I've never been able to recommend any hotel as being particularly near Forest park, nice, family friendly, and easy on the budget until just now. The brand new Hampton Inn & Suites St. Louis at Forest Park has been open a few weeks now. The location should be excellent for those who are driving in or renting a car. Free parking. Free breakfast. It has a kid friendly / Sport's bar Kreiger's Resturant attached for lunch, dinner and late night nibbles. Mixed reviews are a result of growing pains. If you generally like Hampton Inns, this one becomes the best one within the city limits, instantly.