Where to find great playgrounds in St. Louis
June 19, 2009 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Help us find great playgrounds in southwest St. Louis for kids needing a place to unwind during vacation.

We're going to St. Louis for a vacation this summer, and although I lived there as a kid, that was so long ago that I don't remember where the good playgrounds are, and I'm sure they've changed a lot since then anyway. We have our main activities planned, but we want some good ideas for playgrounds where the kids can go and finish wearing themselves out at the end of the day. :)

The kids are part monkey, so lots of climbing stuff and zip lines and such would be excellent.

We'll be staying near I-44 and I-270, so playgrounds easily accessible from that vicinity would be best, although we don't mind at all driving a ways if there's something worth driving for. We'll be here and there all over the city anyway.

Also, on the off chance that someone will remember this, as a small kid I remember playing on a playground that had large (to a kid) spaceship playground equipment to climb around on, with sand underneath. I realize that's not much detail, but if by some chance it still exists, I'd love to visit that park. Even if the old playground equipment's gone, which I assume it is, I'm curious if anyone knows what playground that was.

Thanks in advance!
posted by greenmagnet to Travel & Transportation around St. Louis, MO (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's the spaceship (you can see it pretty good from the streetview). It's Deer Creek Park.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:08 PM on June 19, 2009

Powder Valley Nature Center has a giant indoor treehouse, 3 short walking trails, and lots of other stuff for kids to do. They just remodeled their exhibits a couple of years ago. It's a great place to take kids and it's air-conditioned. It's free.

The Missouri Botanical Gardens has a children's playground now - with cool slides, bridges, fountains, wild-west themed stuff to climb on (like a covered wagon and a jail) and other stuff. It is an additional small admission charge for the kiddoes.

The park with the rocket ship is in Maplewood. I believe that they've updated the playground equipment but there is still a rocket there.

You should definitely go visit the City Museum with your kids, too.
posted by Ostara at 9:37 PM on June 19, 2009

Oh, and Suson Park might be fun for the kids, too. There's a playground but they also have a farm with cows, horses, pigs, chickens, etc.
posted by Ostara at 9:41 PM on June 19, 2009

Laumeier Sculpture Park. Here's a map.
posted by miss patrish at 11:12 PM on June 19, 2009

Here's where Powder Valley Nature Center is.
posted by miss patrish at 11:25 PM on June 19, 2009

Here's the City Museum website and a map. Be aware that I-64/40 is closed down from Hanley east to Kingshighway, so you will want use I-44 going east before heading north if you want to go to the City museum, the Arch or anything else downtown; not hard; just be aware. The City Museum is more fun than pigs on ice, so if you can manage it, do!
posted by miss patrish at 11:37 PM on June 19, 2009

The Magic House is generally popular, and it's close to 44/270 (you may need to zoom out a smidge to see that).
posted by miss patrish at 11:41 PM on June 19, 2009

Kirkwood Park is also very near that interchange; it's just a regular park. Here's the blurb on it from the city site:

Kirkwood Park is located at the intersection of Adams and Geyer Road. The most heavily used of all Kirkwood's parks, Kirkwood Park features an outdoor amphitheater, 19 picnic sites, 2 pavilions, 5 softball fields, 10 tennis courts, 2 handball courts, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard courts, a playground, and a spray fountain. Walker Lake provides fishing year-round including participation in the Missouri Department of Conservation trout program over the winter. Annual events held in the park include the Freedom Fiesta in July, the Greentree Festival in September, and summer concerts. The Kirkwood Community Center, Robert G. Reim Theater and the Recreation Station Aquatic Center and Ice Arena are all located in the southeast corner of the park.

Lots of "regular park stuff" to do there.
posted by miss patrish at 11:54 PM on June 19, 2009

When I was growing up, Queeny Park was my favorite playground. It's got tons of interconnected forts, tunnels, and slides over a rather large area—and it's only about 10 minutes away from where you'll be. Here's a Google Map with directions (click the Directions link on the left sidebar and they'll pop up on the map).
posted by limeonaire at 5:01 AM on June 20, 2009

Bohrer Park used to have a spaceship playground 15 years ago. NO idea if it's still there. It's a small, quiet park, so you may want to check out some of the other ones first.

I also thought of Powder Valley as a great place to take the kids - let them burn off some steam by running around in the woods.

And really, do check out the City Museum. It's the ULTIMATE playground for these kids - it's like a 4 story playground.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:06 AM on June 20, 2009

Great answers from everyone; thanks! I marked as best the ones that most fit what we're looking for, but I love the other suggestions as well and we'll just see what we can get to.

We already had planned for the Magic House and the City Museum, so all you City Museum advocates can stop worrying. :)
posted by greenmagnet at 10:41 AM on June 20, 2009

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