• St. Louis Art Museum: Located in Forest Park, home of the 1904 World’s Fair (“Meet Me in St. Louis”), this free art museum outshines many other city museums that charge admission. Set in a spectacular historic building, itself an immaculate work of marble and gilt, where you’ll find everything from the great European masters to relics of the Ming Dynasty. Check out family Sundays, with free hands-on activities for kids. And don’t miss the statue of St. Louis out front. Here, you can park and grab a free shuttle to other attractions in the park. Details: 1 Fine Arts Dr.; 314-721-0072; www.slam.org.
• Missouri History Museum: Also in Forest Park, this free museum includes an exhibit devoted to that famous World’s Fair, as well as prehistoric displays, the mountain man days, the historic Dred Scott decision, the history of the blues and some of its musicians, famous sports figures (such as Stan Musial) and much more. Always free, it’s also a good place to have a gourmet lunch (hardly free, but delicious). Details: 314-746-4599; www.mohistory.org.
• Saint Louis Science Center: You’ll likely come to a dead stop when you enter this popular, free Forest Park attraction. A three-story metal maze of tracks has moving parts that will fascinate young and old alike. Lots of interactive stuff goes on — kids digging for fossils, playing with microscopes and checking out the Boeing Space Station at the McDonnell Planetarium. Big kids welcome, too. Details: 5050 Oakland Ave.; 800-456-SLSC or 314-289-4400; www.slsc.org.
• Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis: If you never set foot in another church, make time to stop and see this one. It is beyond spectacular, rivaling any of the great old churches of Europe. Every inch of its 83,000- square-foot interior is covered with glass mosaics; the installation lasted from 1912 to 1988. It shines, glimmers, glows with 41 million pieces of tesserae in 8,000 colors, lovely beyond words. See for yourself. Details: 4431 Lindell Blvd.; 314-373-8200; www.cathedralstl.org.
Linda DuVal is a freelance writer in Colorado Springs.