One of our favorite holiday movies… and now one of our new favorite family-fun cities… the theme of travel confinued all the way through the end of the year, thanks to our recent weekend getaway to St. Louis and The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel. So many of you were helpful in recommending local places and attractions to visit during our two-day stay and the ‘Lou sure didn’t disappoint. Here are some takeaways from all of the incredible places we visited during our vacation:
First of all, the accomodations at The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel were absolutely amazing. They had just decorated the hotel for the holidays and from the moment we walked in, the girls were in awe of everything around them. It’s located in the heart of the Central West End, which is situated across from Forest Park and the St. Louis Zoo, so it’s ideal for walking around the city with so many incredible places to visit right outside their front door.
the city of St. Louis made entirely out of gingerbread, candy and icing… complete with an electric train!
We arrived Saturday afternoon and were instantly greeted with the warmest welcome. We checked into our room, got freshened up and headed straight out to lunch at Pappy’s Smokehouse, made famous for their ribs, split ends [Jeff’s favorite] and BBQ.
That afternoon, we headed to the City Museum, which is absolutely the coolest “kids” destination I’ve ever seen… Nashville needs to step up its game!! So many slides, fun obstacle courses, hide and seek tunnels–the list goes on and on. This is hands down my #1 recommendation on the place you HAVE to visit when you go to St. Louis next… we were there for a good 3+ hours, but could’ve spent an entire day there! P.S. they have bars throughout the museum on each floor = parent win!
Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel for dinner at the hotel via Chase Club, which is the perfect casual/pub-style eatery, and the perfect low-key place to hit up since we had a full day of fun! Be sure and order the bavaraian pretzels, short rib mac and cheese and bread pudding — you won’t be disappointed!
Sunday morning, the girls BEGGED for room service for breakfast so that was music to this mama’s ears = more time to enjoy a hot cup [or three] of coffee and a bit more R&R before we headed off to The Gateway Arch for our visit. Another must-do in the ‘Lou, I hadn’t visited since I was about 10 years old, so even I was excited to head to the top again! The museum at the bottom of the arch is really fun and interactive and I loved learning about the history of the city, how the arch was built and all the details that make it such a marvel. We rode to the very top and got to see the panoramic views of the city… more than anything, the girls LOVED the tiny little elevator cart that took us up and our brand new souvenir ornament to put on our travel tree!
For lunch, we ventured to Union Station, which is packed full of entertainment everyone can enjoy… we stopped at the mini golf for 18 holes of major family competition, then headed to the Soda Fountain, just like the old school soda shops and I’m telling you it’s 100% worth the trip! The Chicago-style hot dog was out of this world good and of course the girls went NUTS over the amazing lineup of milkshakes… absolutely DELISH.
That afternoon, we headed to the St. Louis Zoo… I had been there with my grandparents years ago, but forgot how wonderful their lineup of animals and exhibits is = and the best part is that it’s free to visit. A win in itself, but after polar bears, penguins, gorillas, lions and so much more, we agreed it’s been the best zoo we’ve visited so far as a family! They had so many animal-themed holiday decorations up and the weather was absolute perfection… just be sure to wear comfy shoes!
Before dinner, we decided to take in a late afternoon matinee of Frozen II–another MAJOR win is that the Chase Park Plaza has a movie theater right outside the lobby so it’s truly a “city within a city”= so many onsite amenities including a killer workout facility and an outdoor swimming oasis [for when we come back in warmer weather!].
For our last night, we opted to dine at The Preston back at our hotel. Super swanky with a 20’s vibe, they have something everyone will enjoy [even the kiddos] and there service was out-of-this world great! Don’t miss the loibster soup and the chilean sea bass… you know we LOVE to eat!
In short, we had the BEST time visiting St. Louis and are already making our must-do list for our next visit… the shortest flight from Nashville [a little more than an hour] or driveable from so many southern and midwest cities so add this to your list for your next family adventure. And be sure to check out the Chase Park Plaza’s packages so you can score some amazing attraction deals, too!
A few more recommendations from locals + friends: