St. Louis Union Station undergoes $187 million renovations

The brand new St. Louis Aquarium opened its doors to hundreds of waiting St. Louisans, December 25, 2019.

The aquarium is just one of the new attractions built as a part of the $187 million dollar redevelopment of the historic landmark, St. Louis Union Station.  After the train station closed in 1978, the area remained dormant for some time.  Now, the area is being refurbished to attract more tourism in the St. Louis area.

The aquarium’s biggest attraction is Shark Canyon, a 250,000-gallon shark tank, which holds around 60 different sharks and stingrays.  Shark Canyon features large viewing windows, which create the feeling of being surrounded by the underwater wildlife the aquarium contains.

Along with a shark tank, the aquarium is also home to freshwater tanks, housing many of the common wildlife you can find in the Mississippi River and other bodies of water around Missouri.

On the second floor of the aquarium, interactive “touch tanks” are available for visitors to touch sea creatures such as fish, starfish, turtles and stingrays. 

Along with touch tanks, aquarium workers stand at every corner, ready with information to ensure that visitors receive educational benefits alongside the interactive aspects of the touch tanks.

Additionally, Union Station now has a Ferris wheel, a mini-golf course, a carousel, a mirror maze, a rope course,restaurants and gift shops.

Standing at 200 feet, the monstrous Ferris wheel contains 42 enclosed climate-controlled seats.  When reaching the top, a view of the St. Louis downtown area including Enterprise Center and the Arch can be seen.  At night, the Ferris wheel lights up the sky with its thousands of LED lights.  

Another popular attraction now featured at Union Station is Soda Fountain.  This unique restaurant is famous for it’s Freak Shakes, an interesting version of a milkshake topped with cupcakes, cookies and candy.  Another restaurant that can be found at Union Station is 1984. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time, as these restaurants are often in high demand.

From the Soda Fountains patio, the fire and light show can be seen.  This captivating fire, water and light music show contains a 100-foot long waterfall and lotus flowers that shoot out fire to the beat of the music.

Admission to the aquarium can be bought online ahead of time.  For adults, tickets are $25 and for children, tickets are $18. For the other activities such as the carousel and the Ferris wheel, tickets range anywhere from $6-$15.  Parking costs $20. The drive from Eureka is around 45 minutes with minimal traffic.

The renovation of St. Louis Union Station has already had a large positive impact on the St. Louis community and will likely continue to increase tourism and revenue in the St. Louis area.