do that i even forget about.
thanks for sharing, michelle (:
Thank you Lesley! 🙂
Done by Forty says
I won’t be attending FinCon but my wife gives a big recommendation for the City Museum. She said it’s unlike any other museum she’s seen, and a great time.
Yes, it’s a lot of fun!
Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies says
St Louis sounds like a fun place, and it’s great that you are finally meeting other PF bloggers!
Girl Meets Debt says
I’m not going to FinCon this year but my other half is. 🙂 I hope you have lots of fun Michelle!
I’ve never been to St Louis but it sounds like a beautiful city!
Tammy R says
Wow, Michelle! We are not headed to FinCon, but you’ve definitely made me think about St. Louis as a place to visit. A museum with bars? Hello, sign me up.
I really like how you included activities of all kinds and mentioned if they were designed for adults, kids, both, and included prices. That park sounds like a heck of a place. Wish we had something like that in Houston!
Haha yes, the City Museum is awesome!
Joel @ SaveOutsidetheBox says
Thanks for all the great tips Michelle. I was wondering how I would spend my free time and now I know! Even though I’m a Braves fan its cool if I take a tour of Busch stadium though, right? 🙂
Haha yes Joel!
Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says
I’m not going to FINCON, but it sounds like there will be a lot of fun people there. I have also never been to St Louis, but you made me wish I could go! It sounds like a lot of fun.
St. Louis sounds like a great place with plenty of attractions. The weather is all over the place!
Yes, the weather can be crazy!
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
Great list. Wish I could make it out to the conference, but bookmarking this for when I do pass through.
Thanks! I wish you could come too.
I grew up in St. Louis & still love it. Summer are a sauna and even October can be at times. As was said, check the forecast!
I have to agree about the City Museum. It’s fun for all ages & is just amazing.
Within walking distance of our hotel is the the historic St. Louis Courthouse and a block farther west is the City Garden Park that is filled with greenery, fountains and quirky artwork–all free. It’s a beautiful area with swaths of flowers in the medians nearby.
Do you still live here?
Wish I could’ve gone! Definitely going next year 🙂
Yes, come next year!
Debt and the Girl says
I want to go to FinCon! Maybe next year.
Yes, you definitely should!
Went to St. Louis a few years ago for work and had a great time. We went to this place called Pappy’s Smokehouse and had the best ribs! We were told to go there after doing the Budweiser brewery tour. We were chatting with some friendly locals and they suggested it. We got there just in time because once they’re sold out for the day they apparently just shut down shop.
Have a great time at the conference!
I’ve never been there, but it does sound familiar. There are a decent amount of BBQ places around here!
Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa says
I’m impressed. You really know your city. I could not do anything with remotely as many good ideas for my city. I guess I need to get out more.
Thank you Michael!
I had no idea the arch was the tallest monument in the US. I was there last year but didn’t see that you could go up, too bad, it would have been fun! Hope you have a blast at Fincon.
Aww you should have gone up!
Thanks for the awesome research Michelle! St. Louis is looking to be a very exciting place to be! I can hardly wait!
It will be so much fun!
Philip at PT Money says
Thanks for putting this together, Michelle! I’ll be sharing it by email with all of the attendees and linking from the FinCon Blog. Well done! I look forward to seeing and experiencing many of these things.
Thank you! Sounds awesome 🙂
No mention of the free science center, art and history museums in Forest Park??? That should definitely be listed!
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
I totally forgot to mention those!
Financial Pilgrimage says
I just stumbled upon this post from way back when. I am born and raised in St. Louis and am so proud of this post and how you’ve represented the city. Thank you!