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View Full Version : Need HELP choosing a hotel for summer trip to St. Louis


sleepymomof4
05-25-2010, 08:49 AM
SO overwhelming with all of the nearby areas and hotel choices!
If we are planning, zoo(for sure), Grants Farm, The Arch and some shopping(St. Louis Mills looks good?) What hotel or areas are good and bad, not super picky but want clean(and pool is a must) It will be 4 adults, 3 children. Also with kids ages, 8, 6, and almost 3 which would you choose, Science Center or Magic House? or City Museum because of The World Aquarium? Thank you so much I can mapquest until I fall over but maybe someone who knows the area can help!

Melynny
05-25-2010, 12:00 PM
Dont' forget the Butterfly House, The St. Louis Botanical Garden, The St. Louis Science Center. Also, a bit out there is Purina Farms and Lone Elk Park. I don't have any idea about a good hotel.. maybe some other posters can help with that.. The Mills are ok... it's pretty nice.. not spectacular. I would think a hotel that is centrally located would be good, but the ones downtown would be more expensive.:hippie:

Adding,the Planetarium is fun too!

robinsegg
05-25-2010, 12:22 PM
I would choose the Science Center (my family has a membership). It's close to the zoo, free to get in (there are fees for some things) and has lots and lots to do! The Magic House is good (don't get me wrong), but for the price, I prefer the Science Center.
St. Charles has a lot of good areas for hotels. Or you could look at a chain (like Ramada and Holiday Inn) in Illinois, but steer clear of East St. Louis (not a good area).

robinsegg
05-25-2010, 12:24 PM
I would choose the Science Center (my family has a membership). It's close to the zoo, free to get in (there are fees for some things) and has lots and lots to do! The Magic House is good (don't get me wrong), but for the price, I prefer the Science Center.
St. Charles has a lot of good areas for hotels. Or you could look at a chain (like Ramada and Holiday Inn) in Illinois, but steer clear of East St. Louis (not a good area).

deerhart
05-25-2010, 12:39 PM
your really all over the place. Are you familiar with St. Louis at all? If so that will open up your options. Otherwise, you need to stick close to your main targets and close to major roads.

St louis is set up in semi circles (north south) flaring out in a cone shape (east west).

The first circle is I-170 and is roughly the border between St. Louis city and St. Louis County. Forest park, which holds the science center, Art Museum, Zoo, and History museum which are all free to get in, sits along this border. If your focus is Forest Park, your going to want to look for a hotel in the Wash U, Brentwood area. Clayton will have nice hotels with a higher price but is also appropriate for that area.

The Magic House is down in Kirkwood and can be fun to find if your unfamiliar with the area (though easier now with the expansion). Off hand I can't think of any nearby hotels.

Grant's farm is really far south and you will probably not want to stay out in that area (its just too remote).

If your interested in things in downtown St. Louis or Forest park, I wouldn't stay in St. Charles, its way to remote to be useful. As far west as I would go is Westport (which is about 10 minutes east of the St. Charles area). I also would not stay in Illinois as dealing with traffic crossing the river is way to much of a PITA. Especially since there has been tons of construction on the bridges. There is always traffic lined up coming across from Illinois.

You might also check downtown St. Louis. I know the Hilton is always running specials as are other Downtown hotels.

St. Louis Mills, is way out in the middle of nowhere, but is about 10 minutes from Westport. Where to go shopping really depends on what your looking to shop for. West County Mall is probably the best now a days and after that will come the Galleria in Brentwood or Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield.

The Butterfly house is out in Faust Park (near Chesterfield Mall) and also has the St. Louis Carousal.

If your coming before June 28th, The Shakespeare Festival is free in Forest Park and runs almost every night. This year they are doing Hamlet.

You might also check the dates your coming and The Muny (the cheapest guaranteed tickets are like $8 per person) to see if you would want to take in a show (it is a WONDERFUL experience!!).

Downtown, Westport and I-44 seem to be the main thoroughfare for hotels that are right on the main roads. Hotels that are off the main roads can greatly increase your traffic times due to stop lights, rush hour etc..

sleepymomof4
05-25-2010, 12:52 PM
Thank you for the replies so far. I knew that all of these places were not in one close area of each other, we don't mind driving a bit to get to places. That is why I wondered what the best area to stay was without getting one direction or another too far out. When doing a search I get such a broad array of hotel names and areas and without knowing roads to avoid and traffic situations Iam grateful for the opinions of people who know. Thank you so much.

