When it comes to activities and attractions, certain cities seem to be more family-friendly than others. Situated between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, the city of Denver, Colorado, offers a variety of fun things to do for families. From parks and museums to aquariums and zoos, eight exciting Denver attractions make the Mile High City a favorite travel destination for kids and their parents.
- Denver Art Museum
This stunning Denver Art Museum houses an extensive collection, including classics like Van Gogh, Monet and Degas, and you can expand your knowledge as you wander through exhibits of Native American art, textile art and photography. Even if you’re not an art fan, the architecture alone is worth a visit.
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science packs a wealth of scientific topics into a single building. Whether you’re into paleontology, zoology, astronomy, anthropology or geology, you’re sure to learn something new. Come for the dinosaur bones and stay for the mummies.
- Downtown Denver
Don’t be fooled by all the skyscrapers – Denver’s core has a wealth of historic buildings for you to explore. As you wander through the streets, be sure to work your way through the LoDo (Lower Downtown) area. This historic warehouse district is packed with sightseeing attractions, stores, breweries and much, much more.
- Mount Evans Scenic Byway
If you miss out on the natural beauty surrounding Denver, you’ve only experienced half of what the city has to offer. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway offers easy access to the majesty of the Rockies, so even if you’re not an outdoorsy type, you still get ample photo opportunities. If you’re lucky, you might even see some mountain goats.
- Visit the World’s Largest Brewery
Though Coors is a widespread domestic brand, its roots run deep in Colorado. The Coors brewery in the Denver suburb of Golden is the largest single-site beer brewing facility on the planet, making it a sight to see, especially for people who love beer. You can tour the brewery for free, and only those with a valid ID proving their 21-plus age can sample the wares.
- Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
Celebrate the life of a wild west icon at the informative Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave. This site is also Buffalo Bill’s burial place; it was his dying wish to be buried on this mountainside. Pack a picnic before you leave your vacation rental, as you’ll find plenty of trails and picnic tables to occupy the rest of your time.
- Red Rocks Amphitheater
The Red Rocks Amphitheater hosts concerts, films and shows, but it’s worth going just to see the space. This outdoor theater is carved right into the red rock of the mountain. If you don’t want to see a show, you can also enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the area or take a tour.
- Denver Union Station
This historic landmark is still a working train station, so you can watch trains come and go as you admire the early 20th-century architecture. While you’re at the Denver Union Station, you can work in some shopping and grab a bite to eat, as this hub is also home to a shopping center.
- City Park
Denver’s City Park is massive, offering a natural oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re looking for things to do in Denver, you can find lots to occupy your time here. The park contains a public golf course, soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, playgrounds and lakes. In the summer, you can also enjoy jazz concerts and other events.
- Denver Zoo
Along with polar bears, you can catch glimpses of hyenas, kangaroos, tigers, monkeys and rhinos at the Denver Zoo. This activity is great for all ages and is a wonderful way to spend a day outdoors. As the zoo is located in City Park, you can combine the two for lots of fun in the fresh air.
- Downtown Aquarium
Almost all kids and kids-at-heart enjoy an aquarium. At Denver’s Downtown Aquarium, families can see over 500 species of animals, from sharks and stingrays to live tigers. In addition to all the exciting exhibits, the aquarium offers a restaurant, lounge and gift shop.
- Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Little ones that enjoy playing with airplanes and rockets will love this museum. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum aircraft exhibits include fighter jets, bombers, gliders and sailplanes. Wandering through the space and rocketry exhibits, visitors find treasures like Titan missile parts and Dream Chaser, the vehicle that shuttles astronauts to the International Space Station.
- Washington Park
Denver’s Washington Park is the perfect place for families to picnic and enjoy the sunshine. Spanning 165 acres, the park features formal gardens, expansive green space and walking trails. Also within the park, Smith Lake makes a great option for kayaking or fishing, and plenty of dining opportunities are close by. Just east of the park, families can find restaurants, shops and galleries lining Old South Gaylord Street.
