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The Missouri History Museum traces its roots back to 1866, the year that the Missouri Historical Society (MHS) formed in St. Louis and began its work of “saving from oblivion the early history of the city and state.” In the 1880s, MHS announced its intent to gather donations of historical artifacts for a public museum. The resulting response overwhelmed existing storage space and led the organization to search for a new home for its collections. The Missouri History Museum then opened to the public in 1892.
At the turn of the century, planning for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition—better known as the 1904 World’s Fair—coincided with a renewed push for the Missouri History Museum and MHS Collections to gain a more permanent home. Proceeds from the Fair led to the creation of the Jefferson Memorial Building, which would include space for the Missouri History Museum. An estimated 230,000 people attended opening festivities when the building was dedicated on April 30, 1913.
The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, opened to the public in 1979 in a quaint 5,500 square foot Victorian mansion located in the demographic center of the St. Louis region. Founded by two volunteers, Barbie Freund and Jody Newman, the not-for-profit museum was created as the first totally participatory museum designed just for children.
Over the years, The Magic House has grown from a small local museum to one of national prominence. Having undergone several major expansions, the Museum now houses 55,000 square feet of exhibits and serves over 600,000 visitors annually.
Throughout its history, education has been at the core of The Magic House’s mission. Over 60,000 children visit the Museum each year for curriculum-enriching field trip experiences that support classroom learning and meet state and national standards. An additional 25,000 children participate in the Museum’s outreach programs that take place in area classrooms, libraries and hospitals. The Museum is dedicated to inclusion and serving those children in the St. Louis community who have the fewest opportunities. All Title 1 schools receive free programming; approximately one-half of all students are admitted at no charge through the Museum’s Access for All Initiative.
The Saint Louis Art Museum collects, presents, interprets, and conserves works of art of the highest quality across time and cultures; educates, inspires discovery, and elevates the human spirit; and preserves a legacy of artistic achievement for the people of St. Louis and the world.
The Saint Louis Art Museum was founded in 1879, at the close of a decade that saw the establishment of art museums in great cities across the eastern half of the United States. This Museums comprehensive collections bear witness to the inspirational and educational goals to which its founder aspired and the moral and democratic imperatives he embraced. What began as a collection of assorted plaster casts, electrotype reproductions, and other examples of "good design" in various media rapidly gave way to a great and varied collection of original works of art spanning five millennia and six continents. Today the quality and breadth of the Museums collection secure for it a place among the very best institutions of its kind.
Enjoying an adventure every time you visit. Knowing a discovery will be made around each corner. You’re at the Saint Louis Zoo, a get-away destination that brings together more than 16,000* wild animals and 3,000,000 visitors each year.
Voted Americas top free attraction, the Zoo is located on 90 acres in beautiful Forest Park, and home to more than 600* species of animals, many of them rare and endangered. It is one of the few free zoos in the nation. See our fact sheet.
Since its inception in 1910, the Zoo has been renowned for its beautiful naturalistic exhibits and for its diverse collection of animals from the major continents and biomes of the world. It is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education.
Through the Zoo’s WildCare Institute, the Zoo focuses on wildlife management and recovery, conservation science, and support of the human populations that coexist with wildlife in 12 conservation hotspots around the globe, including three in Missouri.
"To discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life." – Missouri Botanical Garden mission
Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nations oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark.
The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis. The Garden offers 79 acres of beautiful horticultural display, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, Henry Shaws original 1850 estate home, and one of the worlds largest collections of rare and endangered orchids.
For over 158 years, the Garden has been an oasis in the city, a place of beauty and family fun—and also a center for education, science, and conservation.
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily