Daytime Activities Around St. Louis
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
A non-collecting institution, the Contemporary focuses its efforts on exhibiting local, national, and international, artists from diverse backgrounds, working in a wide variety of media.
3750 Washington Blvd.; 314-535-4660
Eugene Field House and the St. Louis Toy Museum
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007, this curious little museum is the childhhod home of children’s poet Eugene Field, and his father, Roswell Field, who was the lawyer for Dred Scott. The museum contains furnishings, and most interestingly toys from the 1790s through the present day, as well as a book collection spanning more than 250 years and a wide range of topics. Unfortunately this terific museum (one block south of Busch Stadium) is closed for renovation & retooling every January & February.
634 S. Broadway; 314- 421-4689
Griot Museum of Black History & Culture
The Griot Museum originally opened in 1997 as the Black World History Wax Museum. The name was changed to more accurately reflect the museum’s mission. A griot is kind of West African poet or singer, charged with being the keeper of a community or culture’s oral traditions. As with this museum, a griot is a keeper of Black stories, myths, lore, songs, poetry, history, and culture.
Hot Tip: Of particular interest are the museum's installations on the Middle Passage, and a fascinating series of exhibits detailing the work of African American inventors.
2505 St. Louis Ave; 314- 241-7057
Several companies offer riverboat cruises along the Mississippi. This is a calm and peaceful way to learn the history of St. Louis’ development along the mighty Mississippi River. Some cruises depart from the docks directly adjacent to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the St. Louis Arch.
For visitors in town to celebrate Mardi Gras, the historic Soulard Neighborhood will figure prominently in their plans. But for visitors at any time of year, this scenic slice of history, with brick-lined streets elegant Victorian townhouses and mansions makes for a terrific architectural walking tour. The Soulard Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places, and far from being a stuffy museum piece is a lively and vibrant neighborhood (both residential and commercial), complete with unique local restaurants, shops, bars, and ahighlyl-regarded Farmers Market.
Between S. Broadway (S. 7th St.) and Interstate 55 – southwest of the St. Louis Arch
St. Louis Arch & the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
Of course, St. Louis' most famous attraction is the majestic silver arch that stands tall and proud overlooking a lush green tree-lined park that runs along the Mississippi River. But the arch is merely the centerpiece of an equally impressive larger attraction.
The St. Louis Arch stands at the heart of the National Park Service’s Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which includes the Museum of Westen Expansion (with its exhibits on Lewis & Clark, and other settlers' attempts to tame the West).
A block west of the St. Louis Arch, a grand domed structure distinguishes the “Old Courthouse” from St. Louis’ modern office buildings. This historic building houses a modest museum that examines and preserves some unique bits of history. Upstairs from the museum, visitors will find the courtroom where the Dred Scott case was first heard, and the Virginia Minor case (for a woman’s right to vote) was first presented. St. Louis' Old Courthouse is listed in the National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network To Freedom.
11 N. 4th Street; 314-655-1700
St. Louis Feature Stories
Mardi Gras in Soulard - A Brief History of the Soulard Neighborhood in St. Louis
Cajun Cook-Off - St. Louis' Cajun & Creole Antidote to Old Man Winter
Taste of Soulard - Soulard Shows Off Its Best Cajun & Creole Eats
Soulard Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby- St. Louis' Four-Legged Mardi Gras Fun