We love a good road trip! One where we can hop in the car and be somewhere completely new, in a day. We had always heard how great St. Louis is for kids…so when The Chase Park Plaza Hotel invited us to come up for a visit, there was no way were turning down the chance for that adventure. Sean and I had traveled to St. Louis for work in the past, but never had a chance to really explore.
As soon as we arrive to town, I hopped out of the car to head to a much needed and long over due spa visit, while Sean and Tom headed to the zoo. There is an Aveda Spa on site, in the hotel, and it was amazing! I actually fell asleep during my facial, I was that relaxed. You can tell me if that’s not normal, but I was completely zonked out. Everyone was so friendly and the facial was exactly what I needed. It was the perfect way to start out our vacation. I was so relaxed and stress free the entire time we were in St. Louis.
After the spa and the boys were back from the zoo, we checked in and do what we do as soon as we get into a hotel room… we get Tom’s areas set up: books by his bed, night light plugged in, his sleep owls that he has to have, bath toys by the tub, pjs out. That way after dinner, bedtime is seamless and we don’t have to scramble when we are all tired. We also try to keep his bedtime routine as close to at home as possible, so he feels a sense of consistency and it leads to less melt downs in general when we travel. Tom did what he does when we get into out hotel room, sets up his own bed. He heads to the sofa, if there is one, and looks for the “robot bed” aka sofa bed. We had one at The Chase, so he pulled it out, looked for a pillow, took off his shoes, climbed in and got “cozy”. I feel ya kid.
“The Chase” sits across from Forest Park, which has been named one of the best city parks in the country and also home to the FREE Saint Louis Zoo and Saint Louis Art Museum. The hotel sits, like a beacon, at the foot of the park, calling you home after a day of exploring. One thing I loved about The Chase Park Plaza is that we didn’t really even have to leave the hotel, if we didn’t want to. There are several restaurants, the spa, a movie theatre, bars, the pool, a coffee shop… it’s fully complete. We headed down to dinner at The Chase Club. It was so fun and lively, with a gastro pub vibe. While we waited on our food, Sean and Tom told me about their zoo visit, while Tom colored. The food was delicious and after Tom cleared his plate, he asked for a second dinner. He loved it! We settled for splitting the Almond Joy dessert. It was light and so yummy! Tom was satisfied after that. We headed back up to our room, to get Tom settled into bed.
The next morning, Tom and I let Sean sleep in while we got out to explore the hotel. That’s something we usually do when we travel, Tom and I are the early risers, so we make the most of our mornings together. We walked around the corner from our room and found a continental breakfast. I found coffee and Tom found his favorite thing… a blueberry muffin. He was in heaven. The woman working was so kind to Tom by changing the TV to cartoons for him. She didn’t even have to ask, she just knew. After we ate, Tom and I went to the roof and watched the sun rise over the Saint Louis Arch. It was truly magical.
After Sean was up and Tom and I had explored the hotel, we decided to stay close to the hotel since it was going to be a rainy day. We heard that the Missouri Botanical Garden had a great children’s garden, so we headed there, just down the street from the hotel. I’m so glad that we went on a rainy day because the plants seemed to come even more alive. It was so clam and beautiful! Between down pours, we hung out in the Climatron. And the children’s garden really is amazing. Lots of climbing forts, boat streams, a general store, and gardens everywhere. My favorite part of the Botanical Garden was the hedge maze and the cactus house. I felt inspired walking those grounds.
Around the corner from the The Chase Park Plaza, in the Central West End, is Euclid Ave. Home to some great local restaurants and bars, boutiques and ice cream shops! We ate at Mission Tacos, a canteen style taco shop and then walked across the street to Jeni’s Ice Cream… our favorite to seek out when we travel. This Jeni’s did not disappoint. Somehow Tom ended up with two scoops and I think I saw his eyes go cross at one point because he could not believe his luck.
After a full morning, it was time for Tom to take a nap. Fast forward two hours later… when he woke up, we didn’t want to leave the comfort of our room. So we just hung out there until dinner downstairs at The Preston. Tom watched some Nick jr. while we just lounged. Sadly, it was too rainy and chilly to swim on our visit, which had been part of our plan, but staying cozy in our room was great too! We couldn’t get the movie times to work for us and our dinner plans/ Tom’s schedule, but how amazing is it that there is a movie theatre in the lobby!??! It’s only $5 on Wednesdays, so certainly a great mid-week perk in the colder or super hot months.
Time for dinner! The Preston is one of those places you want to try everything, which is good, because that’s encouraged. Everything is small plates, where you are encouraged to share and try lots of different things. We had several different dishes, not a single one better than the next. Everything was so fantastic and we didn’t the meal to end. We had clams, beef cheek, pork belly, octopus and lots of veggies. Even if you are a local, I highly suggest The Preston. And the decor alone would be enough to get me in the door.
Above, all images taken at The Chase Park Plaza Hotel.
Below, all images take at Missouri Botanical Garden and Central West End.
Waking up a second morning at The Chase, we decided to have breakfast in bed before packing up the car and heading to City Museum for the morning. If you haven’t heard of City Museum, be sure to read about it, because the images below and my description of the museum could never do it justice. It’s in an old shoe factory and it just rambles on for floor after floor, room after room, cave after cave (yes, caves!) It’s always being added on to and there are slides everywhere and a ferris wheel on the roof and a bus hanging over the edge of the building, and, and and…. You can climb through wire tunnels eight stories above the ground or go down a 10 story slide… it’s truly the best place I’ve even been to explore. No age is too old or young to explore at City Museum. It was wonderful!
Time to hit the road… we stopped in for a quick Vietnamese lunch then started the five hour drive home.
I left St. Louis a bit sad… I loved it there and wished we had about four more days to explore. It is such a wonderful city and even after three days there, I added it to my list of five cities that I could live in. I can’t wait to return!
Thanks so much to The Chase Park Plaza for our St. Louis family vacation. While they did sponsor us on our stay, all the opinions about the hotel and St. Louis are my own.