NotUrsula
05-25-2010, 12:52 PM
Your youngest is a bit young for City Museum; it can be dangerous for kids that little, and it's hard for adults to follow through some of the tunnels.

For the most central location, I would suggest the Drury Inn & Suites at Hampton and I-44 (listed as the Drury Forest Park) for the Zoo, the Science Center, the Garden, and downtown; it is also on the Hill, which means great food nearby, and is less than 10 minutes to Ted Drewes, too. You can go a mile north on Hampton to the Zoo/Forest Park area to get on I-64 Westbound to head for the Butterfly House (in Chesterfield) or the Mills (in Hazelwood). You can also go west on I-44 to Kirkwood to the Magic house easily from there. (There is also a well-located Hampton Inn on I-40 near the Science Center, but they don't have as many guest freebies as the Drury.)

Stay away from the 270/Dorsett area until the end of June; they are rebuilding the highway interchange.

There are folks here who will suggest the Drury in the Chesterfield Valley; that is way west of most of the places you are going, and the area's big draw is the World's Largest Strip Mall (I kid you not; it is.) The only tourist thing out that way is the Butterfly House. If you like chain stores, chain restaurants, and a lot of highway driving, then you'll like Chesterfield; otherwise I'd advise staying inside the 270 Loop if at all possible.

PS: There are a lot of specials running at the downtown hotels because they often have vacancies except on major event weekends, but other than the Arch and City Museum you don't seem to be focusing on the Downtown area. Mid-City would probably suit you best with kiddies in tow. There are several hotels in Clayton, as someone else pointed out, but those tend to be the highest-occupancy in the area, with consequently high prices, though there are sometimes decent specials on weekends. For a group this size, it probably is worth looking at the Residence Inn in Richmond Heights -- it is right at the junction of I-64 and I-170, across from the Galleria.

deerhart
05-25-2010, 01:01 PM
There's a Drury Inn out at Boone's Crossing? I know there is one right in front of Chesterfield Mall at Clarkson, but the only hotel I have noticed out at Chesterfield Valley is the Comfort Inn (only because I pass by it twice a day M-F going to and from work).

Chesterfield Valley shopping is nothing more then you get at home (target, walmart, best buy, michaels, lowes, home depot etc..) but its got some decent places to eat and (at least for me) easier to get to then anywhere else.

The only problem with taking Hampton into Forest Park is the new round about they put in causing tons of traffic jams there when trying to get into Forest Park. As for the overpass at Dorset, its really to early to tell how its going to affect traffic. The news last night seemed to indicate that it didn't make a blip in rush hour (but 270 between Manchester and 70 is horrible during rush hour anyways).

Oh someday we will be relatively free from Construction (not)!

nexttrip4us
05-25-2010, 01:01 PM
Another vote for Drury Inn & Suites...just find one that location wise works for you. We stayed at the Forest Park one I believe a few years ago when it was brand new. LOVED it and have since stayed at other Drury Inn and Suites and enjoyed them as well.

Have fun!

ICF
05-25-2010, 01:15 PM
The Magic House is down in Kirkwood and can be fun to find if your unfamiliar with the area (though easier now with the expansion). Off hand I can't think of any nearby hotels.

There is a Hampton Inn (Sunset Hills, I think it is) that is about 5 mins from the Magic House, straight down the road it MH is on.

We've stayed a number of times in Brentwood at the Spring Hill Suites, and found that to be a good location and a nice hotel. We can be to the Magic House, downtown, Grantsfarm, Forest Park (Science Ctr, Zoo) in 15 - 20 mins tops....maybe even less now as the highway construction I think is done.

NotUrsula
05-25-2010, 01:23 PM
There's a Drury Inn out at Boone's Crossing? I know there is one right in front of Chesterfield Mall at Clarkson, but the only hotel I have noticed out at Chesterfield Valley is the Comfort Inn (only because I pass by it twice a day M-F going to and from work).

Yes, I meant the one at Clarkson; AFAIC, that's the gateway to the Valley. (I'm a city girl. IMO, anything west of Clarkson and east of the Missouri River bridge counts as the Valley. Same flood basin.)

The thing with the roundabout at the Zoo is a bit ridiculous, but it's easily avoided if you're coming north on Hampton from 44. All you have to do is turn left from Hampton at the Steak & Shake onto West Park Avenue, then right on Tamm (2 blocks W). Once you reach Oakland (4 blocks North), check right in front of you at Turtle Park to see if there is any free parking open, and if not, turn left and go over the Tamm Ave. highway bridge to the Zoo's South parking lot.

bop28
05-25-2010, 01:46 PM
We love to go to all the places you mentioned, and like to stay west of I-270 in Chesterfield. Either the Doubletree or Marriott are great. We use Priceline to bid on that area and have never paid more than $45 a night [not including tax]. It is a straight shot East on 64/40 to Forest Park to the zoo and museum or science center and further east to the Arch. :)

FoundMyPrince
05-25-2010, 02:23 PM
Another vote for Drury Inn. They have a good breakfast - and that can save you some $$ in the long run. And, they don't charge for parking!!

Alesia
05-25-2010, 02:50 PM
Check hotwire.com - last month, we got a room at the Hilton at the Ballpark for $59. I would look for something in Forrest Park.

The City Museum is awesome, but I wouldn't take a 3 year old. Honestly, I'd be iffy about the 6 year old. Also, I betting that the World Aquarium is not what you have pictured.

Unless you really need to do some outlet shopping, I'd skip St. Louis Mills.

How long are you planning on staying?

MrsPooh
05-25-2010, 05:08 PM
your really all over the place. Are you familiar with St. Louis at all? If so that will open up your options. Otherwise, you need to stick close to your main targets and close to major roads.

St louis is set up in semi circles (north south) flaring out in a cone shape (east west).

The first circle is I-170 and is roughly the border between St. Louis city and St. Louis County. Forest park, which holds the science center, Art Museum, Zoo, and History museum which are all free to get in, sits along this border. If your focus is Forest Park, your going to want to look for a hotel in the Wash U, Brentwood area. Clayton will have nice hotels with a higher price but is also appropriate for that area.

The Magic House is down in Kirkwood and can be fun to find if your unfamiliar with the area (though easier now with the expansion). Off hand I can't think of any nearby hotels.

Grant's farm is really far south and you will probably not want to stay out in that area (its just too remote).

If your interested in things in downtown St. Louis or Forest park, I wouldn't stay in St. Charles, its way to remote to be useful. As far west as I would go is Westport (which is about 10 minutes east of the St. Charles area). I also would not stay in Illinois as dealing with traffic crossing the river is way to much of a PITA. Especially since there has been tons of construction on the bridges. There is always traffic lined up coming across from Illinois.
You might also check downtown St. Louis. I know the Hilton is always running specials as are other Downtown hotels.

St. Louis Mills, is way out in the middle of nowhere, but is about 10 minutes from Westport. Where to go shopping really depends on what your looking to shop for. West County Mall is probably the best now a days and after that will come the Galleria in Brentwood or Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield.

The Butterfly house is out in Faust Park (near Chesterfield Mall) and also has the St. Louis Carousal.

If your coming before June 28th, The Shakespeare Festival is free in Forest Park and runs almost every night. This year they are doing Hamlet.

You might also check the dates your coming and The Muny (the cheapest guaranteed tickets are like $8 per person) to see if you would want to take in a show (it is a WONDERFUL experience!!).

Downtown, Westport and I-44 seem to be the main thoroughfare for hotels that are right on the main roads. Hotels that are off the main roads can greatly increase your traffic times due to stop lights, rush hour etc..

Don't let these comments scare you off at all. There is not ALWAYS traffic lined up to get here from Illinois. The Mills is not "out in the middle of nowhere", St. Charles is not "remote" and the area around Grant's Farm is not really "too far south" or "remote". These comments make it seem like these places are sitting the middle of corn fields or something. While the things you are planning are not all close to each other they are not that far apart if you don't mind a bit of driving. For example, from "remote" St. Charles the Zoo is about 40 minutes. Downtown to Grant's Farm is likely 20 - 30 mintues. Really, if you stay anywhere near any of the highways, most of St. Louis will be easily accessible.

