Summer Events at the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial announces family-friendly activities from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day at the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse. “Summertime is fun time in the park,” said Rhonda Schier, Chief of Museum Services and Interpretation. “Please join in the new programs and special events that best suit your family on the trails and the green spaces, in the shade gardens and the galleries. You can experience history, explore literacy, learn about citizenship and encourage wellness at your national park.” All NPS programs are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. More information is always available from a park ranger at the Arch Information Desk or the Old Courthouse Rotunda.
From Saturday, May 27 through Labor Day, September 4, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial operates in extended summer hours. The Gateway Arch is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The last tram ride to the top of the Arch leaves approximately one hour before closing. The Old Courthouse is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Free Family Fridays at the Old Courthouse: May 26 to September 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Guests of all ages can learn about St. Louis history and westward expansion during the 1800s with hands-on opportunities. Each child will create a craft project and participate in a story and song time based on the day’s theme. The program will end with a national park puppet show. Themes include: Colonial St. Louis (May 26, June 30 & August 4), Lewis and Clark (June 2, July 7 & August 11), Mountain Men (June 9, July 14 & August 18), Pioneers (June 16, July 21 & August 25), and Plains Indians (June 23, July 28 & September 1). RSVP by calling 314-982-1410.
Battle of St. Louis Commemoration, in Luther Ely Smith Square: Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Learn about St. Louis’ role in the American Revolution and how citizens of St. Louis defended their village from the British attack on St. Louis in May of 1780. Observe musket and cannon firing demonstration at the top of each hour, and learn how the weapons and the town’s defenses were deployed during this battle. This event is open to the public.
Eclipse Speaker Series: Gateway to the Stars: June 4, July 2 & August 6, 8 p.m.
On the dates above, meet in the Tucker Theater inside the Gateway Arch Visitor Center for a discussion led by a ranger and guest speaker on how and where to view the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. This will be the first visible eclipse in the St. Louis area since 1442. The talk is followed by free telescope viewing of the moon and Saturn, weather permitting. Speakers include “Sky Ranger” Richard Fefferman on June 4; Donald Ficken, St. Louis Eclipse Task Force Coordinator on July 2; and Dr. Angela Speck, University of Missouri Eclipse expert on August 6. Call 314-655-1750 extension 472 to check weather conditions. On Eclipse Day visitors are welcome to view the nearly total eclipse from the Gateway Arch Grounds. There are also eclipse events and viewing areas south and west of downtown St. Louis where visitors can experience the zone of totality.
Naturalization Ceremony and St. Louis Public Library Outreach: June 14, June 30, August 18 & September 18
In conjunction with noontime naturalization ceremonies at the Old Courthouse, the St. Louis Public Library will be on hand to help new citizens register for library cards and learn about library resources and collections. Learning activities are available for children from 10 a.m. to noon.
Fourth of July Celebration at the Old Courthouse: July 4
Celebrate Independence Day at the Old Courthouse with special ranger talks, mock trial vignettes, a public reading of the Declaration of Independence and a concert by the Independence Band.
Downtown St. Louis History Walking Tours: Sundays in June and July, 2:30 p.m.
Meet a park ranger in the Old Courthouse Rotunda to begin a 45-minute tour that explores downtown St. Louis and its most popular landmarks.
Great Trials of the Old Courthouse: Daily in June and July, 2 p.m.
Join park rangers to learn about some of the many important trials held inside the Old Courthouse over the past 150 years. Hear about Dred Scott’s suit for freedom from slavery, Virginia Minor’s 1874 lawsuit to gain the right to vote and other interesting stories.
Walking Tour of the Gateway Arch Park Grounds: Daily in June and July, 10:30 a.m.
Meet a park ranger at the North Leg of the Arch for a walking tour exploring the stories of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
The Structure and Significance of the Gateway Arch: Daily in June and July, 11:30 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Join a park ranger in Luther Ely Smith Square in the park located between the Arch and Old Courthouse for a discussion on the Gateway Arch.
Westward Expansion Ranger Talk at the Old Courthouse: Daily in June and July, 5 p.m.
Embark on a ranger-led tour of one of the exhibit galleries on the first floor of the Old Courthouse to learn more about pioneers, American Indians, Lewis & Clark and more.
Gateway Arch Park Evening Ranger Talk: Daily in June and July, 7 p.m.
Meet a park ranger at the North Leg of the Arch to hear stories of the Arch and its historical significance.
Ranger-led Riverboat Sightseeing Cruises: Daily through September 4; noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
An NPS ranger leads this sightseeing cruise that highlights the history of St. Louis and the role the Mississippi River plays today. Call 877-982-1410 for availability. $20/adults; $10 kids ages 3-15; free for kids under 3. Save up to $3 with the Captain’s Combo (sightseeing cruise and Journey to the Top tram ride).
TICKETS: A tram ride to the Top of the Arch or an Arch Visitor Center “Entry-Only” ticket is required to enter the Gateway Arch. Visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at https://testarch.gatewayarch.com/buytickets, or by calling 877-982-1410, or visiting the Arch Ticketing & Visitor Center at the Old Courthouse.
PARKING: A list of several downtown St. Louis parking locations within walking distance of the Old Courthouse and the Gateway Arch is available at http://getaroundstl.com. Metered street parking is also available in Downtown St. Louis. Visitors are encouraged to check www.gatewayarch.com/directions for up-to-date information on road detours and construction before their visit.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.gatewayarch.com, www.nps.gov/jeff, or www.facebook.com/gatewayarchNPS; or call 877-982-1410. Reservations for free National Park Service interpretive programs and events at the Old Courthouse are not required, but large groups should call 314-655-1614 to alert the Old Courthouse of their attendance.