Friday, July 29, 2016

No Longer As Free St. Louis

On the way back north from Dallas, we had to swing by St. Louis because there has always been so much free stuff there to enjoy. Our first stop was the zoo which although we've always had to pay for parking, the entrance to the zoo is free and it is probably the best free zoo in the United States though in the heat, many of the animals were tucked away in shady alcoves away from eyes. However, they have blocked off the children's part of the zoo unless you pay a admission to get into that part. Fortunately they do have it open for the first hour so we hit that up first while it was still free though it means walking clear across the zoo with children who don't necessarily understand why we are passing so many interesting things that they want to see while we are there.

The second free stop that we liked to visit was the Anheuser Busch Brewery. They offer a free tour that takes about an hour and a half and you got a free beer at the end that you could choose from several varieties. Well they still offer a free tour but it covers only a fraction of the buildings you got to see before and you get a free sip of light beer. The tour we used to take now costs $15 or $10 per person depending on which parts you want to see. In fact, there are now five or six different tours offered, all of which cost money except for the severely reduced free tour that took about half an hour.

Don't get me wrong, if you haven't been there, the abbreviated tour is still worth going on but if you've been there in the past on the much longer free tour, it isn't worth dropping by anymore. Our tour guide did let us sneak over to the old school house which now houses a museum but we had to race through it in less than 10 minutes do he could get back to the next group going on the micro free tour.


Kelly said...

I know this must have been a fun excursion! I went to the St. Louis Zoo decades ago, when Marlon Perkins (Wild Kingdom) was the curator. Considering I was only ten or eleven at the time, no brewery tour, but the Clydesdales have been to my hometown for a Christmas parade and they are magnificent animals to see in real life!

Bob said...

I'm really disappointed in how they now do the tours at AHB! I'm sure that happened after the InBev takeover. I've done it several times but it's been a few years. Love to go to St. Louis for baseball.

Ed said...

Kelly - For a free zoo it is excellent. Compared to paying zoos, it still beats a lot of them!

Bob - I guess I wasn't so disappointed because even the free tour is worth taking if one has never been there before and you so get a free "gulp" of beer although no choice in which type. It just isn't conducive to taking large groups (on a budget) there anymore which is usually when I visit it since I've seen it so many times over the years.