Two full sized airplanes, a ceiling decorated with thousands of fiberglass fragments, hidden caves and a life-sized figure of a whale are all things you will find inside the St. Louis City Museum. Tucked away downtown, this massive indoor/outdoor wonderland is an upcycler’s dream. Like nowhere else you’ve ever been, the City Museum offers something for visitors of any age, and provides you with an endless amount of fun. The experiences you will have at this museum/playground compiled with a miss match of recycled materials help build memories that will last a lifetime. See for yourself.
There really are no words that can adequately describe the awesomeness that is the City Museum. The City Museum opened its doors in 1997 within the 600,000 square foot warehouse that used to be the International Shoe Company’s headquarters. Believe me when I say that this fun-filled location has utilized every square inch of that space to create a virtual playground of well, junk. Remember the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Well, nowhere is that saying more truthfully represented than at the St. Louis City Museum.
The City Museum consists of an outdoor play area, four floors of fun, and the roof, which houses a working Ferris wheel, monster sized praying mantis and a bus that is suspended of the side of the building. The outside area features two large ball pits, a real fire engine and a series of tunnels, ladders and slides that allow adults and children alike to climb above the city and enjoy the view.
Within the first floor of the City Museum, you will come face to face with a life-sized bowhead whale. This floor features an underwater scene complete with the “puking pig,” a tree house hideaway with tunnels that go up into the ceiling, and underground caverns. I loved the mosaic work that is featured in this area of the museum. It is amazing to look around and know that everything you see is made from reclaimed building materials and upcycled items. It is through the caves found on this floor that you will find the staircase that take you up to the 10-story slide made from the shoots that were used to send shoes from floor to floor in the former factory.
The second floor holds the World Aquarium, which is available for touring for an additional fee. We did not enter this area, but there You can also find the shoelace factory on this floor, a nod to the building’s former tenants.
On the third floor, children have to literally be drug out of the skate park room. Full of ramps, ropes and a rather daunting maze that is built into the wall, this area lets kids burn off some much needed energy. Also found on this floor is an area for younger visitors, and a play area with what I personally thought was the best slide in the whole building, fast, dark and ultra fun.
The fourth floor is currently undergoing some work, but there are some really fun chairs up there. They are hard to explain, but my 12-year old did not want to get out of them. He kept bugging to go back up all night.
If you are visiting St. Louis with your family, the the City Museum is an attraction that you cannot miss. Full of wonder and intrigue, it feeds your imagination and provides an entire day of entertainment at a great price.
Plan a Visit
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 9am-5pm, Fri.-Sat. 9am-midnight and Sun. 10am-5pm
Admission: $12 per person with a discount to $10 per person on Fri. and Sat. after 5pm.
Parking: Paid and metered parking is available. If visiting at night, you can park on the street for free after 7pm and save some money.