- National Western Stock Show and Rodeo
Want to get a modern taste of the Wild West spirit? Check out the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, a ranching convention and rodeo that takes place every year over the course of two weeks in January. The Stock Show commences with a livestock-studded parade through downtown Denver, making it a sight to behold even if you don’t happen to buy tickets to get inside the main event.
Denver offers a unique blend of urban excitement and outdoor fun for an enjoyable vacation destination for your family. Make some or all of these stops part of your travel itinerary, and you’ll want to come back again and again.
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There are many places to visit in Columbus, Ohio, that make it easy to get back to nature. If you’re in the area and are looking for a way to get some fresh air while enjoying the scenic beauty of Ohio’s capital city, you’re in luck. These lush green spots and outdoor attractions make for the ideal way to spend a sunny afternoon.
- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium lies along the O’Shaughnessy Reservoir on the Scioto River. You can see marine animals and other animals in their habitats here. Sections of the zoo include Congo Expedition, Asia Quest, Heart of Africa, North America and Australia. Jungle Jack’s Landing features family rides, Animal Encounters Village and Stingray Bay. Renowned zookeeper Jack Hanna does educational programs for zoo visitors several times a year.
- Columbus Park of Roses
Columbus Park of Roses, featuring more than 12,000 roses, is located within Whetstone Park. The park also showcases perennial and herb gardens and displays beds of annual plantings. It’s easy to enjoy the 13-acre park with its wide, paved paths and numerous teak benches. The Heritage Rose Garden is in full bloom in late May, and the Formal Rose Garden usually reaches peak bloom in mid-June.
- The Topiary Park
The Topiary Park is an interpretation of a painting of a landscape. The painting depicted by the topiaries is George Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”
It includes eight boats, 54 human figures, three dogs, a monkey and a cat. The topiaries are made of yew, and the tallest one is 12 feet.
- The Scioto Mile
The Scioto Mile, located on the riverfront in the heart of downtown Columbus, boasts more than 175 acres of parkland.
You can paddle along The Mile, splash through the 15,000-square-foot interactive fountain, visit the Cultural Art Center, go picnicking at Bicentennial Park and walk or bike along greenway trails. The promenade is a popular spot that features a stone colonnade with gardens, park benches and game tables.
- Alum Creek Greenway Trail
Alum Creek Greenway Trail is a hiking area that stretches along the scenic river corridor. The 25-mile paved trail runs from Westerville through Columbus to Groveport.
It’s easy to reach adjoining neighborhoods where there are public parks and dining and shopping options. There are many bridges, in a range of architectural styles, on the trail. A double-arch bridge is situated over the creek in Strawberry Farms Park.
- Blendon Woods Metro Park
Blendon Woods Metro Park is a 653-acre park with beech-maple and oak-hickory forests that surround open fields. Stream-cut ravines with exposed ripple rock sandstone are focal points of the park. The Walden Waterfowl Refuge with its Thoreau Lake is a sanctuary for wildlife and birds. Two elevated observation shelters with spotting scopes make it easy to view waterfowl. The park is open year-round.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens shows off special exhibitions, exotic plant collections and Dale Chihuly artwork. The conservatory was originally built in 1895, and its John F. Wolfe Palm House is a grand Victorian-style glass greenhouse. An architectural light installation by internationally renowned light artist James Turrell illuminates John F. Wolfe Palm House.
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From the days of the Native Americans to the Civil Rights era, Atlanta, Georgia, has a rich history that residents and tourists alike celebrate each day. Museums, historic sites and other Atlanta attractions tell the story of the years leading up to the present, and they often attract visitors from around the world.
If you’re planning a trip to the city in the near future, you may want to take time to explore some of these places that are both educational and entertaining.
- Atlanta History Center
Start at the Atlanta History Center, which dates back to 1926 and sits on 33 acres of historic land in the city’s Buckhead district. Some of its features include the Atlanta History Museum, the Swan House, the Smith Family Farm, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, a tea room and gardens and trails.
