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We know that when you’re trying to travel with family, there’s only one thing better than cheap—free. For a cheap getaway filled with free things to do this Labor Day, look no further than St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis is, after all, the patron saint of savings (probably). Considering the free zoo and the free museums, this is our kind of town, and we put together a list of stuff to do in the Lou.

Saint Louis skyline

City Views and Muddy Blues

The Gateway Arch defines the St. Louis skyline and if you haven’t had a chance to see this architectural masterpiece, we recommend you head straight there. After you take the ride to the top ($10 adults, $5 kids), take some time to walk along the riverfront.

If you have a taste for those St. Louie blues, or some fun festival food, stroll on down the cobblestone streets of Laclede’s Landing to the Big Muddy Blues Festival. Two of the three stages are free, and kids are welcome.

After you walk around, let your kids climb around at the City Museum. Don’t let the name fool you—this place is less like a museum and more like a four story jungle gym made out of recycled materials (including an airplane, a school bus, and—you guessed it—a giant whale). It’s something your kids will never forget. The playtime experience is 12 bucks a pop, but this uncommon place, and the uncommon chance for you to take a breather, is worth every penny.

End the night with some of the best ice cream in the country. Ted Drewes on Chippewa is one of the oldest and best known ice cream (sorry, frozen custard) shops in America. Located on the old Route 66, this place serves concretes so thick you can hold them upside down, and has done since 1929.

Z is for Free Zoo

Start off day two with a little adventure by checking out the Saint Louis Zoo. This is our absolute favorite type of zoo—the free type. With over 90 acres, the zoo is one of the largest and best in the country. And if you get there before 9am, the children’s zoo is free too.

Afterward, save a few bucks on lunch by packing a picnic in the park. Then browse around the free art museum, free history museum and free science center, all of which have free parking.

When dinner time rolls around, it’s a short drive to St. Louis’ Italian neighborhood, the Hill. These authentic, family owned Italian restaurants serve up the best food in the city. Taste the classics as they were meant to be tasted, or try the city’s signature toasted ravioli.

Before you go to the airport Monday, try out Ari’s Restaurant and Bar for breakfast. St. Louis Magazine calls this the Cheapest Breakfast in Town, and it’s hard to argue with their math. Ari’s buffet style breakfast is $6.95 for adults, and $3.95 for kids. And that includes the coffee.

Tagged: Family

Joe Peraud

Joe Peraud

Joe Peraud

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Celebrate a birthday vacation at Caesars Palace.

By Derek Brown

Everyone’s aging at the same pace, but not every adult embraces the birthday as a treat worthy of vacation.  Las Vegas, the biggest adult playground, is a destination for every style, budget and generation.  Fantastic food, cheap Las Vegas hotels and more games than one could ever play as a kid abound.  Las Vegas birthday parties are about fun, friends and not losing your ID. Continue reading

Tagged: Las Vegas

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Get out of town — fast — with cheap tickets for last-minute travel. Plan a getaway for next weekend, July 19-20, with airfares like these:

  • Seattle to Las Vegas: $229
  • San Francisco to Chicago: $369
  • Philadelphia to Orlando: $168
  • Denver to Los Angeles: $230
  • New Orleans to New York City: $243

These sample airfares are for round-trip travel and include all taxes and fees. Airfares are for trips leaving Thursday, Friday or Saturday and returning Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Some restrictions apply.

Cheap tickets make last-minute travel easy. Pack your bags!

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: City, Flights, FREE!, Last minute travel, Limited-time Offers