The downtown hotels using priceline might be best but don't forget that you'll be paying for parking. Some of the airport area hotels are nice and although they charge for parking it is usually cheaper than downtown. Westport would be great except for the current road construction but that might not be too bad for you to deal with. Overall, I would suggest you look at a map and try to stay in the central area and not too far outside the Hwy 270 boundary for the best driving time situations. St. Charles is nice and does have some things to do that might be good for your family so if you don't mind the drive the Embassy Suites in St. Charles might be a good choice.

Now truthfully, on the topic of The Mills, it depends if you are really wanting to shop or if you are looking for entertainment on top of shopping. The Mills has some great activities for families but if you are only shopping, West County or The Galleria are better choices.

Have fun.

Pastamom
05-25-2010, 05:22 PM
Drury Inns are great - We've stayed at the one by Union Station. We also stayed at the Marriot at Union Station. That was nice too and had an outside pool.

I vote for City Museum. Magic house is fun for young kids too.

We've done the zoo and botanical gardens - both are nice.

There are also some great restaurants near the arch (can't remember the name of the area though)

We took are boys then 6 and 8 and they loved it - they still want to go back.

Any hotel you choose you will have to drive. We didn't find the traffic all that bad...

deerhart
05-25-2010, 09:20 PM
Don't let these comments scare you off at all. There is not ALWAYS traffic lined up to get here from Illinois. The Mills is not "out in the middle of nowhere", St. Charles is not "remote" and the area around Grant's Farm is not really "too far south" or "remote". These comments make it seem like these places are sitting the middle of corn fields or something. While the things you are planning are not all close to each other they are not that far apart if you don't mind a bit of driving. For example, from "remote" St. Charles the Zoo is about 40 minutes. Downtown to Grant's Farm is likely 20 - 30 minutes. Really, if you stay anywhere near any of the highways, most of St. Louis will be easily accessible.

The downtown hotels using priceline might be best but don't forget that you'll be paying for parking. Some of the airport area hotels are nice and although they charge for parking it is usually cheaper than downtown. Westport would be great except for the current road construction but that might not be too bad for you to deal with. Overall, I would suggest you look at a map and try to stay in the central area and not too far outside the Hwy 270 boundary for the best driving time situations. St. Charles is nice and does have some things to do that might be good for your family so if you don't mind the drive the Embassy Suites in St. Charles might be a good choice.

Now truthfully, on the topic of The Mills, it depends if you are really wanting to shop or if you are looking for entertainment on top of shopping. The Mills has some great activities for families but if you are only shopping, West County or The Galleria are better choices.

Have fun.

um the Mills IS in the middle of fields LOL. But yes St. Charles, Grants farm etc are all remote. Grant's farm is not easily accessible from a major thoroughfare. St. Charles is an ABSOLUTE disaster of construction right now and is a major pain to get around both 94 (1st capitol) and 5th street (I know I drive it multiple times every week)

Heck where I live is really remote when it comes to getting to the places she is traveling to.

40 minutes from St. Charles to the Zoo is pretty much 0 traffic. After rush hour, it takes me a good 35-40 minutes to drive from the Court house in Clayton to my office in O'fallon and that's without having to navigate Forest Park or all those stop lights (its straight small bit of Forest Park Parkway, to I-170 north, to 70 west).

When considering driving, it's not pure distance, but also traffic, stop lights etc..

As for the traffic coming from Illinois, I haven't driven across the river at any time recently that wasn't backed up coming from Illinois. Didn't matter time of day, day of the week, it was a mess. Especially the poplar and everyone lined up to try to take the 70/44 exit due to the nasty turn.

Remote doesn't just mean desolate or empty. Remote also means far away or out of the way.

deerhart
05-25-2010, 09:23 PM
There are also some great restaurants near the arch (can't remember the name of the area though)


probably lacledes landing, though its not family friendly after about 8:30pm.

