Gateway Arch National Park announces virtual, in-person summer activities


ST. LOUIS – The Gateway Arch National Park announced its 2021 virtual and in-person programming. The activities are free all summer long.

The Arch is offering several events over the next few months for its “Safe Summertime Fun at Gateway Arch National Park” programming series.

Summer Events:

Gateway to the Stars Series: Monthly, May Through October, 8 to 9:30 p.m.

Learn about astronomy and space with the National Park Service and the St. Louis Astronomical Society. Each virtual program will air live on the St. Louis Astronomical Society’s Facebook page. It includes a presentation by a guest speaker, planetarium-style tour of the night sky, and live or recorded video of the moon, stars, and planets.

  • The Globe at Night (May 8): National Optical Astronomy Observatory scientist Dr. Connie Walker shares how to get involved in an international campaign to raise awareness of the impact of light pollution. Citizen scientists are invited to measure and submit their night sky brightness observations.
  • The Lives of Stars (June 19): What is life like for a bazillion-ton ball of collapsing stardust, and how have stars shaped our galaxies and humanity? Local astronomer and former “Dark Ranger” Joel Allen explores star life.
  • Astronomy in the National Parks (July 17): Space Art Travel Bureau Director and Night Sky Ambassador Dr. Tyler Nordgren takes participants on a virtual tour of night sky opportunities available in America’s national parks.
  • Kids Explorer Night (August 14) : Kids ages 5-12 can complete a Junior Ranger Night Explorer activity and earn a special patch with the help of Sky Ranger Rich Fefferman.

National Kids to Parks Day: Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

National Kids to Parks Day invites kids and families to discover and explore America’s parks, public lands and waters. Gateway Arch National Park hosts four virtual sessions on May 15 in celebration of Kids to Parks Day. Kids can earn a Junior Ranger badge or an Every Kid Outdoors pass.

Pre-registration for the sessions is required. Click here to pre-register.

  • To earn a special “Nature Cat” Junior Ranger badge, kids should watch at least one session, take a screenshot of the program and send a direct message to Gateway Arch National Park on Facebook with one fact they learned.
  • Fourth graders can earn a voucher that qualifies them to receive an “Every Kid Outdoors” pass that waives park entrance fees at every national park site in the country for summer 2021. To earn the voucher, fourth-graders must attend the “NPS 101” virtual session, take a screenshot of the program and send a direct message to Gateway Arch National Park on Facebook with one fact they learned.

Battle of St. Louis Commemoration: Saturday, May 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join the National Park Service at the south reflection pond of the Arch grounds to learn about St. Louis’ role in the American Revolution. Living History volunteers will conduct musket and cannon firing demonstrations.

1821 Statehood Celebration: Saturday, July 3

For Missouri’s 200th birthday, celebrate the Fourth of July 1821 style with Living History demonstrations and much more. Further details about this event will be shared on the park’s Facebook page.

Ranger-led St. Louis Riverfront Cruises: Saturdays & Sundays through May 28, 1:30 p.m.; Daily May 29 through September 6, noon and 1:30 p.m.

At the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch, located below the Arch on the St. Louis Riverfront, an NPS ranger leads the one-hour St. Louis Riverfront Cruise that highlights the history of St. Louis and the role the Mississippi River plays today. 

Costs: $21/adults; $11/kids ages 3-15; $19/seniors (ages 60 and older); free for kids under 3.

Extended Summer Hours:

Saturday, May 29 through Labor Day, Sept. 6, the Gateway Arch will begin its extended summer hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The last Tram Ride to the Top of the Arch leaves approximately one hour before closing.

Visitors must enter the Arch at the glass west entrance; the Arch legs are exits only. Entering through the Arch Visitor Center and museum is free.

To purchase tickets for the Tram Rides to the Top of the Arch, click here.

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