Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our St. Louis Trip

We recently took a mini-vacation to St. Louis, MO. In light of the previous post about being cheap, I thought I would share how we did this on a budget. My mom and grandma were going to visit family in Dallas, TX. Their flight was out of St. Louis, so they needed a ride there. So, the gas was paid by them. When we got there, we were planning on going to the zoo. We had packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and capri sun drinks and ate a quick (cheap) lunch in the van just outside the zoo.

We knew ahead of time that parking was going to be $11 and were prepared to pay it. We found out, though, that if you are willing to walk a couple of blocks, you can park for free. Want to try to guess what we did? :) Here we are a couple of blocks from the zoo....ready to go!

We found a cheap hotel that was still nice enough that I felt comfortable staying in it for that night. I made sure the hotel had an indoor pool so we could swim for--you guessed it--free! A few weeks ago, my husband and I had become fans of TGIFridays on Facebook, and in return we each received a free hamburger/fries. So, that night, we went there to eat and only had to buy food for the kids. We all 5 ate for under $15. Doesn't get much better than that!

The next day, we went shopping at the St. Louis Mills mall. It was huge. Granted, the kids don't like to shop a whole lot, but they loved looking in the toy shops. They even got to sit at Old Navy and color Halloween pictures while Mommy shopped. We found a great play area in the center of the mall, too, and the kids had a lot of fun playing there.

After that, we went to the St. Louis Science Center. It is free to get in there too, but parking is $8. Leave it to us, though, to find a way to avoid that cost. We found on the street parking just about 2 blocks away and parked for free. While the kids weren't old enough to understand all that they were doing, they had fun playing! Here are all 3 of them trying to figure out a game:

And here is Wyatt just moments before he pushed "Start" and had his arm squeezed. He then proceeded to panic thinking he was going to have to leave his arm behind in the machine!

And, finally, the only thing we didn't have time to do was to visit the arch. Not to worry, though. They made their own arch with some help from Mom and Dad!
It was such a weekend of fun and "freeness" (I just made up that word). We really had a great time, though, and look forward to going back to St. Louis. There is a lot to do for free there! It makes for a great weekend getaway.


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

When we have to work for things, it just makes everything better and more appreciated. Thanks for sharing your successful "mini-vacation on a budget" with us.

T said...

Looks like the kiddos had a blast! and you are an inspiration to me in the cheap department!

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