Here are ten free winter activities to do with your kids in Missouri- so you’re not just inside the house all winter. Once we knew we were moving to Missouri- I knew I would have a COLD winter. I didn’t want to complain about it and stay at home all winter. I wanted to embrace it and find fun things to do even in the winter time. We found so many fun things to do in St. Louis.
We were in Missouri during the Polar Vortex and it got as cold -4 F. I read the book “There is No Such thing as Bad Weather,” and that book really emboldened me to face winter head on. I kept thinking there were tons of people who live further north than us and thrived during the winter-so I could thrive in Missouri. Sure enough if you dress warm enough and move around it’s not so bad being outside. I did have to embrace packing all the extra clothes and take into account that dressing myself and four children took a lot more time. Also undressing took a lot of time and cleaning up melted snow inside was just part of the routine. I love being outside and wanted to find winter activities to do.
The St. Louis playgrounds are some of the best. One year was not enough to spend in St. Louis to experience all of the amazing playgrounds the city has to offer. I think the best way to describe the playgrounds in St. Louis is thoughtful. They aren’t just a swing and slides but a lot of them are themed and unique. We loved exploring some of the playgrounds that St. Louis has to offer.
Before we moved to St. Louis two different people told me the playgrounds are awesome. Little did I know how diverse and how many amazing playgrounds there would be. One of them told me there favorite one was Deer Creek Park or Rocket Ship playground. The little bit of creativity in the playgrounds ignited my own kids imagination and I could hear them fantasizing themselves in outer space.
Not only are the playgrounds fantastic but the people in St. Louis are so good. One of my favorite playground stories that exemplifies this is from a little playground in Richmond Heights- called Highland Park.
When we arrived on a warm summer day there were water guns all over this little playground. There was only two other moms there and I asked them if they were their water guns (because my kids were looking at them longingly). One of the moms said they were hers and that they were for everyone to use. She said, “it’s not fun if just my kids have super soakers to play with so I just bring a bunch for all of the children to play with”. She had a little cart that she puts them in and wheels them all to the playground from her home. These are the type of people I met in St. Louis. My kids of course were very quick to enjoy the water guns. St. Louis has been the best city to live in.
I tried ranking the playgrounds but I had such a hard time. They all had their unique qualities to them so aside from my favorite playground the rest of the playgrounds are not in any particular order.
This is my absolute favorite playground in St. Louis. The gardens and playground are free for St. Louis residents on Saturday mornings until noon. There are a few week nights in the summer where the gardens and playground are free for everyone (The Whitaker Music Festival). The playground is large and has so many different areas to go in. There are Music area, art out of nature, (Climatron kid area), Sand box, Puppet Theater, Water area, Tree house, store, Caves, Rope bridge, Slides, and splash pad.
We learned the best time to see bald eagles in Missouri is the winter time. So, we bundled up on a windy, cold day where the highs were in the 30s and headed up to West Alton Missouri. We learned about this area of Missouri because of one of the families at our children’s elementary school. He grew up in St. Louis and told me they go eagle watching every winter and they will see 20-30 a day. He said they go to the confluence of the river. I learned that’s where the mighty Mississippi and Missouri rivers merge.
We missed the Eagle Sundays and Eagle Ice Festival that the Audubon Center at Riverlands hosts but we were still able to see eagles. We had no idea what to expect and were a little skeptical that we would see an eagle. The Audubon Center had spotting scopes (with step stools for the kids) that were free to use.