Forest Park/Jewel Box, Saint Louis
500 acres larger than NYC's Central Park & with more to do! FREE Art, History, & Science museums, world-class FREE zoo, restaurants, rental boats, ICE skating rink, public golf course, all kinds of paths(biking and running are popular), woods & waterways, a huge outdoor theater with summer touring Musical series (free & low cost seats every night), historical buildings & bridges, beauty, serenity and more! Park is so huge; you won't want to walk to all the attractions. Washington Univ. is next door, to the West, too.
And if you haven't been here for several years, millions of $$ have gone into restoring & building a park, to amaze the world. It is truly beautiful & a place to be proud of, for all to enjoy! And it does get used, for everyday activities and special events of all types- all kinds of festivals & private weddings, too. But the park is big enough that you can find peace and solitude in many places, too.
A rehabbed historic trolley station has been transformed into the park's wonderful Visitor Center, with beautiful, modern furniture to relax. This is on the North end, just east of the History Museum. The volunteer staff offer much help with where to go & what to do in the metro area. There are free brochures and periodicals.
Also at the visitor center --- A small, attractively decorated place, called Forest Park Perc, to get breakfast, a sandwich or other simple foods & beverages. You can escape the heat, inside, or sit on the patio or front "porch." You can bring your own food,as I often do. Adjacent is a new, beautiful large playground, designed to be used by children of all physical abilities & disabilities.
Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair, afterward became home to many St. Louis cultural institutions: Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, & Missouri History Museum.
The 1,300 acre park is used by bikers, golfers, joggers, & picnickers (one & a half times the size of New York's Central Park!)
Sadly, after many years, Forest Park fell into some disrepair; the nonprofit agency called FOREST PARK FOREVER decided to restore it. They want it to become a shining jewel for this year's many celebrations.
The signature attraction was a 250-foot "observation wheel" with 36 cars that each held 60 people each. Named after its inventor, Chicago engineer, George Washington Gale FERRIS; thus, the name Ferris Wheel. Besides the Ferris Wheel, iced tea, the hot dog, & the ice cream cone were all introduced at the Fair. So, 100 years later, St. Louis has brought the park back to its former splendor.
The Grand Basin ( the centerpiece of the 1904 extravaganza) has a new Venetian fountain which sprays water more than 30 feet into the air. It is in front of the only structure built for the exposition that remains, The Art Museum, formerly called the Palace of Fine Arts. The restoration committee is also having a Ferris wheel, similar to the original one, running for the entire year.
South of the basin, the Saint Louis Zoo features the 1904 World's fair Flight Cage ( a giant walk-through birdcage.) The zoo has also scheduled self-guided walking tours of animal life encountered by Lewis & Clark.
The North end of the park houses the Missouri History Museum presents "Lewis & Clark: the National Bicentennial Exhibition" & "The 1904 World's Fair" semi-permanent exhibition.
Near the park's south boundary is the indoor floral conservatory, The Jewel Box, an Art Deco structure of glass that reopened in 2003 following a nearly four million dollar renovation.
Forest Park is an amazing place which you must visit in order to taste the Urban flavor of Saint Louis, Missouri.
This small enclosed glass structure is amazing inside--but it today (Aug 2011) has many fewer plants, and most are trees. Something happened, probably ran out of funds to support the maintenance, so today it is used a lot for paid events and weddings. It used to hold a lot of treasures and walk through slowly to see all the plants. Through the year they change our the flowers and greenery to meet the seasonal change. They are continually planting and re-planting flora, and change with the seasons. it is open also in winter, and a lovely romantic place to stop and take in the serenity.
The outside gardens and pond are still very nice to view.
Visit the Art Museum, eat at Pucks. Visit the History Museum eat at Meriweathers, visit the Zoo or row a boat, eat at the Boathouse or mix and match. Ride a bike, walk, jog,blade,play golf, handball, ice skate. See a musical at the Muni, get tickets or sit in the free seats. Go to the Science Center or the Planetarium. Just sit on a bench and watch the people.
Forest Park - this is really a whole other page, but I can hopefully cover it. This was the site of the famed 1904 World's Fair (which brought us none other than the waffle ice cream cone!), and the bird house at the zoo and the art museum are relics from then. The park has so much to do - paddle boats on the lake, history/art museums, the science center (this is AWESOME - don't miss it!), the zoo (also fantastic), the Muny outdoor theater, the Jewel Box - all kinds of stuff.
The best part - it's all free! No admission charge to any of it - even shows at the Muny have free seats (come early though). You've got to love a city that's so inexpensive to travel in!
Between 1) the Zoo (free), 2) the History Museum (free), and 3) the Art Museum (mostly free), you can't go wrong! (The Science center is free too, but it is geared for kids -- like most Science centers these days).
1) The zoo is the best free zoo in the USA. The reptile house has just finished a major facelift and is one of the best I've ever seen. Make sure you don't miss the outside, walk-through bird habitat (the inside bird house is great, too).
2) The History Museum has rotating exhibits that are quite interesting and extensive.
3) The Art Museum is nice and is free except for whatever travelling exhibit is there at the time.
Here's a great idea - for exercise and relaxation at the same time! It can be romantic or a great way to wear out the kids who have been sitting for way too long. How can one activity be both, you ask? The answer is Pedal Boats.They seat four, comfortably, and come with life jackets (though the water isn't very deep). all the boats they rent are just about four years old, at this point, so no shabbiness here. there are two pedals, so two people can power the boat, which is important, I think. You can rent one at The Boat House. That sounds logical, doesn't it? They rent beautiful row boats, imported from somewhere in Europe, too! The other evening, I walked by the boat dock and noticed a few kayaks, too. I guess you can rent those now, too.
Where can you pedal? Almost, all over Forest Park, from morning through the evening! Different water bodies are nicely connected together. You pass under pedestrian bridges. You can get off on a small island, if you wish, or along the Grand Basin. Nice scenery. Once, I saw a boy swimming behind his family (in the pedal boat) on a hot day!
The Boat House is also a Great Place to Eat lunch or dinner, year round!!!
Forest Park is a 1300 acre park smack dab in the middle of St. Louis. It was started in 1876 and once was home to the 1904 StL World's Fair Exposition. Only a few buildings remain from the Fair, but there is a lot to do and see in Forest Park. It is the home of the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the Jewel Box, the Science Center, The Muny (largest outdoor theatre in the country), the Missouri Historical Museum, many baseball fields, tennis courts, Steinberg Ice Skating Rink, a golf course, and beautiful lakes, woods, and trails. A visit to Forest Park means several days worth of trips, because each of these places is worth exploring! Oh, did I mention they are all free?
Since they're all in one place, visit Forest Park/Zoo/Art Museum.
They're all free and interesting. The Zoo is a great outdoor activity and the Art Museum is a nice indoor activity. Summertime in Forest Park is great for picnicing and watching the rollerbladers/bicyclists/joggers/walkers on the trail.
forest park is nice in summer,metrolink 'forest park',and the botanical garden is wonderful;
see the general view of downtown saint-louis with the bush stadium
Every september they have the balloon race leaving from Forest Park. Lots of balloons (50 or so), lots of people, lots of food.
Here are some great exhibits on the history of science and where it's going. This is a good half-day visit. It's located near many of St. Louis' other attractions.
In the heart of the city.Opened on June 24, 1876. Known as the 'Crown Jewel' of St. Louis. There is plenty to do here