An extra special thank you to our friend Bas over at the enlightening Visiting Missouri blog for his post on the City Museum in St Louis – I’m dying to go there and am very excited to read about!! Congratulations to Bas on the news he will no longer be ‘visiting Missouri’ as his girlfriend accepted his proposal and he’s going to move there…
If you’re planning a visit to the Saint Louis City Museum, don’t let the word museum fool you. Even though the City Museum is truly a museum, there is hardly anything you can’t touch and the place is full of kids. Located inside an old shoe factory, this museum is essentially a giant playground disguised as a maze. No two routes through the museum are alike, as the path you go is determined by physical appearance, flexibility and how easy you can find the kid inside you. You can climb over or crawl through almost any wall inside the museum, so even just making your way through is a unique experience.An extra fee of $5 brings you to the rooftop, which features a Ferris Wheel, an old school bus hovering over the edge of the roof and several slides and climbing walls. Make sure to exit the rooftop using the ten-story slide that brings you all the way to the ground floor. Originally, the slide was used to bring down manufactured shoes, but both adults and children can now enjoy the same ride. From there on, small spaces and the lack of lights take away all orientation, but add all the more adventure.Both the main area and the outside area keep building on the same theme. Hidden slides, short cuts and climbing possibilities are abound. These areas differ from the lowest floor in their space and lighting, but offer the same adventurous feel. One of the most spectacular climbing routes spans the outside area, allowing you to hover a solid 50 feet over the ball pit.Everything in the museum is designed to make you stop and wonder. Giant insects and all sorts of industrial equipment decorate the place and no wall seems normal. Those who like details can spend all day looking at the design of the museum.
There was one thing I was missing, though. I was dressed in shorts, flip flops and a shirt. Aside from the shirt, my outfit was terrible. In some of the climbing constructions, I decided to take off my flip flops and go on bare foot. After a while, my knees hurt and the fact that I’m a solid 6 feet tall didn’t help in conquering all corners of the museum. During my tour I did recognize how I would have loved the place as a ten-year old boy. There is nothing you cannot climb on and opposed to a lot of playgrounds, safety hasn’t ruined it. You can bump your head into the steel constructions, or fall from a set of rocks, but as long as you use common sense, there is no danger standing in the way of your adventure. In fact, it’s so adventurous, a 25-year old might sometimes feel ‘too old’.
Location: 701 North 15th Street, St Louis, MO 63103, USA
Entry Fee: Adult $12