Visitors Guide to
The Saint Louis Science Center
5050 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis, MO

Accessible Parking Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Food Service Facilities Accessible Gift Shop Accessible Restrooms MetroLink Station Nearby


The Saint Louis Science Center is one of only two science centers in the country with no general admission charge. The Science Center consists of three buildings. The main Science Center Building and the Exploradome exhibition hall are located just south of Forest Park on 5050 Oakland Avenue. These facilities are connected to the James S. McDonnell Planetarium located within Forest Park via a walkway across I-64.

The Saint Louis Science Center has its roots when the Academy of Science of St. Louis was founded in 1856. The Academy's members displayed personal collections and published scientific papers for the next 130 years. In 1959 the Museum of Science and Natural History opened in St. Louis' Oak Knoll Park. In 1963 the McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park opened. The two merged in 1985 to become the St. Louis Science Center in Forest Park. By 1989 more than a million visitors came to the Science Center overwhelming the facility's exhibit space and a capital campaign was initiated to build a new facility and renovate the Forest Park Building. The new building opened in 1991 and during its first two months it became the most-visited science center in the world. The next year the Forest Park Building reopened and continued its tradition of focusing on space-related topics. The Exploradome, an inflatable structure, gives the Science Center, more room for large traveling exhibitions, opened in 1997.

The main building holds many interesting attractions. The "DNA Zone" is the only gallery in the world completely dedicated to the emerging science of biotechnology and genetics. "Cyberville" is an exhibit that focuses on computers, virtual reality and the Internet. "Structures" explains how bridges and large buildings are constructed. The "Human Adventure" exhibit explores senses, creativity, and culture. There are three "Ecology and the Environment" exhibits - Past, Present, and Future. The Discovery Room is a hands-on science experience for families with young children.

The McDonnell Planetarium houses the International Boeing Space Station that allows visitors an opportunity to learn what it is like to live in space through interactive exhibits, laboratories, and live demonstrations. In the SkyBay, over 9,000 twinkling stars and glowing planets can be seen slowly moving across the new 80 sq. ft. dome. The OMNIMAX® theatre is a four-story dome theatre with wrap-around sight and sound. The Saint Louis Science Center is handicapped accessible. Assistive Listening Devices, Braille visitor guides, TDD machines and wheelchairs are available for check out.

Visiting the Saint Louis Science Center
     Visiting Hours
Main Building
               Monday - Saturday - 9:30 am - 4:30 pm; extended hours on Friday until 9:30 pm
               Sunday: 11:30am - 4:30pm
          James S. McDonnell Planetarium Hours
               Monday – Saturday: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

               Sunday - 11:30 am - 4:30 pm
          Check the link to the Science Center's website below for details on the Omnimax Theater.
Admission to the Saint Louis Science Center is free. There are admission charges to the Ominmax Theater, the Boeing Space Station at the McDonnell Planetarium, and most traveling exhibits.
For more information call 314-289-4400 or visit the event's webpage
The events are free, tickets to the movie are on a first come first served basis.
Geek out on the first Friday of every month! Learn the real science behind science fiction and mingle with others interested in the geekier side of life. Each month, First Friday features a different theme, hands-on activities, pub-style trivia, engaging presentations, photo ops for showing off your costume, and food and drink specials.

The evening culminates with a free 10 pm screening of a classic science fiction movie in the OMNIMAX® Theater introduced by a local scientist. First Friday favorites like public telescope viewings, a free 7 pm Planetarium star show, and special prices for the Science Center’s regular OMNIMAX films are a staple at every event. Parking at the Science Center is free during First Fridays.

Metro Forest Park Trolley Service
The Metro Forest Park Trolley Service line offers visitors to the park an easy way of getting around to Forest Park’s attractions. The Trolley Service for 2019 runs from May 3 - September 2. There are two routes. The blue route serves the western side of the Park, with stops at the World’s Fair Pavilion, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum and Emerson Grand Basin. The green route serves the eastern side of Forest Park, with stops at the Jewel Box and the Saint Louis Science Center's Planetarium. Both trolley routes make stops at the Missouri History Museum, Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center, The Muny and Boathouse as well as the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station. Two convenient Park N’ Ride options are available for visitors. Free on Saturdays and Sundays. Adult Trolley fares are $2 per adult. Children 5-12, seniors and disabled passengers ride for $1. Click here for additional information.

Directions: The main Science Center building is on Oakland Avenue just south of Forest Park and I-64. Oakland Avenue can be accessed by either the Kingshighway South or Hampton South exits. The McDonnell Planetarium is located in Forest Park. Free parking lots can be found near both buildings.

GPS Coordinates
N  38  37.733
W 90  16.200

Learn more about the St. Louis area.

Saint Louis Science Center - Use the official site of the Saint Louis Science Center for answers to all the questions you may have.

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