The Old Spaghetti factory there is amazing and always packed, especially if there is a day baseball game (no reservations)

SarahKate
05-25-2010, 10:22 PM
Another Drury lover here, and yes, I'm one of the ones who another said will recommend the one in Chesterfield. We don't even really do much in Chesterfield, it's just easy to get to off of I-64. There's another one on Olive right off of I-270 that was just remodeled a few years ago that would be a little closer to some of the attractions. We stay there (mostly Chesterfield) several times a year, do tourist activities all OVER the city and have no problem whatsoever driving a bit. Haven't stayed at the new one in Forest Park - I'm sure it's awesome, but probably more expensive because it's in the midst of tourist attractions. Most of the popular attractions are extremely easy to get to, especially if you have a GPS, and located right off of interstates. Grant's Farm is off the interstate a bit, but NOT hard to find.

I personally have no inkling to stay downtown. There's not that much downtown IMHO and you'll have to pay parking.

Magic House and Science Center for sure. I totally agree with other posters, City Museum may be a bit much for your 3 year old. Have heard of some kids getting injured there too.

Here's an article I wrote a while back that has family friendly places to go, eat, shop, etc. http://springfieldmoms.org/st-louis-day-trips-and-attractions/

You can find coupons for buy one get one free for Magic House & also Butterfly House. Be sure to get those printed!

As for St. Louis Mills, it's ok. We've been going there since it first opened and there's been some amount of turnover. Don't go in the evening, because it really changes - lots of teenagers who aren't always very nice. It's not a bad drive at ALL to go to The Mills, however, someone previously mentioned construction in the area so that's something to look at.

LizinSTL
05-26-2010, 06:34 AM
Check out Drury Inns.

There's a newer location @ Hampton and I-44. Close to zoo, science center and about 20 min from Grants Farm and 10 min from the magic house.

With a 3 yo in tow, I'd look at zoo, sci center, grants farm and magic house- skip the city museum.

Shopping? The Mills is ok, but I prefer West County or Chesterfield. Don't bother with Crestwood (even if it's the closest mall on your gps!)

What type of shopping do you want to do? What kind of malls/shopping do you have in your own area?


Grant's Farm is only about 8 miles from the Drury at 44 and Hampton (Sulpher) (it'll take less than 20 minutes.) It's not remote, by any stretch of the imagination. No worries there. But there aren't great hotels very close to it.

sleepymomof4
05-26-2010, 08:45 AM
Everyones replies are very much appreciated. I may even ask again closer to time about some of the construction. We are going the last week of July(only week off due to summer school and football) so Iam sure there will be more or different areas. Right now we are looking at 4 days. The shopping is not a total must, we have plenty of malls and shopping here, that's for just in case, sometimes this is when we shop a bit for school clothes while daddy is with us(he splurges a bit more on vacation) and grandma's coming too and we don't live near her.
Since we won't be there very long do you think the kids will want to do Grant's Farm and the zoo? We love zoos and that is mainly why we chose St. Louis this year, we try to hit a new one every year. Brookfield, Indy and the Ft. Wayne zoo are all fun we just like to see more.
Thanks again all for your time.

NotUrsula
05-26-2010, 10:29 AM
Grant's Farm is a different experience than the Zoo; it is partly a petting experience and safari ride (ruminants; no cats), but the main draw is horses. Really big, really pretty horses.

Up until about 20 years ago, it was the training farm for the Budweiser Clydesdales, and they still board quite a few animals there. You can walk through the barn and see them out playingi in the pasture, and sometimes they will get curious and come over to the fence to be petted. The Busch family also keeps a large display of antique carriages in the Bauernhof Building.

There is also an historical display of Hardscrabble Cabin, a small log home built by US Grant when he was first married. (Thus the name Grant's Farm. It has been the home of the Busch family for about a century now, though. You can see glimpses of the outside of the main house on the tram ride; it's a VERY large Bavarian fantasy.)

skip323
05-26-2010, 10:45 AM
I have not read the other comments so I apologize for any repetition!! We researched St. Louis and went, for the first time, a couple of months ago for spring break. Had a GREAT time! IT was very manageable which was important because DH could not go. We opted to stay downtown at the Drury. Great decision. We did have to pay for parking but the location was excellent. The nice thing with the Drury's is that they have Breakfast included as well as an Appetizer/ Dinner deal. For us it was wonderful to have something like dinner as our kids are unpredictable and I truly dislike paying for a meal and then they do not eat anything!

