Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel.While many attractions may not be open right now, we encourage educators and tour planners to gather ideas and formulate itineraries for the future.

With a new world class aquarium, a 200-foot high “Observation Wheel” (also known as the St. Louis Wheel) and an indoor ropes course, St. Louis Union Station just made planning tours for students much easier.

The trio — along with a new carousel, Mirror Maze and miniature golf course — appeal even to the hard-to-please teen traveler.

Union Station is the perfect venue for student groups, with the youth-oriented Soda Fountain Restaurant serving up burgers, fries, onion rings and the iconic “freak shakes.”

Students have the freedom to choose their own adventure without leaving the Union Station grounds, which also includes a 567 room hotel.

St. Louis Wheel
Credit: St. Louis Union Station

“We have the most Instagramable moments here in St. Louis right now with all the fun stuff we’ve got going on,” said Cameron Schoeffel, director of sales and entertainment. “All are within the confines of the historic old station, once the busiest train station in the country, and the massive train yard so no additional transportation is needed.

“It’s really a one-stop shop,” Schoeffel said. “We’ve got a great, very competitive group pricing structure for tour groups. The beauty is we’ve got options. Groups can pick only attractions they are interested in.”

Nearby are Forest Park with the St. Louis Zoo, Science Center, Art Museum and Missouri Historical Society — all with free general admission.

The St. Louis Aquarium opened on Christmas Day 2019 to rave reviews. With 44 exhibits — many interactive — and 13,000 animals from around the world, students can spend hours exploring.

Currently, the station is working to roll out programming and special packaging for students for future travel. Free bus parking is available at a designated area on an adjacent street. Discounts apply for student groups of 10 or more. 

For more information call 314-802-3165 or go to stlouisunionstation.com.