The Arch Is Open! Summer Events at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
The Gateway Arch is open! Jefferson National Expansion Memorial announces family-friendly activities from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day in the national park that is home to the Gateway Arch. “Summer is a time for fun and adventure,” says Rhonda Schier, Chief of Museum Services and Interpretation. “Come to the park to play, explore, create and learn.”
Tram rides to the top of the Arch and Gateway Arch Riverboat cruises that take passengers on narrated tours are available daily. Park rangers in the Old Courthouse present local and national history in exhibit galleries and historic courtrooms. The Arch Store, the new museum store located below the Arch, is open. Other summer programming includes Family Fridays, the Junior Ranger Program and Gateway to the Stars. “It is possible to see the stars in our urban neighborhood,” says Schier. “Park rangers can show visitors how using the right telescope pointed in the right direction.”
Saturday, May 28 through Labor Day, September 5, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial operates in extended hours. The Gateway Arch Visitor Centerwhich includes the Arch, Tucker Theater and The Arch Storeis open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Last tram 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 27-September 4; 10 to 11 am
This free, hour-long, theme-based program offers guests of all ages hands-on opportunities to learn about St. Louis history and westward expansion. Each child will also create a craft project. RSVP by calling 314-982-1410. Themes include:
- Colonial St. Louis: May 27, August 5
- Lewis and Clark: June 3, July 8, August 12
- Mountain Men: June 10, July 15, August 19
- Pioneers: June 17, July 22, August 26
- Plains Indians: June 24, July 29, September 2
Battle of St. Louis Commemoration, in Luther Ely Smith Square: May 28; 10am to 4pm
Learn about the westernmost battle of the American Revolution fought in present day downtown St. Louis on May 26, 1780. Observe musket and cannon firing demonstration at the top of each hour, and learn how the weapons and the town’s defenses were implored during this battle. This event is free and open to the public.
Ranger-led Riverboat Sightseeing Cruises: May 28 through September 5; noon, 1:30 pm and 3 pm
An NPS ranger leads this sightseeing cruise that hightlights 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).
Daily Old Courthouse Tours and Courtroom Talks: May 28-September 5
Meet in the Old Courthouse Rotunda with park rangers who will lead courthouse tours. Ranger talks are presented every day in the historic courtrooms. Inquire with the ranger at the Information Desk for more details.
Gateway to the Stars Stargazing Program: June 12, July 10, 8 to 10 pm; August 14, 7 to 10 pm
This free, ranger-led event for all ages includes a special talk followed by telescope viewing led by the St. Louis Astronomical Society (weather permitting). Call 314-655-1750, ext. 472 to check weather conditions the afternoon of the program.
- Ghosts of the Arch Grounds, June 12 and July 10: Meet at the North Leg of the Gateway Arch for a ranger-led evening talk and walk around the Arch, followed by stargazing with telescopes.
- Junior Ranger Night Explorer Workshop, August 14: Meet in the Old Courthouse Rotunda for ranger-led opportunities for kids to earn a special Junior Ranger patch. Stargazing with telescopes will take place in Luther Ely Smith Square starting at 8 p.m.
Fourth of July Celebrations at the Old Courthouse: July 2-4
Celebrate Independence Day at the Old Courthouse! Holiday weekend programming will include special ranger talks, vignettes, concerts and speeches. More information will be announced soon.
National Park Service 100th Anniversary Celebration: August 25-27
Celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service on August 25 with a three-day extravaganza, which will include special concerts and programs, and birthday cupcakes. More information will be announced soon.
Daily Ranger Talks and Interactive Stations: Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse
Park rangers will present interactive programs on Old Courthouse, Arch, St. Louis and westward expansion history. Visitors should check with the ranger at the information desks at the Arch and Old Courthouse for the daily schedule.
TICKETS: A timed Journey to the Top or Arch Entry-Only ticket is required to enter the Gateway Arch facility. Visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance at https://testarch.gatewayarch.com/buytickets, by calling 877-982-1410, or visiting the Arch Ticketing & Visitor Center at the Old Courthouse.
EVERY KID IN A PARK: All fourth graders and their families have free access to hundreds of America’s public parks, lands and watersincluding the Gateway Archwith the Every Kid in a Park pass. Go to www.everykidinapark.gov before your park visit to sign up and print off your voucher.
JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAM: Kids can complete a series of activities during a park visit for the opportunity to earn a Junior Ranger badge. Inquire with an NPS ranger stationed at the Information Desk in the Arch or Old Courthouse to learn more and obtain an activity booklet.
PARKING: A list of Downtown St. Louis parking locations within walking distance from the Arch and Old Courthouse is available at http://getaroundstl.com. Metered street parking is also available around the Old Courthouse. Visitors are encouraged to check www.gatewayarch.com/directions for up-to-date information on road detours and construction surrounding the Arch grounds before their visit.
GIFT SHOPS: Visitors can shop for memorabilia and gifts at the brand-new Arch Store, located in the Gateway Arch lobby; as well as the gift shops at the Old Courthouse and on the dock of the Gateway Arch Riverboats.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.gatewayarch.com, www.nps.gov/jeff, or www.facebook.com/gatewayarchNPS; or call 877-982-1410. Reservations to these events are not required, but large groups should call 314-655-1614 to alert the park of their attendance.