We did the Arch and the old courthouse across the street from there. We did the zoo (wonderful and free...and we didn't pay to park), and city museum - Love, love, love city museum but a bit frightening trying to keep up with kids. If you are willing to go with them through everything it is o.k.

We also went to the Hill for an Italian Meal and then to Crown Candy Kitchen (?) as that is pretty popular and then over to Fitz's for dinner one night.

Oh...and the last day we hit the Missouri Botanical Gardens (Kids LOVED it as did I!) and on the drive home (to Indiana) stopped at the Cahokia Mounds!!

All in all a really great trip and, because we were all over the place going to things, we got a really good feel for the city.

SarahKate
05-26-2010, 01:34 PM
If you love zoos, you will definitely love STL Zoo. It's great that it is free, although you do pay if you use their parking lot (sometimes you can find street parking around the area) and there are attractions within which cost. It's HUGE and you can very easily spend the whole day there.

Grant's Farm is much smaller. Very laid back, and you could easily get through it all in a half day depending on how fast you're moving. They have animal demonstrations/shows, petting area (watch out for the goats though, they are CRAZY....they jumped all over DD7 and she's been traumatized by goats ever since!) and plenty of other animal exhibits. They have the cool little safari ride that takes you all through the park, which is nice. Admission is FREE, nominal charge for parking. Adults get to sample alcoholic beverages (last time we went, I got a whole wine cooler, Free!) and they have concessions. If you walk to the opposite end of the parking lot, you can see the Clydesdales as well as dalmatians. We've gotten to get up close and pet some of the horses on a few occasions, they are beautiful animals.

Magic House is a prety good deal if you have coupons. It's definitely unique to other things like it. But you do have to get there when they open or soon after because it gets VERY busy and crowded. They're also doing a huge expansion, so I'm not sure how that affects things or how far along it is. Your older kids would enjoy the Science Center - we just took DD7 there about 4 months ago and it was nice - feels more geared to older than younger kids.

Botanical Gardens are just beautiful if you enjoy that type of thing. They do have a children's garden area that has lots of fun things to climb on. Also have the "surprise fountains" (like what's on the bridge at Epcot between Future World and WS).

To the other poster who mentioned Crown CAndy Kitchen - COOL place. Get there early because it's pretty small and gets busy quickly Not a lot of seating. But they have great food, wonderful ice cream and of course, they make their own candies. We went right before EAster one year and it was PACKED with people buying goodies. People sometimes get nervous because of the location but we've never felt unsafe there, the neighborhood seems to be getting revitalized and LOTS of cops there patroling OR eating. :)

You've gotten some really good advice here! St. Louis is a great city to visit, and it's easy to get around.

LizinSTL
05-26-2010, 08:18 PM
With a family of 6, you may want to consider getting a zoo membership. If you get it now, it'll arrive in plenty of time for your trip. Parking is $11/car. Childrens Zoo is $4/pp. Train is $5 pp. If you all ride the train and do the childrens zoo plus park, that'll be the same as a membership and the membership is tax-deductible. www.stlzoo.org

sleepymomof4
05-27-2010, 09:48 AM
With a family of 6, you may want to consider getting a zoo membership. If you get it now, it'll arrive in plenty of time for your trip. Parking is $11/car. Childrens Zoo is $4/pp. Train is $5 pp. If you all ride the train and do the childrens zoo plus park, that'll be the same as a membership and the membership is tax-deductible. www.stlzoo.org

This is definately something I have considered. With some zoos that reciprocate, it is well worth it, we have done this with other zoos in the past.

deerhart
05-27-2010, 10:20 AM
You can also purchase zoo memberships at the desk and they will print out your coupons right then and there.

There is plenty of free parking in Forest Park, but you may have to hike for it on really busy days. We haven't parked in the zoo's lots in years even when we do have our membership. Grant's Farm Parking is $11 cash and that is the only place to park there. It is also generally closed on Mondays.

Why I say it is remote and more difficult to get to then other places is that any approach you take is going to run you through a ton of stop lights and or residential neighborhoods (with lots of stop signs). We used to live about 10 miles from there (I44E to I270S to Gravois and gravois over). With all the stop lights on Gravois, its a good 30-35 minute drive (plus waiting in line to park). Going up elm is just as bad because the speed limit is much lower, and all the stop signs/lights through the neighborhoods. Compared to the ease of getting to the places in Forest Park and downtown, Grant's farm is a bigger pain.

kjpotter
05-27-2010, 10:49 AM
I live in IL and drive to StL every day. I would not recommend crossing the river each day. Stay in StL around the 170 loop.

