Always a St. Louis favorite, Grant’s Farm offers families lessons in history and views of exotic wildlife all in one place. If you’re looking for more than what you can see on the paved path, consider booking one of several tours they offer. The Clydesdale Experience tour takes you behind the scenes and up close with these beautiful giants. Your tour guide will give you insight on what it takes to make it as a famous Budweiser Clydesdale, such as the day-to-day care and training the Clydesdales receive. Don’t forget a camera, as a photo opp is part of the tour. The Clydesdale Experience tour is $25 per person and requires advance reservations.
Turn your Grant’s Farm visit into a mini-adventure with the Private Expedition tour. Guests of this tour will take an open air ride through Deer Park for a close encounter while feeding the animals and fish in the area. A visit to the Clydesdale stables and a tour of Grant’s cabin are also included. This tour is limited to 12 or fewer guests and costs $215 per group. Grant’s Farm is located at 10501 Gravois Rd., St. Louis, MO. To book either of the above tours, visit the Grant’s Farm website at www.grantsfarm.com.
Saint Louis Zoo
You can visit the Saint Louis Zoo and never be bored, especially with their ever-evolving exhibits. However, if you’ve ever wanted to get a closer look at your favorite animal or wondered what it might be like to feed or train them, there is likely a tour just for you. The zoo offers 15 different animal-related tours, each offering a unique experience. All tours are walking tours and must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. Fees for these tours range from $25-60 and are suggested for those ages 8 years and up. For more information on booking a tour, visit the Saint Louis Zoo website.
A behind-the-scenes look at the home of the St. Louis Cardinals is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Guests will get a view of the field from the Radio Broadcast booth, visit the Champions Club where the team’s 11 World Series trophies are displayed, and get a sneak peak at the exclusive Cardinal Club. You’ll get a major league view of the park from your seat in the Cardinal dugout which also serves as a perfect backdrop to snap a few family photos. Tours are suitable for all ages and offered daily (excluding holidays). Adult fee for a Busch Stadium tour is $18, children 15 and under are $14, 3 and under are free. Tour tickets also include admission to the Cardinals’ museum.
Bissinger’s Chocolate has a rich history in St. Louis and they love to talk about it! The factory, located off North Broadway in downtown St. Louis, offers free tours Mondays–Thursdays, by reservation only. Tours begin with a short video chronicling the 350-year history of the company. Guests will then be taken down to the manufacturing floor to see how these treats are made, learn where the chocolate is grown and hear how the chocolate industry has changed since this company’s noble beginnings. To book a tour, contact [email protected] and include your name and the size of your party.
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Company also offers tours of its factory, which is located at 5025 Pattison Ave., St. Louis, MO. During this 20-minute tour, visitors are invited to “see, smell and taste” the chocolates and candies made by hand as you watch. Tours are offered six days a week every half hour from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. (Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.). Factory tours are free; reservations are encouraged.
Billy Goat Chip Company
Billy Goat Chip Company, located at 3136 Watson Rd., St. Louis, MO, is a St. Louis-based company that focuses on putting handmade, gourmet, quality snacks on store shelves. The company is proud of its product and enjoys sharing the history and process of turning a potato into a chip with the public. To book your free 30-minute tour, call 314-353-4628 or e-mail [email protected].
Your kids will dig this insider’s look at how food is grown. EarthDance Farms is an organic farm and school located in Ferguson. The farm trains apprentices on all facets of sustainable farming, from greenhouse to market. Visitors to the farm can discover the history of the farm, hear about its school and community outreach and explore and taste during the walking tour of the 14-acre urban farm. EarthDance offers a free, family-friendly tour Saturdays at 11 a.m. A private tour can also be arranged for $10 per person. Reservations are required for both the public or private tour and can be arranged by contacting Nick Speed at [email protected] or by calling 314-521-1006.
You’d be surprised how much you can learn with a visit to Herbaria Soap, an all-natural soap manufacturer located in the St. Louis neighborhood, The Hill. Visitors to the shop are invited to take a casual, free backstage tour of the store to see how the soaps are mixed, poured, cut and wrapped. Discover what it means to really be fragrance free, learn the role chemistry plays in making the perfect bar of soap, get nosy about botanicals and uncover a little soapy history during this quick tour. Drop-ins are welcome for small groups or families, but groups of 15 or more should call ahead to book.
Did you know that St. Louis is home to some curiously awesome YouTube stars? Vat19 is an online retail company based in Maryland Heights that specializes in “curiously awesome” gifts. Each product is advertised on its YouTube channel with commercials created, starred in and recorded by the staff of Vat19. Teens, pre-teens and their families will enjoy the low-key visit to the studio. Tours are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with a reservation. Tours last about 30–45 minutes and include a visit to the warehouse, studio and possibly a sighting of a familiar face or two.
Melissa Nordmann currently resides in St. Charles County. She enjoys attending her sons' baseball games and hiking with her family in many of the area's fabulous parks.
Best Bets articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues.