When you’re looking for great entertainment or fun adventures, your budget shouldn’t have to hold you back. If you’re in Missouri, there are plenty of options that won’t cost you a dime. With those, you can have an exceptional day out and about without having to worry about what you’re spending. Talk about stress-free! If you’re looking for free things to do in Missouri, here are some of the places you should check out.
Saint Louis Zoo – St. Louis
The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the very few free zoos in the United States. And what they may have you worrying about the quality, you shouldn’t. This world-renowned zoo is home to over 500 species, so there are plenty of animals to check out. Plus, the grounds are spectacular, rivaling many other zoos from all across the country.
Now, there are fees for some special exhibits. However, there is still plenty to enjoy even if you don’t venture there. The main animal attractions are always free of charge. Additionally, you can come back as often as you like, all without spending anything on general admission.
You will need to make an advanced reservation before your trip to the zoo, as attendance each day is limited. However, you can do that quickly online, and you can make reservations for your entire party all at once.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – Kansas City
If you enjoy fine art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a must-see attraction. Admission is completely free (though they do accept donations), and you can spend as much time as you’d like perusing the exhibits. There are exhibits showcasing art from several time periods and from all around the globe. Overall, it is a pretty sizable collection to explore.
Along with paintings, you’ll find decorative arts and a sculpture garden. There is also a section dedicated to photography, creating a well-rounded art experience overall.
For added convenience, you can also purchase a meal at the museum café. The food is delectable, and the pricing is reasonable, making it a great option for a quick bite during your visit.
Table Rock Lake – Branson
About a 20-minute drive from Branson, Table Rock Lake has around 800 miles of magnificent coastline, giving you lovely places for some waterside fun in the sun. This lake is a popular destination for both swimming and boating, and you can even rent a seaworthy vessel (for a fee) from the local marina. Plus, there’s plenty more to do.
If you want to take a tour of the Table Rock Dam, you can do that free of charge. Plus, the Dewey Short Visitor Center is filled with fun exhibits, all of which you can enjoy without having to pay for entry. You can even check out a fish hatchery for absolutely nothing out of pocket, and even the parking is free.
There are plenty of trails through the grounds too. If you’re looking for a nice hike or want a spot for a picnic, the lake is pretty hard to beat.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis – St. Louis
If you appreciate outstanding architecture and art, a tour of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis – which was nicknames the “Rome of the West” – could be a perfect option. You can marvel at the lofty vaults and colorful mosaics, the scale of which often takes visitors’ breath away.
During the tour, you can learn about the historic site, as well as the symbolism of many of its main elements. You’ll be guided through all of the main public areas, allowing you to fully appreciate what you’re viewing.
If you so choose, you can also schedule to attend one of the masses at the cathedral or even request a private mass or time for a communal prayer. However, none of that is required.
Liberty Memorial – Kansas City
Honoring those who fought in World War I, the Liberty Memorial is a sight to behold. There’s a central tower that’s both elegant and moving, and it stands out against the relatively simple surrounding landscape. Beyond the memorial, you can also see the amazing Kansas City skyline, adding a bit more to the equation.
Exploring the area around the memorial is completely free. If you decide that you’d also like to check out the World War I Museum at the site or head inside the memorial, that does come with a cost. However, none of that is technically required.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park – Columbia
Another great option for spending some time outdoors, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is brimming with amazing hiking trails and fun natural attractions that are just waiting to be explored. While there, you can check out a cave system that includes a rock bridge, spring, underground stream, and much more.
Throughout the park, there are several lovely picnic areas, so there are plenty of great spots for a packed lunch. If you want to take a hike afterward, there are several marked trails of varying lengths, allowing you to select one that’s right for you.
Are there any other free things to do in Missouri that visitors or locals shouldn’t miss? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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