Grant’s Farm Guide| St. Louis Magazine

When Doug Stagner became the first president of the iconic Grant’s Farm, in 2021, he would run into people around town and strike up a conversation about the South County landmark. People would tell Stagner that they loved Grant’s Farm. “I always followed it up with, ‘When’s the last time you went?’” he says. “I got a lot of, ‘Not since my kids were young,’ or ‘Not since relatives were in from out of town.’” Since the start of his tenure, Stagner has been adding events and special tours to make Grant’s Farm, which is home to more than 900 animals and serves as the Busch family’s ancestral home, into more of an all-seasons destination. What events and experiences will Grant’s Farm offer this year? What do you need to know before visiting? Read on. 

History and Overview 

Two notable U.S. families have called Grant’s Farm home over the years. The property can be traced back to Colonel Frederic Dent, who purchased the property in 1820. Colonel Dent’s daughter was Julia Dent Grant, wife of General and President Ulysses S. Grant. The Grants built a cabin, lovingly nicknamed Hardscrabble after its unpolished appearance, near the property. In 1903, beer baron August Anheuser Busch Sr., then president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch brewing company, purchased the property, and a few years later, the cabin, moving the structure to what we know now as Grant’s Farm. In 1910, Busch Sr. set about constructing the iconic German-style Bauernhof building, which stands today. 

After Busch Sr.’s death, his son, August Busch Jr., opened Grant’s Farm to the public, in 1954. This year marks 121 years since the Busch family purchased the property, which has served as their ancestral home for five generations. In spring, the farm is open for general admission on select dates until late May, at which point it will open daily for general admission. General admission is free, but parking does include a fee.

Must-See Attractions

When you arrive at Grant’s Farm, you’ll cross a covered bridge and then board a tram that will take you past Deer Park, a pasture filled with bison, cattle, and, of course, deer. (If you bring a stroller, Grant’s Farm employees will help you load it onto the tram.) You’ll depart the tram at the Tier Garten and enter the petting zoo area. 

Which is most synonymous with a visit to Grant’s Farm: feeding the baby goats or admiring the Clydesdales, which became a symbol of Budweiser in 1933, when August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III gave their father, August A. Busch, Sr., six of the horses to celebrate the end of Prohibition. Locals will tell you it’s really a toss-up. Yes, the horses are majestic (and staples of tear-jerking Budweiser Super Bowl commercials), but if you grew up in St. Louis, there’s probably a picture of you bottle-feeding a baby goat at Grant’s Farm somewhere in your family’s photo album. The Clydesdales are located near the main entrance—it’s easiest to see them before you board the tram or on your way out. The goats, which you can feed by bottle, are located to the left of the tram dropoff. But there are so many other adorable and personality-filled animals to visit, too. Feed llamas and parakeets, gush over miniature cows, ride a camel, or watch a zebra. Head to the Animal Adventures Amphitheater to see some of Grant’s Farm residents show off, and then ride a replica of one on the carousel. More mature audiences might appreciate seeing Hardscrabble cabin, which will be visible to you on the tram ride into the farm. 

Adults should bookmark this info, too: Each visit to Grant’s Farm comes with a free Anheuser-Busch beer tasting at Bauernhof Courtyard. 

Learn more about Warm Springs Ranch, the official Budweiser Clydesdale breeding facility in Boonville, here. 

Animal Tours

There are a number of special animal tours you can tack onto your Grant’s Farm visit to make your experience more memorable. 

The most popular tour, Stagner says, is the Clydesdale Close-Up Tour. For $26, you’ll get to go behind the scenes at the Clydesdale stables, learn more about the larger-than-life horses, and help groom them. There’s an extra-adorable reason to book a Clydesdale Close-Up Tour this spring, too. “Just within the last week, we’ve had the addition of a couple of baby Clydesdales that are part of the tour,” Stagner says. 

Another crowd-pleaser is the Animal Encounters Tour, during which you’ll tour the zoo barn and meet the stars of the Animal Adventures show. If you’ve never fed a baby camel or water buffalo, try it out here. This tour also costs $26. 

For the history buff, a Private Behind-the-Scenes Tour is the priciest option at $399 for a group of up to 12 guests, but you do get to go inside Grant’s cabin, see the exterior of the Busch home, and feed the animals in Deer Park.  

Seasonal Attractions 

One of the pleasures of visiting Grant’s Farm during the warmer seasons (January through March, it’s open only for Private Behind-the-Scenes and Clydesdale Close-Up tours) is that you get to see how the animals grow and change. “In the past few months, we’ve had hundreds of goats born here, and they’re going to be eager to meet everybody [in the spring and early summer],” Stagner says. “If you think about feeding them now when we open versus when we get to October, they’re not going to be so young and little anymore.” 

Last summer, Grant’s Farm also began hosting Grant’s Farm in the Sky, a customized drone show. Every Friday and Saturday evening, visitors can enjoy a ticketed live music performance and then a custom choreographed show featuring 150 drones.

The cooler months bring the newer favorite, Oktoberfest, but also Fall Fest, a daytime autumnal celebration with a corn maze and pumpkin patch, and also the spookier Halloween Nights, which has a light display and creepy costumed actors. 

The in-person holiday lights show takes place in December, and Stagner says it is often just as popular as the farm’s drive-through lights display option. “We’re looking to make that bigger and better this year with more nights, more activities, and more things to do,” he says. 

Hidden Gems

Stagner says to keep an eye out for Grant the yak, born in 2022. No longer a baby, “he’s kind of rambunctious now, Stagner says. “[Last] year, we were blessed with KC the yak, who was born on Super Bowl Sunday. He’s a ball of energy and loves interacting with people. We’ve also got Bernard the Kunekune Pig, who is very popular.”

Also look on the Grant’s Farm website to book birthday parties online. Grant’s Farm has a gazebo off the Bauernhof Courtyard that’s reservable for up to 30 guests for children’s birthday parties. Food and drinks can be ordered from the Bauernhof Courtyard as well. 

Tips for Visiting

Admission to Grant’s Farm is free, but it’s best to purchase a morning, afternoon, or evening parking pass for $16 in advance of your visit, especially in the summer months when it could be crowded. (Avoid crowds in the spring and summer by visiting earlier in the day and on weekdays.) 

Fast Stats

Good for: Animal lovers of all ages. Younger children will likely enjoy the petting zoo area the most. Older children will like seeing the Clydesdales. 

Price: Free admission, but a daily parking pass costs $16, and it’s recommended that you purchase it in advance. 

Hours: Check the website for the changing seasonal hours.

Is there food? Yes. On the menu at the Brat Haus are chicken strips, hamburgers, brats, hot dogs, veggie burgers, salads, and drinks. Other snacks and beer are available for purchase throughout Grant’s Farm. 

Location: 7385 Grant 


Phone: 314-843-1700

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