Here is MY Top Ten list of St. Louis-area attractions, not in any particular order:
1. Arch and the Westward Expansion Museum (beneath) -- get a ticket and a time, see the Expansion Exhibit, and then ride the tram to the top for an absolutely marvelous view of Busch Stadium, the old Cathedral, the old Courthouse, the ''mighty'' Mississippi, and Illinois.
2. History Museum (Forest Park) -- free general admission to Riverboat and Spirit of St. Louis displays, among others.
3. Art Museum (FP) -- free general admission (free special exhibit admission on Tuesday). It has a great Impressionist collection, select George Caleb Bingham pieces, huge religious works, and surprisingly fresh modern art. A personal favorite!
4. Zoo (FP) -- free general admission. Check out the Rivers'' Edge and Penguin/Puffin additions, Children''s Zoo, Insectarium, Zoo Railroad, Big Cat Country, Animal Shows, etc. It''s fantastic!
5. Muny (FP) -- tickets range from free lawn seating to expensive chair seating at this seasonal outdoor theatre. Excellent bigname entertainers perform here as does local talent. I''ve seen Godspell, West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, etc., all of which were extremely well done. You can also go "behind the scenes" with a group!
6. Science Center (on Oakland, across the highway from FP) -- free general admission. There are many on-going hands-on exhibits and varying special exhibits. A highway-expansion bridge carries you over the traffic, then underground, and into the original Planetarium. The center houses an Omnimax, too. Terrific!
7. City Museum (15th Street) -- nominal fee. This is a super, unique, and artistic "family playground" with art and architecture displays, interactive exhibits, and carnival-themed activities on several floors. The "Everyday Circus" performs and you''ll see cottage-industry demonstrations like glass blowing, pot throwing, and weaving. It must be experienced to be appreciated!
8. Magic House (Kirkwood Road) -- nominal fee. This science museum is for the curious, and hands-on even for toddlers, but has enough advanced scientific theories to interest adults, too. Music, light, and artistic expression are used to prove scientific principles. Worth seeing!
9. Six Flags -- (Eureka) -- not cheap, at around $35 per person, per day. Though I''m not a fan of amusement parks in general, this one has many good rides and shows, PLUS a waterpark. The place is very user-friendly and family-oriented. "Name Brands" like Britney Spears have played in the Ampitheatre (. . . and the point of mentioning that was . . . ?).
10. Hidden Valley (Wildwood) -- also not cheap . . . This is a Peak Resort-owned resort (trans: "we have a big hill, we know how to use it, and we hope it snows because we''re charging an exorbitant amount of money to people pretending they''re skiing the Rockies!"). ACTUALLY, when you live in the Midwest, this is as good as it gets for a regular ski season. It''s convenient and (always) expanding . . . and it''ll do.