ALERT: The Gateway Arch Ticketing & Visitor Center has relocated to the Old Courthouse at 11 N. 4th Street. The walking distance between the Old Courthouse and the Arch entrance at the SOUTH leg is approximately 0.3 miles (7 minutes of average walking time). EACH guest planning to enter the Gateway Arch will be required to have EITHER a Journey to the Top ticket or an Arch Entry-Only ticket to be allowed access to the facility.  Tram tickets will sell out early and often - advance tickets are strongly recommended.

Please Note: The Museum of Westward Expansion, located under the Gateway Arch is closed for significant renovations. Certain artifacts from the Museum are on display in exhibit galleries at the Old Courthouse.


Free Family Fridays at the Old Courthouse

May 14, 2015

Release Date: May 15, 2015
Contact: Rick Ziino, JNEM
Phone: 314-655-1725
Contact: Jenna Todoroff, Common Ground PR
Phone: 636-530-1235

Free Family Fridays at the Old Courthouse
Hour-long program educates all ages on St. Louis history and westward expansion

WHAT: May 22 through September 4, the National Park Service presents Free Family Fridays at the Old Courthouse, 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.

“We are thrilled to introduce this free way to learn about our nation’s history, and welcome those of all ages to spend their summer with us in discovering how our storied past has shaped our lives today,” said Rick Ziino, Interpretive Specialist, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
Weekly themes include:

  • Colonial St. Louis (May 22, June 26, July 31 and September 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 (May 29, July 3 and August 7): 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 5, July 10 and August 14): 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 12, July 17 and August 21): 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 19, July 24 and August 28): 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.”

WHERE: Old Courthouse, 11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102

COST: Free and open to all ages.

RESERVATIONS: Reservations can be made by calling 877-982-1410.

The Old Courthouse serves as the temporary Ticketing & Visitor Center for the Gateway Arch during construction and is the starting point for visitors’ Gateway Arch experience. Due to decreased capacity in the Gateway Arch, a timed ticket, which regulates the number of people who enter the monument each day, is required to enter. Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase their Journey to the Top tram ride and Arch Entry-only tickets prior to the day of their planned visit. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 877-982-1410, or in person at the Old Courthouse (11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102):

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