That being said, yesterday my daughter and I stopped by the zoo and then went shopping at the Galleria. The stingrays are back for the summer and she has been dying to visit them. We are members at the zoo, so it was no problem to stop by and see them. The exhibit is $3 per person (1.50 if members). You get to pet the stingrays. She loves it. Also, remember that you can bring in food and drinks at the zoo. Also, get there early. If you get there at 1pm on a Saturday, you will have a difficult time getting a parking spot since the lots may be full. Also, many of the pay attractions are free the first hour the zoo is open.

DD6's favorite place in all of St. Louis is the City Museum. However, your 3 year old might be too small. It would depend on how "fearless" they are. DD6 went when she was 3 and loved it, but she is a daredevil. Also, I was crawling on everything with her. It's definately not a "sit and let the kids play" place. The parents need to participate and climb.

kjpotter
05-27-2010, 10:51 AM
Oh and definately do the children's zoo at the St. Louis Zoo. You can pet the goats and there is a playground. Also, fountains for the kids to play in.

sleepymomof4
05-28-2010, 07:58 AM
Lizinstl....
I noticed in a different thread you commented that Fenton was a god location. I noticed that prices seemed more reasonable there and had wondered about the location. To me it is worth the savings if it's not so far out of the way.

SarahKate
05-28-2010, 08:56 AM
Hi all,

I just went to Drury's site and put in a random Saturday in late June for 2 adults, 3 kids.

The first price you'll see is the regular price, the 2nd one is with the "STLFUN" promotion code:

Fenton - $100/$60
Forest Park - $189 / $179
Olive Blvd. (Creve Couer) - $109/$95
Chesterfield - $113/$98
Union Station - $139/$125

We've stayed at Chesterfield and Olive Blvd. and they're both nice but Chesterfield is more upscale. Doesn't seem worth it to stay in Forest Park for that amount of money JUST to be close to some of the attractions. The pics look a lot like Chesterfield to me. I know folks sometimes discourage this area because it is out of the way, but we love it and stay there time and time again. 20-25 minutes to get to many of the "main attractions" (yes, we have timed it). Worth it to us not to be in the midst of everything. Right on the interstate, easy to get to where you're going. Just avoid rush hour, as with any other place.

Someone mentioned the Children's Zoo at STL Zoo and it's definitely worth the cost. It's a cool place! We haven't gotten to see the stingrays before, might have to check that out this year. :)

sleepymomof4
05-28-2010, 09:32 AM
Hi all,

I just went to Drury's site and put in a random Saturday in late June for 2 adults, 3 kids.

The first price you'll see is the regular price, the 2nd one is with the "STLFUN" promotion code:

Fenton - $100/$60
Forest Park - $189 / $179
Olive Blvd. (Creve Couer) - $109/$95
Chesterfield - $113/$98
Union Station - $139/$125

We've stayed at Chesterfield and Olive Blvd. and they're both nice but Chesterfield is more upscale. Doesn't seem worth it to stay in Forest Park for that amount of money JUST to be close to some of the attractions. The pics look a lot like Chesterfield to me. I know folks sometimes discourage this area because it is out of the way, but we love it and stay there time and time again. 20-25 minutes to get to many of the "main attractions" (yes, we have timed it). Worth it to us not to be in the midst of everything. Right on the interstate, easy to get to where you're going. Just avoid rush hour, as with any other place.

Someone mentioned the Children's Zoo at STL Zoo and it's definitely worth the cost. It's a cool place! We haven't gotten to see the stingrays before, might have to check that out this year. :)

WOW-great prices, I did not get anything close to this when I put my dates in.

deerhart
05-28-2010, 10:25 AM
Lizinstl....
I noticed in a different thread you commented that Fenton was a god location. I noticed that prices seemed more reasonable there and had wondered about the location. To me it is worth the savings if it's not so far out of the way.

