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Free Stuff for Kids: Top 10 Inside Places to Go in St. Louis

There's plenty of places around town where your kids have indoor fun that's not in your house.

Whether it's raining, cold or just plain icky outside, there's always some place totally free to take the kids around St. Louis. Here's my favorite indoor venues that will keep the kids busy while we wait for spring.

  1. St. Louis Science Center: The Science Center doesn't charge admission, and if you park inside Forest Park and enter through the Planetarium you won't have to pay for parking either.
  2. Lone Elk Park in Valley Park: Yes, it's a county park. But you don't have to leave your car to search for animals. Think of it as hiking with your car.
  3. Powder Valley Nature Center: Located in the wilds of Kirkwood, this totally free nature museum is a big hit with little kids. Bonus: if it happens to be nice enough for a hike, the trails here are all paved.
  4. Magic House: Once a month the Magic House in Kirkwood has a free Friday admission night. The next one is February 15.
  5. Tour a Chocolate Factory: The Hill isn't just the home of St. Louis' best pasta, it's also the location Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate's factory. Tours are free, and so are the samples.
  6. Indoor Playgrounds: Some of our favorite malls have nice little playgrounds for smaller kids. Check out the ones in the West County, South County or Chesterfield malls.
  7. Free Family Activities at the Art Museum: Check out the Art Museum's free Sunday art projects and tours. Indoors and cultural, tool.
  8. Free Story Time at St. Louis Area Libraries: Check out your local library for a kid story time and craft. 
  9. Story Time at the History Museum: Held on Fridays and Saturdays, these story times with crafts are aimed at preschoolers.
  10. Barnes and Noble: Visit your local B&N for story time, usually held twice a week for preschoolers. Most stores also have a nook in the children's section with a play area so parents can enjoy the free wi-fi and cup of coffee from the cafe.

If you want to keep track of all the free stuff I find for you to do with your kids, you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook or just Subscribe to get me in your reader.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ronald Box February 13, 2013 at 03:00 PM
What about the St. Louis Zoo?? One of only three free zoos in the nation and ranked number 1 in several surveys!!
Denise Bertacchi February 13, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Hey Ronald! Thanks for commenting. The zoo is one of my favorite places to take the kiddos, BUT I was talking about indoor places to go on a rainy or cold day. The zoo has some exhibits that are indoors, but it's no fun running from building to building with kids in tow. Besides, have you smelled the ape house lately? Ewww. I'll save the zoo for a nice day.

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