24 Hours at Union Station | The Ultimate STL Staycation


Looking for the ultimate staycation in one of St. Louis’s most trademark historical landmarks? Look no further than our beloved Union Station! You’ll find something for everyone in your group of all ages— we guarantee it! From the glowing lights at night of the St. Louis Wheel to the warmth of the fire show on the lake and the vibrant colors of the aquarium, you’ll make lasting memories and the kids will be asking when you can do it again! Here are the highlights from our recent staycation and our suggested itinerary.

When we arrived, we checked into our King Deluxe Junior Suite at the Hilton Union Station Hotel. Our room had a king bed and a queen fold-out sleeper sofa. We requested a rollaway portable bed for our third child, and it was brought directly to our room. We especially appreciated a large bathroom with both a tub and a shower!

What We Did

Our first night was spent enjoying the carousel and a round of mini golf (great for even your youngest golfers!) before we took in a beautiful view of the STL skyline on the Wheel at dusk. Cars are enclosed and climate-controlled in all seasons; there’s even an emergency button in each car, just in case!

We enjoyed a kid-friendly meal at the Train Shed and took advantage of a patio lakeside table, while enjoying the spectacular fire and light show (which takes place at the top of every hour on the lake).

After dinner, we made our way to the Grand Hall for the free nightly light show projected on the ceiling at the top of the hour between 5 pm and 10 pm. Mom and dad enjoyed a night cap from Grand Hall bar while enjoying the show!


Day 2

We started our second day with a hearty and kid-friendly breakfast buffet at the Station Grille! Offerings included yogurt, biscuits and gravy, bacon and sausage, scrambled eggs, french toast, home fries, and made-to-order omelets. The staff handed the kiddos cups with lids and coloring sheets as soon as we sat down, and they were happy campers! If you prefer something on the go, you can grab snacks and a Starbucks drink from the Market!

After breakfast, we tackled the ropes course (our little ones 48” and under can do the Sky Tykes course while those over 48” can do the standard course). This is a pretty mighty feat to accomplish and might incite fear in your crew if they have any fears of heights. 

We then wove our way through the dizzying Maze of Mirrors and enjoyed all the tributes to the World’s Fair along the way. Be mindful that this attraction could cause issues for those with sensory sensitivities, especially the portion at the end with some flickering lights.

Then, it was time to visit the St. Louis Aquarium, one of the crown jewels of Union Station. The hands-on exhibits are our favorite, in addition to Shark Canyon! The vast array of beautiful creatures on display is truly impressive!

After our time with the fish, we stopped for some silly selfies at Selfie Express before finishing our stay with a mouth-watering BLT and a delicious sundae at the Soda Fountain. Prefer to take your treat on the road? They have a counter where you can order scoops of ice cream to go, in addition to a candy and souvenir shop!

We let the kids run off some steam at the playground before we hit the road. There were definitely some tears from certain members of our crew who did not want to leave!

Parking Tips

If you’re staying at the hotel, it’s best to park in the lot directly west of the hotel, behind Maggie O’Brien’s, off of 18th Street.

Other Ideas 

STL City stadium is quite literally across the street from Union Station! If you have a soccer lover, why not extend your staycation and attend an STL City or City 2 Match and then spend the night at Union Station? 

Add this staycation idea to your bucket list – we guarantee your crew will love it! Tell them St. Louis Mom sent you!


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