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6 Must-Try Winter Activities In and Around St. Louis

St. Louis Skyline with city and the night sky

Retirement is the perfect time to travel and try new things, but winter can sometimes make that hard as the Midwest winds start to carry a bit of a bite. Never fear, there are still plenty of things for older adults to do in St. Louis and the surrounding area.

If you’re looking for things to do in and around St. Louis this winter, we have 6 can’t-miss places for you to check out.

1. Gateway Arch National Park

No trip to St. Louis would be complete without a visit to the Gateway Arch. The stainless steel monument arcs above the cityscape, giving visitors stunning views of St. Louis and the mighty Mississippi River.

Even if you’ve already been, it’s breathtaking to see during the winter. Plus, construction just wrapped up this past summer on multiple renovations and additions, including an expanded visitors center and museum.

This is a great destination for history buffs. The Gateway Arch celebrates Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis' role in U.S. westward expansion and the park has a museum as well as the “Old Courthouse,” which is tied to the Underground Railroad and is located a short walk from the arch.

It’s a good idea to book tickets early if you want to take the tram to the top of the arch as they tend to sell out. To plan out your trip, the Gateway Arch’s website has a helpful trip itinerary.

However, if you have some mobility issues, keep in mind that in order to go to the top of the arch, you’ll need to climb about six flights of steps and may have to stand for up to an hour. The museum and grounds, though, are much more accessible.


Related: Holiday Activities in Belleville, IL


2. Go On Your Own Personal Art Walk

St. Louis is home to a thriving art scene. Whether your tastes are classical or modern, the city has just the thing for you to enjoy.

You could spend the afternoon at the St. Louis Art Museum enjoying collections ranging from ancient art to Native American art to contemporary art. There are rotating exhibits to enjoy, so be sure to check online when you’re planning your trip to see if there’s a certain exhibit you’d like to plan your visit for.

There’s also the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, which features innovate modern art. It offers displays, programs, and activities to fully immerse visitors for a truly unique experience.

Finally, if you enjoy classical music, you could take in a performance of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In addition to more traditional symphonic offerings, they also perform live scores to popular movies and host appearances from some of the biggest names on Broadway.

3. Cheer on the St. Louis Blues

Nothing gets the blood pumping like an action-packed hockey game. If you’re an NHL fan, go and check out the St. Louis Blues this winter to get in on the fun.

Even if you’re new to hockey, catching a game is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. You’ll get swept away by the excitement in no time

The Blues play at Enterprise Center in downtown St. Louis. You can get tickets for the 2018-2019 season through the Blues website or the Enterprise Center website.

4. Forest Park

Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. Although from December to March you won’t be able to see as much of the stunning flora and fauna the site usually boasts, it’s still a wonderful way to experience a walk in a winter wonderland.

During the colder months, you can enjoy the skating rink or watch people sled on Art Hill if there’s snow—and join in yourself! It’s also home to museums (more on that below), the St. Louis Zoo, and the St. Louis Science Center.

5. Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum, which is located in Forest Park, allows visitors to dive into the exciting past of  St. Louis and Missouri with engrossing exhibits and captivating collections. Spend the day getting lost in local and regional history.

The museum offers free admission to the public. Visit their website to view hours and current exhibits.

6. Refresh Your Spirit at The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows

Located a mere 20-minute drive from St. Louis are the tranquil grounds of The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, one of the largest outdoor Catholic shrines in the U.S.

With peaceful reflection spots, sacred spaces, and quiet pathways, it’s the perfect place to refresh your spirit. Visitors are welcome to explore the 80 acres of former farmland on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River Valley. You may run into residents of The Esquiline, a Life Plan Community at the Shrine, as they enjoy a brisk walk or moment of reflection. The life plan community is located on the grounds of the shrine and residents love to make the most of it.

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