ALERT: Due to the shutdown of the federal government, the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse, which are part of the National Park Service, are closed. They will resume operations during regularly scheduled hours as soon as the government re-opens. Ticketing and tram operations at the Gateway Arch and ticketing operations at the Old Courthouse are also closed. If you have purchased a scheduled tram ride to the top or Arch entry-only ticket during this time, your ticket price will be refunded as soon as possible. Other Gateway Arch Experience activities such as the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch and Gateway Helicopter Tours, which are NOT part of the National Park Service, are currently closed for the season. Please continue to check this site or call 877-982-1410 for additional information and updates on visiting these attractions. Please pay attention to the mainstream media or visit for the announcement regarding the resumption of federal government operations. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Free Family Fridays at the Old Courthouse 2017

Date: Every Friday

Time: 9am - 12pm

Location: Old Courthouse | 11 North 4th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102

Price: FREE

Through September 1, the National Park Service presents Free Family Fridays for guests of all ages at the Old Courthouse (11 North 4th Street), an hour-long, theme-based program that offers participants of all ages hands-on opportunities to learn about St. Louis and westward expansion during the 1800s. Children will also create a craft project that relates to the day’s topic. These events are FREE and open to the public. Reservations can be made by calling 877-982-1410.

Weekly themes include:

  • Colonial St. Louis (May 26, June 30 and August 4): Participants will discover what it was like in French colonial St. Louis and learn about St. Louis’ founding as a trade post. Craft project: Children will make either a felt French voyageur hat or create an Osage ribbonwork decoration.
  • Lewis and Clark (June 2, July 7 and August 11): Through negotiations with Napoleon, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. Soon after, President Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to explore this new land. Participants will learn about the purchase and the explorers’ interactions with Native Americans on their journey. Craft project: Children will make a French tri-corn hat or an Indian Peace Medal.
  • Mountain Men (June 9, July 14 and August 18): Participants will learn about the mountain men of the Rocky Mountain fur trade era, who are characterized as rugged, individualistic and resourceful. Craft project: Children will make their own felt “possibles” bag or felt moccasins.
  • Pioneers (June 16, July 21 and August 25): Pioneers who traveled overland on the Oregon Trail were seeking a better life and new opportunities in the American West. Participants will explore life on the trail and the many challenges pioneers faced. Craft project: Children will participate in doll making or basket weaving.
  • Plains Indians (June 23, July 28 and September 1): Participants will explore the traditional way of life for many Plains Indians in the 1800s, as both agricultural and nomadic hunter-gatherers. Craft project: Children will make felt moccasins or create jewelry from “trade beads.”


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