Tips for families who visit Six Flags St. Louis
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Six Flags St. Louis
I can still remember a few tidbits from my very first experience at Six Flags St. Louis. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old and just barely tall enough to ride the roller coasters, which I did with bravery that I definitely don’t have anymore as an adult. Our whole family, cousins and all, would go together. Having a major theme park so close to home, it made for a great stay-cation.
As I grew up, my high school best friend’s parents owned property just 15 minutes away from the park, so year after year, we got season passes and rode rides until we made ourselves sick, week after week, all summer long. My husband and I even selected Six Flags as our destination of choice the day after our wedding since we didn’t take a honeymoon. Let’s just say, we have a lot of history with the place. During that last visit, though, the honeymoon one, I got a minor concussion on one of the most popular wooden roller coasters, The Boss. It was a scorching hot August day and the headache combined with pushing too far made the trip completely miserable. We hadn’t gone back since.
My oldest daughter finished kindergarten this past spring. Like many elementary school students in our area, she participated in a program to encourage reading in exchange for a free ticket to Six Flags St. Louis. THEN on top of that, we attended kids’ opening weekend at Busch Stadium to see our home team, the St. Louis Cardinals, play baseball as a fundraiser for my daughter’s school. They were giving away free Six Flags St. Louis tickets to every kid in attendance. With all three of our kids able to get in for free and our local credit union offering discount general admission for adults, we decided this was our year to check the place out again.
We researched ahead of time and followed the advice from Six Flags’ website on having a family friendly trip with less waiting and less crowds. We packed a picnic to have for lunch to save on food costs and ate on a grassy median in the parking lot. We carried just a light drawstring style backpack with sunscreen, my wallet and some diaper wipes. (Everyone is potty-trained in my clan these days, thankfully.) No outside food or drink is allowed in the park, but we stayed well hydrated by stopping at the many water fountains around the park. We were stroller free, all dressed in lightweight clothes and tennis shoes. Our hair was up, off our face. We were ready!
Our Day at Six Flags St. Louis
The park was much like what I remembered from my childhood and teen days. It’s well decorated with a vibrant atmosphere. DC Comics and Looney Tunes characters provide a fun, kid-friendly theme. Maps are available all over the park as well as marked direction signs to find your favorite rides. I was nervous going in and wasn’t sure how the kids would do with lines, walking, or how brave they’d be. We started simple by riding the Colossus, a giant 180-foot-tall Ferris wheel. We were shocked to see the line so short. We waited maybe 5 minutes. On board, everyone was mesmerized. They were pointing every direction, screaming out, “Look at that!” and “What’s that one?”
We continued walking through the park after our first ride, heading toward Bugs Bunny National Park for the kid-friendly rides when my husband pointed out Thunder River, an inner tube, white water rafting type ride. We
measured heights and all the girls were tall enough. We entered the line and let the girls watch a few of the boats traveling down the man-made river. They were all excited. I was nervous. I thought for sure they would freak out. I was wrong. We walked off the ride DRENCHED and not a single person complained. We were laughing the entire ride. (The kids loved this one so much; we actually rode it a second time at their insistence later in the afternoon.) Again, we barely waited 5-10 minutes for our turn.
The rest of our day continued in much the same manner. We rode a total of 16 rides! After that concussion experience, I have not been back on a roller coaster since. Even after our visit this summer, that didn’t change. There are some great roller coasters at this park (from what I hear) but there is so much more to do. I was so afraid to shell out the money for tickets thinking there would be nothing for me to do since I don’t do thrill rides, but that wasn’t the case at all.
My other biggest worry going into the day? Just how family friendly was this place? Aside from the rides, decor, and characters, Six Flags St. Louis has a ton of arcade games. Many of these offered “cheats” for children under 48 inches tall, guaranteed prizes for all played or play-until-you-win opportunities for kids. Our girls didn’t have interest in playing games on this trip, but seeing these signs and special opportunities gives me a lot of peace of mind for future visits.
I wasn’t even sure that going to the park with free and discounted tickets was going to be worth it, but by the time we left, we were already talking about plans to be season pass holders in the future. I cannot wait to continue this new family tradition and make many, many more memories.
Oh, and by the way, splurge on the cookies and cream funnel cake sundae and get as many forks as you need for your family. Seriously, just do it.
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Tags: amusement park