St. Louis Union Station Family Entertainment Complex

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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. Over the past few years, the St. Louis Union Station has received a huge upgrade! Nearly $187 million was spent to create a family entertainment complex. The complex includes the St. Louis Aquarium, the St. Louis Wheel, Soda Fountain Restaurant, Train Shed Restaurant, and more. You can easily book a stay and spend an entire weekend (or more) at the St. Louis Union Station. This is a place for adventurers of all ages! 

Background of the Historic Union Station 

The St. Louis Union Station is a beautiful, National Historic Landmark located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. It has a rich history dating back to its opening in 1894. Originally built as a majestic gateway to the city, it served as a bustling transportation hub for over 50 years. The station featured a grand Midway, a shopping arcade, and a hotel.

Back in the day, St. Louis Union Station witnessed the arrival and departure of countless trains, connecting passengers to destinations across the country. However, with the decline of rail travel in the mid-20th century, the station faced challenges and eventually closed its doors as a working train station in 1978. In the years that followed, the historic building underwent a transformation, becoming a mixed-use development that includes a hotel, restaurants, entertainment venues, and the St. Louis Aquarium. Today, St. Louis Union Station stands as a vibrant landmark, blending its storied past with modern amenities, and attracting visitors from all over. 

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. 

St. Louis Union Station Hotel

If you love historic hotels, this is a must! The St. Louis Union Station Hotel is a historic and luxurious accommodation located within the iconic Union Station complex. Housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century train terminal, the hotel seamlessly blends modern amenities with the building’s original architectural features. The hotel is a part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. 

The hotel offers a range of guest rooms and suites, each exuding elegance and comfort. The rooms are tastefully decorated, featuring plush bedding, modern furnishings, wonderful customer service, and upscale amenities. Some rooms even provide views of the stunning Grand Hall or the St. Louis Aquarium. 

Beyond its stylish accommodations, the St. Louis Union Station Hotel offers an array of amenities for hotel guests to enjoy. These include a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, and a business center. The hotel also offers a variety of dining options, from casual to fine dining, serving delicious cuisine in atmospheric settings.

As a part of the Union Station complex, guests have easy access to the St. Louis Wheel, the St. Louis Aquarium, and other entertainment and dining venues. With its rich history and luxurious offerings, the St. Louis Union Station Hotel provides a truly memorable experience for visitors to St. Louis. For the best available rate book your stay here

The Grand Hall

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 hour from 5 to 11 p.m. every night. It is a beautiful experience and captivated my children each time it showed. If you visit during the Holiday season families will enjoy a Santa show. It hosts various events and functions, offering a memorable backdrop for weddings, galas, and other special occasions. The Grand Hall’s timeless beauty and unique ambiance make it a must-visit destination for those exploring St. Louis Union Station.

Fire and Light Show

Catch another mesmerizing show at the St. Louis Union Station every day at the lake from Noon to 9 p.m. at the top of the hour. The fire and light show is a captivating and thrilling spectacle that ignites the senses. This dynamic performance combines the power of fire, dazzling pyrotechnics, and mesmerizing light effects. As the sun sets, the outdoor area of Union Station transforms into a stage where flames dance and illuminate the night sky. The fire and light create a dramatic and awe-inspiring experience that mesmerizes everyone. With its pulsating music, breathtaking fire displays, and stunning visual effects, the Fire and Light Show is a treat for all. Sit down in one of the several lounge chairs and take in the beautiful show. 

The Fire and Light Show at St. Louis Union Station family entertainment complex in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Polar Express

If you have a young one, the St. Louis Union Station Polar Express experience is one of the best! 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 a special light show in the Grand Hall. 

St. Louis Aquarium 

The St. Louis Aquarium is a vibrant and captivating aquatic attraction that offers an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Spanning 120,000 square feet, the aquarium showcases a diverse range of marine life from around the world.

With over 13,000 animals and 60 exhibits, guests can marvel at mesmerizing displays of colorful fish, graceful stingrays, playful otters, and majestic sharks. The aquarium features state-of-the-art technology and innovative exhibits that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the underwater world including Shark Canyon.

In addition to its awe-inspiring displays, the St. Louis Aquarium offers interactive experiences such as touch tanks, where visitors can feel the unique textures of marine animals, and educational presentations by knowledgeable staff members. The facility also hosts various special events, including sleepovers, behind-the-scenes tours, and educational programs for schools and groups. There are nursing rooms and quiet rooms, and the staff has received 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. With its commitment to conservation and education, the St. Louis Aquarium provides a memorable and enlightening journey into the wonders of the aquatic realm.

St. Louis Wheel

You can 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. This iconic attraction offers panoramic views of the city’s skyline and the surrounding area. The wheel features 42 fully enclosed and climate-controlled gondolas, providing a comfortable experience for visitors throughout the year.

Each gondola of the St. Louis Wheel can accommodate up to eight people, making it an ideal activity for the whole family, friends, and couples. As the wheel ascends, passengers are treated to breathtaking vistas, including the Gateway Arch, the Mississippi River, and the cityscape. Each ride is approximately a 15-minute ride.

In addition to its scenic rides, the St. Louis Wheel offers special experiences such as VIP gondolas with glass floors and unique packages for celebrations or romantic occasions. The attraction is part of Union Station’s entertainment complex, providing visitors with a memorable and elevated perspective of the city.

Family-Friendly Activities

There are so much more fun things to do while you visit which include a 36-foot whimsical carousel, an 18-hole mini golf course, a mirror maze, an indoor ropes course (Sky Tykes) that will take you to new heights, a playground in the area for kids to run and play, and much more. 

The Station Grille

If you are looking for a spot to fuel up for the day head to The Station Grille located within the St. Louis Union Station hotel. They have an amazing breakfast buffet filled with many options that cater to different appetites. 

Soda Fountain Restaurant

The Soda Fountain Restaurant is a nostalgic eatery that takes visitors back in time with its vintage ambiance and classic American fare. Located in the historic Union Station area, the restaurant offers a menu featuring timeless favorites like burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, and, of course, soda fountain treats. Guests can enjoy their meals in a charming setting reminiscent of the old-fashioned soda shops of the past, making it a delightful dining experience for both locals and tourists alike.

Train Shed 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. 

The Pitch Athletic Club & Tavern

The Pitch is located just caddy corner of CITYPARK stadium. The perfect place for soccer fans to unite to cheer on the St. Louis City SC. They serve amazing food and drinks such as toasted ravioli, a jumbo Bavarian pretzel, and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the check-in time at the hotel?

4 p.m.

How far away is the St. Louis Union Station from the St. Louis International Airport?

Approximately 12 miles

How far away is the complex from Busch Stadium?

Approximately 0.7 miles

How far away is the complex from the Saint Louis Zoo?

Approximately 6 miles or 10 minutes


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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