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Learn about Georgia’s natural history at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which sits on 75 acres and features both indoor and outdoor exhibits. This kid-friendly museum has everything from dinosaurs to Native American artifacts. Be sure to see a movie at the IMAX theater before you leave.
- Fox Theatre
Considered one of Atlanta’s top attractions by many publications, the Fox Theatre is a majestic venue that hosts Broadway musicals, concerts and other shows throughout the year. Take in a show, or tour the theater to get a glimpse of its stunning Arabian decor and ornate architecture.
- Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
Get a glimpse of American history through the eyes of one of Georgia’s most famous residents: former President Jimmy Carter. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum are home to Carter’s Nobel Prize, a replica of his Oval Office and thousands of other items from his presidency.
- Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
College football is king in the South, and you can learn all about its history at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. Bring the kids along to take part in interactive football-themed exhibits.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
At one of Atlanta’s top tourist destinations, you can learn all about Dr. King and the Civil Rights era by visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. See his birth home, visit the International World Peace Rose Garden, check out the King Center and explore Ebenezer Baptist Church where King preached.
- Margaret Mitchell House
Located in Midtown and operated by the Atlanta History Center, you can explore the world where famed author Margaret Mitchell wrote her beloved novel “Gone with the Wind.” It’s also home to exhibits relating to the book and movie.
- Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain Park is located just outside of Atlanta, but it’s one of the area’s top attractions and features plenty of Civil War-era history. There are also numerous fun and seasonal attractions to check out, including the nightly laser show.
- Delta Flight Museum
Delta Airlines is headquartered in Atlanta, and the company has turned its original 1940s-era hangars into a flight museum. View hundreds of items, including old plans, related to Delta’s history.
- Historic Oakland Cemetery
Before you leave town, take a stroll through historic Oakland Cemetery in Downtown Atlanta. Famous Atlanta residents, like Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones, are buried here among the old oak trees and magnolias. Enjoy the cemetery’s beautiful architecture and unparalleled views of the Atlanta skyline.
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Lake Havasu City, Arizona, is situated right on the Colorado River. Although located in one of the driest desert regions of the country, this area is full of options for enjoying the water thanks to its proximity to the reservoir. Whether you spend a day or a week in Lake Havasu City, things to do won’t be a problem. In fact, you might find that you have trouble fitting everything into your itinerary.
- See Arizona’s London Bridge
The actual bridge that once spanned the Thames River in London now spans a section of the Colorado River in Arizona. It’s simply unheard of to visit Lake Havasu City and not see the famed London Bridge. Visitors can take a walking tour of the bridge on certain days between October and April. The tours last 90 minutes, and a guide provides all of the fascinating details of how the bridge came to be a fixture in Lake Havasu City.
- The Desert Bar
The Desert Bar, also known as Nellie E. Saloon, keeps weekend hours between October and April. This is the place to go to hear live music, get great food and experience an afternoon or evening like no other. Vintage odds and ends decorate this saloon, and it has a distinctly western appeal. The outdoor grill is where the magic happens, and don’t forget to bring cash because plastic isn’t accepted here.
- Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu State Park welcomes campers and day visitors between October and April. You can rent boats at the park’s concession stand, have a picnic at the day-use beach, hike the nature trails and watch the wildlife that lives in the park. You can also water ski, swim and fish in the park. Some of the campsites are even “boat-in,” providing perfect access for those spending time on the water.
- The Lake Havasu Beaches
Make time for the beach when visiting Lake Havasu City. You’ll have many beaches from which to choose. The London Bridge Beach situated near the bridge is a popular family beach. Non-motorized boats can launch from the beach, and there’s also a swimming area that’s ideal for kids. With walking paths, picnic areas, playgrounds and seasonal rental of water sports equipment, there’s something for everyone. The Rotary Community Park also has a 40-acre park, public waterfront beach and many other amenities to make your day enjoyable.
With a wide array of activities and attractions in the general area, Lake Havasu City is a popular destination for people, especially when the heat turns down from October through April. Spending some time on or by the water in Lake Havasu promises to be unforgettable.
