St. Louis, Missouri, has many of the attributes that families are looking for in travel. From the convenient locale to the affordable attractions, this city on the river offers plenty of year-round fun!
If you’re considering traveling to St. Louis with your family, there is one more amazing reason to visit: the newly renovated St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station and entertainment complex. As if the Gateway Arch, toasted ravioli, City Museum and Forest Park campus weren’t enough reasons to make the trip to St. Louis, here’s what you should know about the Gateway to the West’s newest pride and joy.
Marvel at the Aquarium
Opened on Christmas Day 2019, this 120,000-square-foot, two-story aquarium has already drawn huge crowds and thousands of positive reviews. With its 1 million gallons of water and more than 13,000 aquatic animals, this aquatic museum offers 3D virtual reality interactives, hands-wet touch tanks, playful river otters, not-so-playful piranhas, 60 sharks and even a rare blue lobster. Since opening day, several days have sold out, so it’s recommended that you purchase your tickets ahead of time at stlouisaquarium.com
Explore Union Station
The aquarium is a key piece of the $187-million family entertainment complex, but it’s not the only thing to experience. Plan to spend some time checking out Union Station, where you’ll find attractions such as The St. Louis Wheel — a 200-foot-tall observation wheel with more than 1 million LED lights and 42 six-person, fully enclosed gondolas — an 18-hole mini golf course, a classic carousel, a mirror maze, a ropes course, a fire and light show, and much more.
Union Station’s historic crown jewel is Grand Hall — with its 65-foot sweeping barrel-vaulted ceiling — which provides 3D animated light shows across the roof every hour. It’s great for meals or in-between meals, including adult beverages and mocktails for the kids.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night, consider the onsite St. Louis Union Station Hotel. The AAA Four Diamond hotel is newly renovated and very family-friendly, and offers 30 rooms that overlook the aquarium. No other aquarium in the United States offers this!
You’ll also find several convenient, family-friendly restaurants at Union Station. Expect bright salads, quick snacks and boozy craft milkshakes sourced with ice cream from local favorites.
The St. Louis Union Station is old-school and beautifully modern all at once, and a great place to celebrate the past, present and future throughout your visit. The 19th–century iron umbrella train shed above your head is a constant reminder of the historic locale, yet the wonderful new sights and experiences keep the young and old engaged.