There's no shortage of free things to do in St. Louis. Many of the top attractions
in the city are free, including the St. Louis Science Center. The Science Center focuses on hands-on learning with exhibits, experiments and classes showcasing many different kinds of science.
The Science Center was also voted the Best Free Attraction in St. Louis in the 2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards.
Location and Hours:
The St. Louis Science Center is located at 5050 Oakland Avenue in Forest Park
. From I-64/Highway 40, take either the Hampton or Kingshighway exit. The main entrance is on Oakland Avenue about four blocks east of Hampton, or a half a block west of Kingshighway.
The Science Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Galleries and Exhibits:
The St. Louis Science Center has more than 700 exhibits spread out over several buildings. On the bottom level of the main building, you'll find life-sized, animated models of a T-Rex and Triceratops, a fossil lab and exhibits on ecology and the environment. There's also CenterStage, where visitors can watch free demonstrations and experiments about science.
The middle level of the main building has the primary ticket windows, Explore Store, Kaldi Cafe and the entrance to special exhibits. The upper level of the main building has the Discovery Room, Cyberville computer exhibits, OMNIMAX theater entrance and the bridge to the Planetarium.
The Planetarium is located just north of the main building across Highway 40. Take the elevated, covered bridge from the upper level of the main building to the Planetarium. On the way, you can learn about bridge construction, use radar guns to find speeders on the highway and practice your skills as an airplane pilot.
Then, make your way into the Planetarium for an adventure in space. There's the StarBay with exhibits on what it's like to live and work at the International Space Station. Or, learn about stars and see the night sky like never before at The Planetarium Show.
What You'll Pay For:
While admission and the everyday exhibits at the Science Center are free, there are some things you'll have to pay for. There is free parking at the Planetarium, but parking at the main building is $10. Tickets to the OMNIMAX theater are $9 for adults and $8 for children. The Discovery Room children's area is $3.50 per person, and tickets for special exhibits are usually $10 to $15 each.
Save with a Membership:
One way to save money at the Science Center is to buy a membership. A one-year family membership is $85 and includes six free parking passes, ten free OMNIMAX tickets, free Discovery Room tickets, free tickets to Planetarium shows and discounts to special exhibits and the Explore Store. For more information on family memberships and other kinds of memberships, see the Science Center website