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While staying right at home and touring Jacksonville, Florida, promises to be thrilling, you might want to venture out of the busy city for a bit. With that in mind, here are some great day trip options near Jacksonville you can use to plan a fun getaway.
- St. Augustine
It takes only 45 minutes to get from Jacksonville to St. Augustine. Once there, you’ll be immediately surrounded by the charming history of the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States. The Spanish influence is unmistakable as you explore the downtown historic district, Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, and Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. This park will keep you busy all day with waterfront land, peacocks, a Timucuan village and much more.
- Daytona Beach
Pack the car and hit the road for Daytona Beach. A short 90 minutes later, you’ll be pulling in to enjoy the day. One of the most popular draws of the area, the Daytona International Speedway, virtually guarantees an amazing time. This huge facility offers a Speedway Track Tour as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. If you want to take things a bit slower, you can visit the boardwalk and pier, or just hit the beach for some classic fun in the sun.
- Green Cove Springs
The drive between Jacksonville and Green Cove Springs takes just over 30 minutes, leaving you plenty of time for sightseeing. The city dates back to mid-19th century, and the natural sulfur springs are a big draw to the area. If you have military buffs in your group, plan a trip to the Military Museum of North Florida to explore some of the achievements of the greatest World War II fighter pilots. You’ll also find exhibits from World War I, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Check out Spring Park on the St. Johns River for a day of fun. Thanks to its covered shelters, a playground area and the mystical spring adjacent to the river, you’re sure to enjoy some serenity at this spot.
- Fort White
About 100 miles from Jacksonville, Fort White is a great place to head for a day trip. One of the main draws of the area, Ichetucknee Springs State Park will keep everyone entertained. The Great Florida Birding Trail gives you a chance to see many winged creatures, including water birds, wild turkeys and red-headed woodpeckers. You can also canoe or kayak, try geocaching, take a picnic or hike one of the three hiking trails that meander through the park. You might even try snorkeling or scuba diving in Blue Hole Spring.
Once you see all the options for day trips available from Jacksonville, you and the family can start planning all sorts of fun-filled, short adventures. Exploring Florida promises to keep you highly entertained while you visit spots you never imagined could actually exist.
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Exploring a city like Charlotte, North Carolina, doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you know where to look. The key is to build time in your itinerary to check out places that don’t charge an admission fee. As you plan your upcoming vacation in the Piedmont, include some of these free things to do in Charlotte, N.C., to stretch your budget and fill your days.
- Reed Gold Mine
In 1799, someone found gold on John Reed’s property and forever changed the life of the man who owned it. Today, Reed Gold Mine remains a historic site where you can see partially reconstructed gold mines and learn more about the first documented discovery of gold in the region. There’s no charge for admission, but there is a fee for panning at the site.
- Have a Picnic in Freedom Park
Located near the Myers Park neighborhood, Freedom Park is a 98-acre urban oasis. Bring the whole family, and pick out a grassy spot for a picnic. If you don’t mind sharing the space with crowds, show up for a seasonal festival.
If you’d rather burn off some energy, check out the recreation grounds. Play a pickup game of basketball or practice America’s national pastime on a baseball field. There are also miles of trails designed for walking or biking. You can even bring along the dog to join you on an afternoon stroll.
- Listen to Live Music at Romare Bearden Park
Romare Bearden Park hosts a seasonal music festival called the Music Box Lunch series. It’s the perfect break in the middle of the workday, but visitors are also welcome. Bring your lunch, find a place to sit and settle in for a quick concert.
- Catch an Exhibit at a Museum
Despite its reputation as a technology haven, Charlotte has an impressive art scene. You can catch a glimpse of it on a free mini-tour. Three museums offer these short tours once each month. Check with their websites for specific dates and times.
These museums are part of the Levine Center for the Arts. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art features collections of mid-century modern art. At the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, discover a treasure trove of African American art. Explore international works of art at the Mint Museum Uptown.
- Cool Off at a Splash Pad
Summers heat up in Charlotte, and that’s the perfect time to take the kids to a public splash pad. You’ll find six spots in the city: First Ward Park, Cordelia Park, The Green, Latta Park, Romare Bearden Park and Veterans Park.
