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Gateway Arch offers day of free activities catered to kids


On Saturday, May 18, Gateway Arch National Park invites the public to discover St. Louis’ urban national park with an array of free activities focused on nature, including an appearance by PBS KIDS’ Nature Cat, a star show at the Challenger Learning Center’s portable planetarium and the park’s recurring “Gateway to the Stars” program. More information is available at gatewayarch.com.

KIDS TO PARKS DAY: 12-4 p.m.

Head to the mezzanine inside the Gateway Arch Visitor Center for these special daytime activities:

  • Participate in the Night Skies Junior Ranger program. Complete a Junior Ranger booklet and earn a unique Night Skies patch.
  • Explore the constellations with the flight crew from the Challenger Learning Center! The center’s portable planetarium will be set up in the Arch Visitor Center and host a star show that will allow visitors to see the universe like never before.
  • Meet PBS KIDS’ Nature Cat and take photos.
  • Take selfies in the star-studded photo booth.

GATEWAY TO THE STARS: GHOSTS OF THE ARCH GROUNDS: 8-10 p.m.

At 8 p.m., meet at the west entrance of the Gateway Arch for “Ghosts of the Arch Grounds,” a ranger-led twilight talk. Long before the Gateway Arch was built, the area served as the core of St. Louis, evolving from a French-style fur trading post to a warehouse district, to the present-day national park site. Learn about the events, personalities and tragedies involved in the development of a great city.

Weather permitting, this talk will be followed by free telescope viewing on the West Entrance Plaza from 8:30 to 10 p.m., led by volunteers from the St. Louis Astronomical Society. The nearly full moon and other objects will be seen. The ranger talk will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain, while the telescope viewing will need at least partly clear skies. Call 314-655-1708 the afternoon of May 18 for an update on the weather status.

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