The City Museum is my single favorite place in all of St. Louis! My husband and I lived in St. Louis for a little over a year and explored as much of the city as we could, but we kept revisiting the City Museum. Don’t let the word “museum” lead you astray; this is a visual and visceral experience like no other It is ever changing and is so expansive that it can take multiple days to explore the entire museum. While writing this piece, I noticed that the museum had added a new “Toddler Town Castle” that was not there when I last visited in late 2015.
Whether you are visiting St. Louis with your family, a group of friends, or even by yourself, the City Museum is the one “must see” that should be added to your itinerary. The museum lives in the former International Shoe Company and is a family-friendly playground that will leave every visitor utterly amazed. With elevators, stairs, or tubular rebar tunnels connecting the various floors, navigating the City Museum can be as easy or challenging to navigate as you would like. My 60-year-old mother-in-law, who was still recovering from kicking cancer’s butt, enjoyed the museum just as much as our children did. The City Museum will amaze anyone who visits it and will bring back the child-like wonder and amazement that so many of us have forgotten as we grew up.
Imagine climbing through a near life-sized sculpture of a blue whale, sliding down a 10-story slide (yes, I just said a 10-story slide!), riding a Ferris wheel on the roof of a 10-story building, or playing on a huge inside skate park. You can also explore a labyrinth of tunnels in the basement, a town castle made for toddlers, or climbing through a “MonstroCity” consisting of series of terraces, slides, and rebar framed tunnels that lead through an old aircraft fuselage. Oh, did I mention that the cable framed tunnels and aircraft are suspended five stories above the ground! This is only a small sample of the areas that you can explore at the City Museum. It almost makes that several three and four-story tall slides seem… well, boring. Below is a picture of me crawling through a tubular tunnel between floors. Sorry for the poor quality, my husband took the picture and it was kind of dark.
There is also a school bus hanging over the edge of the roof 10-stories above the road. This is probably a good time to mention that if you are seriously afraid of heights, the MonstroCity might not be for you.
There are several snack bars throughout the museum that serve a delicious variety of food, drinks, and even adult beverages if you are over age 21. But remember that food and beverages must to stay in designated areas and are not to be brought into the main portion of the museum.
Seriously, if you don’t believe me, check out our City Museum Board on Pinterest by clicking on any of the images, or do a Google search for “City Museum” and check out the images. Along with the amazing views of the outside attractions, the massive “tree house” that sprawls throughout the museum’s first floor is impressive, and a challenging climb for the daring. Climbing through the City Museum can be physically challenging and rough on your knees. But don’t worry, the gift shop sells knee pads if you are super adventurous and decide that you need them.
City Museum is located just off Washington Ave, and is open seven days a week throughout the spring and summer, but is closed Monday and Tuesday during late fall and the winter months. Admission is $14 for everyone ages 3 and up. Parking is $10 in their “serpent lot,” which is pretty cool in of itself. The roof and MonstroCity will close during times of adverse weather conditions, and during the winter months, from about November to March I think. For more info about the City Museum that will help you plan a trip, visit their website at www.citymuseum.org.
If you visit St. Louis, MO for any reason, whether it be the Arch, to catch a Blues or Cardinals game, to visit the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch, or whatever brings you to this historic and diverse city, the City Museum is a must-see. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
City Museum, 750 North 16th Street, St. Louis, MO. 63103, 314-231-CITY (2489)