Parents can supervise from a park bench or sunbathe on the green. You’ll also find other amenities like playgrounds, walking trails and recreation fields if you want to burn off some energy.
- Relax in the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
You feel like you walk into another world at the University of North Carolina Charlotte Botanical Gardens. Stroll through the lush grounds, or find a place to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Before you go, check out the Venus flytrap, the collection of desert succulents or the splendid orchids on display.
Whether you like the rush of the race track or the serenity of an art gallery, there’s no shortage of things to do in Charlotte. When you include free activities in your schedule and choose a vacation rental instead of a hotel, you can maximize your budget and comfort to make the most out of your time in the area.
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Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Biloxi, Mississippi, is best known for its beaches and casinos. Several different casinos are located on Beach Boulevard offering patrons a variety of games of chance and sports betting propositions. The city, first settled in 1699, also offers many incredible museums and historic sites to visit during your stay.
- Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum
Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum maintains the maritime history of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Exhibits provide information on topics like shrimping, marine blacksmithing, net making and wooden boat building. Two Biloxi Schooner replicas are moored at the Schooner Pier Complex, which has three pavilions and a second story observation deck. In addition, the Wade Guice Hurricane Museum, offering a state-of-the-art theater and exhibit space, is located within the museum.
- Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art
The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is dedicated to the ceramics of George E. Ohr, who called himself “The Mad Potter of Biloxi.” The museum, located on Beach Boulevard, also focuses on Southeastern regional art and Biloxi history. The artists, history, landscape and architecture make the museum unique. The museum comprises four buildings and the Pleasant Reed House, built by a former slave after the American Civil War.
- Biloxi Shrimping Trip
Things to do in Biloxi, Mississippi, include setting sail with Biloxi Shrimping Trip. The tour boat, Sailfish, moored on Beach Boulevard, takes you on a real shrimping expedition. The 70-minute adventure takes place in the waters between Deer Island and the Biloxi shoreline. The crew drags the bottom of the Mississippi Sound for whatever marine life the net can catch. You’ll see the catch, which is identified by the captain. You’ll also learn facts about catching, cooking and eating shrimp.
- Biloxi Lighthouse
Biloxi Lighthouse, erected in 1848, towers next to Biloxi Beach on the Mississippi Sound. The white lighthouse was one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the South. Female keepers tended the lighthouse for more years than any other lighthouse in the United States. Blue bands were painted on the brick lining inside the tower to show the sea level during various hurricanes. The highest level, 21.5 feet above sea level, was reached during Hurricane Katrina.
- Biloxi Beach
White sand Biloxi Beach is ideal for swimming since barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico keep the beach water calm. Surf is almost non-existent at the beach. Water temperature is more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit at least four months of the year.
You can rent chairs, umbrellas, aqua cycles, personal watercraft and more. The beach is steps away from several casinos and other attractions on Beach Boulevard.
- Deer Island Coastal Preserve
Deer Island Coastal Preserve, located right off the coast of Biloxi, is a great place to paddleboard, boat, canoe or sit back and enjoy a secluded getaway. Deer Island Coastal Preserve follows the beach along the island. In addition to white sand beaches, you’ll find tall pines and marshes in the interior of the island.
You can spot American alligator, mottled ducks, osprey, loggerhead turtles and diamond terrapin on the island, as well as 10 endangered species.
Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, is the seaside retirement estate of Jefferson Davis. The estate includes a nature trail, outbuildings, the Confederate Museum, Confederate Veterans Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier.
Admission to the restored antebellum home, located on Beach Boulevard, includes a guided tour of the home and a self-guided tour of the museum and cemetery. Guided tours of the three areas are available with reservations.
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It may be smaller and younger than other metropolitan centers in the southeastern United States, but Birmingham, Alabama, has a big history. The city was a product of the Industrial Revolution, and later played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. If you’re staying in the area, make some time for these exciting historical places to visit.
