Looking for a Midwest road trip, weekend getaway or staycation this summer? St. Louis Union Station makes a great one-stop destination where the whole family can discover fun and memorable things to do.
Dating back to 1894, this historic depot was at one time the busiest train station in the country. These days, it proudly honors its heritage and culture through exquisitely preserved architecture and décor. And, thanks to a recent $187 million renovation, the property now also boasts a 567-room hotel, an aquarium, modern restaurants, outdoor green spaces and a 200 foot tall Wheel.
St. Louis Union Station offers a multitude of fun activities this summer including outdoor concerts, games, animal encounters and more. Guests are in for a lot of fun surprises when they visit. It’s not often that you’re able to couple a four-star, four-diamond, beautiful train-station hotel along with six state-of-the-art, brand-new, immersive attractions. It really makes for a one-stop shop in terms of a destination.
Here are a few things to do and see that you’ll definitely want to include on your St. Louis Union Station itinerary.
Make new fishy friends
Added to the Union Station mix as part of the recent renovation project, the new St. Louis Aquarium houses a 250,000-gallon Shark Canyon marine habitat, a Changing Rivers gallery featuring Missouri riverscapes and the animals that inhabit them, and other intriguing interactive exhibits to explore.
“If you haven’t been to the St. Louis Aquarium yet, this is the summer to come see what everyone’s talking about. This is really a do-over debut for us after having first opened just before the start of the pandemic. So we know there are many people who haven’t had the opportunity to get out and visit us until now," Tami Brown, Executive Director of the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station said. “St. Louis Union Station is celebrating the summer with Luau in the Lou, a tropical themed party in June, July and August. Inside the Aquarium, we’ve added a scavenger hunt so guests can search for animals from the South Pacific."
“The St. Louis Aquarium is known for being a hands-on, hands-wet experience. This summer we’re adding to the interactive fun with our new Moon Jellyfish touch habitat," Brown said. “Did you know you can touch jellyfish? They’re not as ethereal as they look, so we’ll show guests how they can use two fingers to touch the top of the animal’s bell, which is the dome of the Jellyfish. The new Moon Jelly touch experience joins other hands-on habitats including a touch pool filled with Stingrays and Sharks, an invertebrate area with touchable sea stars and other animals, and a basin filled with Doctor Fish that nibble the hands of our guests.”
The refurbished Curio St. Louis Union Station Hotel offers packages for stays that include ride tickets for the St. Louis Wheel, along with access to the fitness center, business facilities and outdoor pool. If you really want to spoil yourself, reserve one of the luxurious Clock Tower suites.
Gaze upon the Grand Hall
Whether you’re staying at the hotel or not, make sure to pop into the bespoke Grand Hall to admire the breathtaking mosaics and leaf-gilded arches. At the top of each hour from 5 to 10 p.m., the hall comes alive with dazzling 3D projection-mapped light shows set to synchronized soundtracks. (P.S. Kids and adults alike can get a kick out of the Whispering Arch.)
The spacious St. Louis Union Station grounds have an indoor ropes course, a mirror maze, miniature golf course, carnival-style games and a historic carousel to make sure the kiddos go to bed worn out at the end of a fun day.
Wine and dine
You’re guaranteed to work up an appetite taking in all there is to see and do at St. Louis Union Station. Satisfy cravings for good old-fashioned burgers, fries and milkshakes at the St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain. On the go? Grab a quick bite from the 1894 Café. For date nights, the Train Shed shakes up classic cocktails and pours draft beer and wine to accompany a menu of tasty contemporary American cuisine. And you can always chill out over small plates and drinks in the Grand Hall lobby.
Rise above it all
Soaring 200 feet into the sky, the St. Louis Wheel delivers magnificent 360-degree views of the city below — especially at sunset — from the climate-controlled comfort of an enclosed gondola car.
For more information, call 314.923.3900 or go to stlouisunionstation.com.