Saint Louis Art Museum - Awesome Adult Art With Free Admission

4.7 stars

Saint Louis Art Museum Takeaway. Great for adults, not so great for kids. Free admission, another St. Louis gem. I love the contemporary art wing. Older stuff is hit-and-miss. Got "yelled" at three times with kids in one hour. Planned kid activities on Sunday afternoons. Main exhibitions are free on Friday. Very helpful staff. Can't bring any food or drink. They check backpacks. Coat check for when it's cold outside. Sculpture garden is a dud. Parking in lots or a short distance away. Paid parking for $15 if you're really fancy. Free wi-fi. Cafe in the basement. On-premises restaurant called Panorama.

Table Of Contents: Overview | Exhibits | Details & Info

Saint Louis Art Museum front


  • 1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • (314) 721-0072
  • Website
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Tuesday10 AM–5 PM
Wednesday10 AM–5 PM
Thursday10 AM–5 PM
Friday10 AM–9 PM
Saturday10 AM–5 PM
Sunday10 AM–5 PM


Saint Louis Art Museum Summary

Took the two kids to the St. Louis Art Museum during New Year's break, and it was probably one of my favorite places as an adult to go in the city.

This visit marked our first time in the building after having gone past it hundreds of times to the zoo.

Saint Louis Art Museum signage

The contemporary art gallery in particular, contained hours worth of top-notch art. They also had Ellsworth Kelly, who I had not heard of previously but became an instant fan, on display during our visit.

While I enjoyed the heck out of it, I can't say the same for my kids. This museum may have been the most kid-unfriendly place I've been. We barely made it forty-five minutes in the museum, including a twenty-minute snack break at the cafe with smuggled snacks.

Saint Louis Art Museum contemporary entrance

The security-obsesses about not allowing any food or drink into the building, which I understand conceptually, but is super shitty in practice. I hid the granola bars in an outside pocket behind hats and mittens, but he still caught the water bottle and was going to make me put it back in the car but took pity on me because I had the kids.

So, as soon as we got through the door, that was "yelling" number one.

Saint Louis Art Museum fish

It was basically then I realized I would have to come back by myself to actually enjoy the museum, which I did a week or so later.

I spent four hours working in front of the Ellsworth Kelly display but had to return to my car to eat lunch because of the no food-in-packback rule.

Saint Louis Art Museum Ellsworth Kelly

I will make it a regular workplace as the Wi-Fi is free, and the creative backdrop is amazing.

I checked out the Grace Taylor Broughton sculpture garden, which was a dud in my opinion, particularly compared to the awesomeness of the Laumeier Sculpture Park not too far away.

Overall, the Saint Louis Art Museum is one of my favorite places in St. Louis thus far to visit as an adult, but I won't be bringing the kids back anytime soon.

Saint Louis Art Museum Main Hall

Saint Louis Art Museum Things To Do

Let's get the rant out of the way on the kid stuff:

This kind of art does not speak to kids.

Saint Louis Art Museum cafe

That said, my friends told me the Sunday afternoon crafts for kids from 1 pm - 4 pm are kid-friendly; just don't bring food or drink, apparently.


They had Ellsworth Kelly on a special exhibit when we visited. It's truly awesome artwork, in my opinion, with simple shapes and colors that use their interplay to create shadow and feeling.

I think of art like wine or beer; if you like it, you like it.

Saint Louis Art Museum selfie

They also had another exhibit that cost $12 for adults or $10 for kids. We skipped that, although my rich friends, who just got a piano and didn't let me help get it, went the next day and said it was fun but that it should have more precautions to stop kids from getting too close.

You can get in free on Fridays as part of community art outreach, so that'll be on a future Friday.

The contemporary gallery was my favorite. Here are some of the best things I saw.

Saint Louis Art Museum Blue Yellow Saint Louis Art Museum Modrian Saint Louis Art Museum ellsworth kelly greyscale Saint Louis Art Museum mirrors Saint Louis Art Museum Side Rainbows

I didn't make it to the sculpture park in the back with the kids, so it was the first place I went back to when I came back to work. It had maybe a dozen sculptures that were either too literal or too abstract for me.

I think of sculpture like art; if you like it, you like it. I didn't like it.

Saint Louis Art Museum sculpture garden Saint Louis Art Museum sculpture garden from the side Saint Louis Art Museum sculpture garden side statue

My kids and I got through the basement of African pieces and part of the marbled entrance. They didn't care for much of that, and before we could start on what I would call the traditional art wing, they were already asking to go back home.

Even going back to to work, I didn't get past the midway of the Museum, although I did see a I liked in the first half.

Guess I'll be going back.

Saint Louis Art Museum Side Rainbows Saint Louis Art Museum Front Pond Saint Louis Art Museum First Gallery Saint Louis Art Museum Gallery 1

Saint Louis Art Museum Details And Info

Saint Louis Art Museum hours

It's amazing how many places in St. Louis have terrible hours but free admission. The library has free admission and not crazy awful hours.

The Museum is free every day, and they offer free admission to main exhibitions on Friday as part of an art outreach.


Saint Louis Art Museum hours

Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm

Friday, 10 am-9 pm

Closed Monday

The last entry into ticketed exhibitions is one hour before the Museum closes.

The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Richardson Memorial Library is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-4:30 pm.

The Grace Taylor Broughton Sculpture Garden is open every day, 6 am to 10 pm.

Saint Louis Art Museum Parking

Parking is easy, as two dedicated lots are right across the street. We arrived at 10 a.m. when it opened, and it was empty on the holiday weekend. When we left at 10:45 a.m., both lots were mostly full, and people were parking on the street.

Saint Louis Art Museum parking

When I came on a weekday, the parking lot seemed half full when I left at 2 pm after being empty at 10 am when I got there.

They have an underground lot for $15 or $10 as a member. Too rich for my blood, I'd be happy to walk at most ten minutes.

Saint Louis Art Museum Receipt

Saint Louis Art Museum selfie

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