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
In the days of the segregated South, Carver Theatre was a movie theater designated for the African American community. Today it’s home to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Schedule your visit on a day when live performers are on stage for a multi-sensory experience.
- Alabama Theatre
Built in 1927 as a showcase theater for Paramount Films, Alabama Theatre takes visitors back to the golden days of Hollywood. This beautiful building also stands out as one of the first air-conditioned structures, and was once the home of the Mickey Mouse Club.
- Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens
The Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens is an excellent example of the Greek revival architecture that dominated Southern plantations before the Civil War. This restored home is now a museum featuring textiles, paintings and furniture from the period.
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a must-see for anyone who wants to learn more about or pay their respects to the people involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Here you can see replicas of a segregated city and a Freedom Riders bus, as well as original documents and a recorded oral history of the time period.
- Heaviest Corner on Earth
Between 1902 to 1912, four skyscrapers went up at the intersection of First Avenue N and 20th Street in downtown Birmingham, marking the city’s rise as an economic powerhouse in the region. The four buildings once housed some of the largest businesses in the city, and represent distinctive architectural styles that are beautiful to see.
- Kelly Ingram Park
Kelly Ingram Park has the notorious distinction of being the place where Bull Connor used fire hoses and dogs to shut down protests. It was a popular meeting spot where protesters gathered during boycotts. You can learn more about this through the free audio tour available on the grounds.
- 16th Street Baptist Church
The 16th Street Baptist Church dates back to the 19th century and became famous after the 1963 bombing that killed four girls, a tragedy that helped spur the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You can see the impressive structure today and attend church at one of the weekly services.
- Sloss Furnace
Sloss Furnace is a national historic landmark and a reminder of Birmingham’s early days in the iron and steel industries. The site still looks like it did in the 1800s when it was one of the world’s largest producers of pig iron.
- Vulcan Park & Museum
In its heyday, Birmingham was the South’s iron and steel capital. For the 1904 World’s Fair, the city was represented by a 50-foot statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge. Today, that statue is still on display in Vulcan Park & Museum.
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Located on the Ohio River, Cincinnati, Ohio, is home to the Over-the-Rhine district, known for its 19th-century architecture. Cincinnati tourist attractions include the Cincinnati Museum Center, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens and Cincinnati Art Museum. Nature trails and outdoor adventure are found at Alms Park, Caldwell Nature Center and California Woods Nature Preserve. Check out these other exciting adventures that await you in Cincinnati.
- Operation City Quest
Things to do in Cincinnati include Operation City Quest, a scavenger hunt that requires you to use your smartphone to find objects. You search for about 140 items throughout the downtown area of the city. When you find each item, you send a photo in to score points. While you’re searching, you perform challenges and answer trivia questions to score more points. A virtual guide helps you throughout your two-mile journey. The scavenger hunt takes about two hours to complete.
- Breakout Games – Cincinnati
You decipher clues and solve puzzles to escape a room at Breakout Games – Cincinnati. Each themed room contains furniture and objects, and in some rooms, you’ll be handcuffed or blindfolded. Anyone can play the game, but children under the age of 14 need to be accompanied by an adult. You are not really locked in the room, you can leave at any time. Game masters provide clues if you get stuck. You have one hour to escape the adventure of your choice.
- Krohn Conservatory
Krohn Conservatory, located in Eden Park, is a botanical garden that contains more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. Permanent exhibits include the rain forest waterfall and exotic plants that are found in the Tropical, Desert, Palm and Orchid houses.
The Display House features floral shows like the annual Butterfly Show. Many butterflies fly freely within the Conservatory’s showroom during this show, creating a colorful display.
- Coney Island Amusement Park
Coney Island Amusement Park is home to Sunlite Pool, which is larger than a football field and holds more than three million gallons of water. Play areas include Typhoon Tower, The Twister and Pipeline Plunge.
Classic amusement rides include bumper and pedal boats on Lake Como, The Python roller coaster, the Grand Carousel and the Ferris wheel. In addition, live shows are performed in Moonlite Gazebo and Backstage Pavilion.