Fenton isn't bad. That intersection exchange with 141 is busy during rush hour. Also, krispy kreme donuts is right down the road. But it is very easy to get on and off of 44 to get anywhere, especially if your looking at Forest Park, Six Flags, and the magic house. Its the area just past i-270 on 44 (44 is usually the quicker route to downtown). You have about a 15 minute drive west to six flags and a 15 minute drive east to Hampton to hit forest park

My mom has stayed at the Fenton Drury Inn several times and has always found it to be a nice hotel.

PixiePlanner
05-28-2010, 10:54 AM
City Museum because of The World Aquarium?

I was just at the City Museum yesterday on a field trip w/ DS. I was there 3.5years ago when DD was almost 4. Your older two will love the City Museum. It is FABULOUS! Your 3yo will probably love it- you won't love chasing him/her. On our previous trip, DD hung out with me alot. She thought everything was supercool but is quite timid. Now at 7, there would be no holding her back!

The World Aquarium? I don't know how much it costs as it was included in our ticket price... I would not go to the City Museum just for that. It is not the Shedd(Chicago). Had I gone expecting something grand, I would have been severely disappointed. DS did feed and pet a stingray yesterday and that was very cool but otherwise not so much. I think we were done with the entire aquarium in about 20 minutes. If any of your children are sensitive to bad odors, skip it. The whole place smells like dead fish due to the fact that there are several things that are "open" so that you can touch,etc.

The StL zoo is great. Plan on it being extremely HOT when you are there. If you purchase any drinks, there will be no lids and straws if I remember right so walking around with drinks becomes difficult. When you are at the zoo, make sure to see the penguins. I have a candid pic of DS when he was maybe 6, sitting by a little penguin statue while we waited in line. I can't tell you how many asked if it was a real one.

St Louis is a great city. Hmmm, now you have me thinking we need to plan a day trip this summer! Maybe two!

Smiling Cheshire Cat
05-28-2010, 03:16 PM
Sorry to hijack OPs thread, but I can't pass up the advantage to get some info from all the St. Louis experts responding here. I am going with DH on a business trip this summer to St. Louis. We will be staying at the Renaissance Grand and Suites on Washington St. We won't have a car and won't have the kids. PM me recommended shopping and eating places nearby.

Thanks-

deerhart
05-28-2010, 04:17 PM
Wash Ave is pretty much one of the nightclub places in Downtown. It is a bit further away from the major attractions downtown. Laceledes landing though is pretty close (200 Block of Washington).

As for transportation. Without a car you'll either be walking or using the metro link. The closest metro link station looks to be at the convention center a couple of blocks away. Laceleds also has a metro link station.

By using the metro link, you will be able to get from the Arch all the way out to Forest Park (though I don't recommend trying to do anything in Forest Park using just metro link as it is a LONG hike. You need to also use the lady bug shuttles and I don't have on hand the info for that). The stations sit right outside of Lacelede/Arch, Convention Center, 8th and pine (which is a block or two from the DT Macys), Busch Stadium, Savvis Center, Union Station, etc..

sleepymomof4
05-31-2010, 07:16 PM
Check hotwire.com - last month, we got a room at the Hilton at the Ballpark for $59. I would look for something in Forrest Park.

The City Museum is awesome, but I wouldn't take a 3 year old. Honestly, I'd be iffy about the 6 year old. Also, I betting that the World Aquarium is not what you have pictured.

Unless you really need to do some outlet shopping, I'd skip St. Louis Mills.

How long are you planning on staying?

Any tips on using Hotwire? I have never booked a room through them before because I always feel the need to know every little detail and review. Any way to tell what you may be booking?

Alesia
05-31-2010, 07:24 PM
Any tips on using Hotwire? I have never booked a room through them before because I always feel the need to know every little detail and review. Any way to tell what you may be booking?

Well, it does require a certain amount of willingness to relinquish control, but you choose the area, and they give you a list that tells you how many stars each hotel has and what percentage of guests would recommend it, so the risk is pretty minimal.

sleepymomof4
06-01-2010, 08:33 AM
Well, it does require a certain amount of willingness to relinquish control, but you choose the area, and they give you a list that tells you how many stars each hotel has and what percentage of guests would recommend it, so the risk is pretty minimal.

Thank you! Have you ever been dissapointed in what you get?