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Must-see places in St. Louis, MO, and Springfield, IL.

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We'll be traveling through St. Louis, MO, and Springfield, IL, and I'd love to know what we should be sure to see. We'll have about 5 hours for sightseeing in each city. Everything in their visitor's bureau listings sounds great, so we have to make choices. Obviously, the arch in St. Louis, but what else is a must-see with our limited time and an active preschooler?

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Springfield - Lincoln's Home, his law offices, the old courthouse, his tomb - and the odd Mortuary Museum near the cemetery - the "new" statehouse is pretty old and cool, too, if time permits.


I have not been to the new museum built about Lincoln, but I'd prioritize the actual sites before a new museum. His home is a no brainer - of COURSE you will do that first!!!:D


If you had more time I'd say do the new museum and New Salem historic site.


oh, found a link to the creepy place: http://www.funeralmuseum.org/index-2.html it has a virtual tour, too.


Depending on your route, Arcola is north of Springfield and has lots of Amish folks - Rockome Gardens is a great place to stop - small Amishish amusement part (the only ride is a buggy ride) with a good family restaurant http://www.rockome.com/

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I LOVE St. Louis' zoo! It is free and big. You could spend a whole day there, so not sure if you would want to try it on limited time.


The science museum is nice too. I'm trying to think of the full name . . . It is connected to the planetarium. It is also free to get in, but there are exhibits you need to pay for, but a lot to do without going to those. There is a cool hands on room, though, that would be fun for a preschooler. It isn't free, but worth it. It is a room where you get to touch and play with everything. They even had amazon cock roaches when we went several years ago! It is neat, because you sign up for a time, and only so many kids are allowed in the room at one time. So, it isn't overcrowded and you don't feel "rushed" in there. I think you get an hour in the room.


Union station is also neat. This is filled with shops and restuarants, but a good place for a preschooler to run around.


You can spend a lot of time just at the arch. And, depending on what day you go, it may be the only thing you get to. I would definitely choose this as a must see. There is a museum and imax theatre at the foot (or should I say under) the arch, and a bookstore you can peruse. Going up in the arch and feelin it "sway" is a treat! Also, since it is on the Mississippi river, going to see the arch could be coupled with a riverboat ride, and then you could eat on the riverboat Mc Donald's if it is still there. Running around outside the arch is always nice too! :)


I grew up in the St. Louis area, but have not been sightseeing there for 4 years now, so much could have changed. HTH!

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The STL Children's Aquarium is cool and hands-on. We were there in '02 and someone on this board mentioned that it had moved to the same building as the science center. I think this is different still but you might research once you are there. The place we went was in the vicinity of the science museum but definitely in an industrial park. The place we went to really rocked ... I blogged about it here.


Also, kind of on the way ... out of the way ... is Hannibal, MO. The birthplace of Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain. His museum and cahttp://www.marktwaincave.com/ve/camp would be fun to see.

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I'm in Springfield!


The Lincoln Museum is a MUST. Absolute must.


In the downtown area are the Lincoln-Herndon Law offices, and in the same block is Prairie Archives, a FABULOUS used book store. They have literally everything, along with a happy old dog who will greet you at the door.


There's the State capitol and the Old State Capitol. The OSC is across the mall from the law office and the book store, just a few blocks from the museum. Also, in the next block is the restored train station.


There's also Lincoln's home, which still sits where it did originally.


There's Oak Ridge Cemetary, with Lincoln's tomb and right at the entrance to the cemetary is the Funeral Customs museum. That's fun, in a creepy sort of way.


You can't miss the Dana-Thomas House. It's a Frank Lloyd Wright house and everyone must see it at least once.


If you want to drive about half an hour, there's New Salem, which is a replica of Lincoln's village. You'll find people in period clothes doing period things (candle making, weaving, spinning, etc.)


For a picnic, you can't miss out on Washington Park. It has a wonderful playground for kids, that was revamped about 2 years ago. There are some trails from the playground down to the pond, where ducks and geese hang out. There's the Carillon, the rose gardens and bike paths. There are also tennis courts, as well.


Let me know if you need any additional info.

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