- Mount Airy Forest
Hiking trails and bridle trails are found in Mount Airy Forest. The 1,459-acre park has an enclosed dog park and a wheelchair accessible public tree house. Specialty gardens, a picturesque lake, gazebos and a disc golf course add recreational opportunities. Mount Airy Forest also has two forest lodges and 23 picnic areas. The Arboretum serves as an observation area for plant growth.
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Located on Missouri’s eastern border on the banks of the Mississippi River, the city of St. Louis is a fun and exciting travel destination. Attracting all kinds of tourists, this thriving metropolis serves up everything from monuments and museums to unique neighborhoods and outdoor spaces. If you’re weighing vacation options, check out these seven must-see attractions in St. Louis, Missouri.
- The Gateway Arch
Situated on the riverbank in downtown St. Louis, the Gateway Arch stands a whopping 625 feet high. As the city’s most identifiable symbol, the massive stainless steel structure signifies the designation of St. Louis as the “Gateway to the West.” Underneath the arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion welcomes tourists, and eight elevators take visitors up to the observation deck at the top of the arch.
- The St. Louis Zoo
Few travelers turn down a free tourist attraction, and the St. Louis Zoo is one of the favorites in the area. Over three million people each year come to see more than 16,000 animals spread over 90 acres, including Asian elephants, hippos, lions, tigers, monkeys and other creatures. For more zoo amenities, visitors can board the Emerson Zooline Railroad for a 20-minute tour, watch a film at the 4-D theater, take a ride on the Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel and find food and beverages at a number of cafes and food stands throughout the park.
- The Missouri Botanical Garden
Are you looking to connect with nature? Check out the Missouri Botanical Garden. Situated in the heart of the city, the site features beautiful Tower Grove House, the historic home of former St. Louis resident Henry Shaw. More attractions include a formal Victorian garden, a greenhouse, a colorful Japanese garden, a children’s garden and a spectacular conservatory housed within a geodesic dome.
When you need respite from exploring, hop aboard the tram for a 25-minute narrated tour of the site or stop into one of the onsite cafés for a meal and a beverage. Don’t forget to pick up plants or mementos at the gift shop or bookstore.
- City Museum
Located in a former shoe factory in the Downtown West neighborhood of St. Louis, City Museum offers a colorful, quirky experience for kids and grownups. Special attractions include a giant aquarium that children can step inside of, an indoor climbing loft made from trees, and metal platforms and a collection of unusual stairways, twisty slides, unique sculptures, subterranean pathways and recycled planes, trains and buses. When tummies get hungry, five cafés and food stands offer sustenance and adult beverages for parents.
- The Hill
If you want to experience St. Louis like a local, head to one of its most popular neighborhoods: The Hill. Chock full of markets, restaurants and bakeries, this charming Italian neighborhood oozes local pride and a warm, welcoming vibe. Shopkeepers and restaurant owners brag about famous former residents, baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola Sr., while they flaunt the red, white and green colors of Italy from every corner.
- St. Louis Science Center
If you’re interested in topics like space travel, animals, musical instruments and skyscrapers, you’ll never have a dull moment at Saint Louis Science Center. Located at the southeast corner of Forest Park just north of The Hill, this museum offers hundreds of hands-on exhibits, science experiments and live demonstrations. The onsite Omnimax Theater offers exciting films and the planetarium allows visitors to explore the stars.
- Laumeier Sculpture Park
Just 15 miles southwest of the city center, the Laumeier Sculpture Park offers an indoor gallery and a collection of contemporary sculptures in a scenic outdoor setting. Just a few of the 60 outdoor installations include a face-shaped seating area made of concrete, a bronze sculpture of tulips in a vase, a mass of steel “noodles” twisted into knots and a large, colorful, cat-shaped bench fashioned from stained glass, mirrors, stones and ceramic tiles.
If you’re looking for a vacation destination with a lot of things to see and do, the city of St. Louis fits the bill. When planning your itinerary, these seven attractions in the “Gateway City” promise a truly enjoyable getaway.
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