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Gateway to Fun: Missouri Botanical Garden

View of a bridge at the Seiwa-en garden in the...Are the kids bored? Looking for a fun way to get them outside in the fresh air, and maybe, just maybe, learn something too?

Then point your SUV to MoBot, the Missouri Botanical Garden (AKA Shaw’s Garden for you natives).

Yeah, I know. A garden for kids? How boring. NOT!

The Missouri Botanical Garden has several cool features that kids of any size will get a kick out of: feeding the giant Koi at the Japanese Garden, running the maze in the Victorian Garden, smelling the herbs in the Scented Garden and exploring the streams in the English Garden.

But they also have a special place just for kids: The Children’s Garden. It’s a special kid section of the garden with slides, a cave, tree houses, a riverboat, musical flowers (really!) and a splash pad for warm sunny days.

Bring your walking shoes, a hat and sunblock if you hit the garden on a sunny day–there’s a lot to explore and you’ll be out in sun a lot. A water bottle is a good idea, though there are a few soda machines and water fountains tucked around the garden.

Unlike a regular park or the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri Botanical Garden does NOT allow picnic lunches. Or any outside food. There are two cafes in the garden with garden themed sandwiches, soups and salads. If you’re into locally sourced and healthy fare, you might want to stop. If you’re on a budget, just pick up a burger on your way back home. Lunch will run you about $11 for an adult and $6.50 for kids (including chips and your drink).

General admission for the Missouri Botanical Garden is $4 for St. Louis City and County residents (over 12); free on Wednesday and Saturday before noon.

The Children’s Garden is $5 for kids 3-12, but adults are free. It works out nicely, because kids 3-12 are free to the regular garden, so you’re not paying “extra” for the kid area.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located in the city, near Hwy 44 and Vandeventer Ave.  Parking is free.