St. Louis Union Station Family Entertainment Complex
There are many things to see and do in St. Louis, Missouri. Whether it is a visit to the City Museum, exploring Forest Park or touring the Gateway Arch there are endless possibilities. St. Louis is adding something major for locals and tourists. The St. Louis Union Station is getting a major renovation and is pouring nearly $187 million to create a family entertainment complex that will soon include the St. Louis Aquarium, the St. Louis Wheel, Soda Fountain Restaurant, and Train Shed Restaurant.
Background of St. Louis Union Station
The St. Louis Union Station is a beautiful, National Landmark located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. This landmark opened to the public in 1894. The St. Louis Union Station closed in 1978 when Amtrak relocated its St. Louis station. In 1985 it reopened. In 2012 Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) purchased the station and renovated it to include guest rooms, meeting and event rooms, and the Grand Hall.
The St. Louis Union Station is a beautiful building filled with character and is the grandest of them all offering a place to stay, attractions, places to eat, drink and more.
The heart of the St. Louis Union Station is the Grand Hall which holds a bar, seating area and more. Our favorite highlight is the light show they project on the ceiling of the Grand Hall every hour on the hour from 5 to 11 p.m. every night. It is a beautiful experience and captivated my children each time it showed.
If you miss the light show in the Grand Hall, no worries! You can catch the Fire and Light show in the main common area, next to the pool every hour. Swim for a while, then grab a chair to watch the show that includes music and train sounds.
An added bonus if you love The Polar Express. Plan a trip to visit during the holiday season. Every year the St. Louis Union Station offers a special train ride to the North Pole and dinner, desserts and special light show in the Grand Hall. We had the opportunity to see the special holiday light show and it was magical. We cannot wait to come back and experience the entire thing!
The St. Louis Aquarium is the centerpiece of the Union Station’s family entertainment complex. The future St. Louis Aquarium is scheduled to open in winter 2019 and will be 120,000 square feet and two stories tall.
The St. Louis Aquarium will hold more than 13,000 fresh water and salt aquatic animals including more than 60 sharks and rays.
This aquarium will not be your typical aquarium. Their goal is to bring down the glass and allow guests to get up close and personal with the animals. While visiting the St. Louis Aquarium there will be guest experience ambassadors regularly walking around with animals allowing guests to experience a whole immersion aspect.
The St. Louis Aquarium staff work closely with the St. Louis Union Station and are creating hotel rooms that overlook the aquarium. The perfect guest experience!
The staff is also working to make sure that everyone of all abilities is able to visit and enjoy the St. Louis Aquarium. There will be nursing rooms, quiet rooms and the staff is receiving training through Culture City organization in sensory process issues.
The entire experience of the St. Louis Aquarium is tied into the St. Louis Union Station by providing a 3-D virtual reality train. This experience will allow guests to learn about the fish that inhabit the rivers of America and explore other rivers around the Globe.
We were able to get a sneak peek of what is to come and we cannot wait to go back and explore the finished St. Louis Aquarium.
You will be able to dive deep and explore at the St. Louis Aquarium, but take a look at St. Louis from an entirely new angle on top of the 200-foot St. Louis Wheel.
The St. Louis Wheel will consist of 42 climate controlled gondolas which allows you to experience the wheel all year round. Each gondola will be able to hold up to 8 people and will take approximately 12 to 15 minutes to ride. When you reach the top guests will be able to view nearly 20 miles.
There will be much more offered besides the St. Louis Wheel including a 36-foot whimsical carousel, 18-hole mini golf course, playground in the area for kids to run and play, and much more.
Soda Fountain Restaurant
To add to the continued family entertainment at the St. Louis Station, you can grab classic shakes, sundaes, tuna melts, BLT and other classics at the Soda Fountain Restaurant.
The Train Shed Restaurant is another fun opportunity to dine in the new St. Louis Union Station family entertainment complex. The Train Shed Restaurant offers 25 crafted cocktails, contemporary cuisine, 25 rotating taps, and more.
Beginning in late 2019 the St. Louis Union Station will be a family experience. Book your stay and plan to stay for days as you explore all of what the new St. Louis Union Station family entertainment complex has to offer.
Prices and packages have not been announced yet, but there will be several options available to save money and enjoy the entire experience.