I was looking for something fun to tour, something I hadn’t done before. During these interesting times, I have found creativity rules all. So to keep my love of adventure alive and to honestly keep my interests peaked, I thought I would try out the City Museum. Located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, and about a mile from the Gateway Arch, it was in walking distance so that I didn’t have to park and pay twice. I HIGHLY suggest this, as the parking near the Museum WAS plentiful, but the parking near the Arch was a bit stressful to find. I booked my ticket online at their WEBSITE, and lucky me, they were half off for the day I attended which was a Saturday, August 22nd, 2020.
The entrance way, already in a creepy type ally setting, was an eclectic mess of twisting steel, rusting metal, and beautiful sculptures. I walked up wondering what I had got myself into honestly, was I entering a Museum or Batman’s underground lair? You never know, sometimes what looks great online can just be a big old mess when it’s right in front of you. Entering was easy, just showed the paid ticket on my phone, bypassed the families in line to buy tickets, and I was in. Heard a lot of chatter about a Groupon deal for that day, so check that out if you are thinking of coming here.
There’s no wrong way to tour this place, at least that’s how I saw it. With one main staircase that runs up the left side, along the wall of windows, you can traverse that or find the other many hidden passage ways, tunnels, and spiral staircases to and from each floor. Yes, you read that right, you are a child again here and playing is part of the fun! At first I thought maybe it was truly like a Children’s Museum, that I had been to many with my own kids when they were small, but as I explored deeper, I just found more and more that didn’t add up to that.
I wish I could explain this place better, as it was the craziest, coolest, mind blowing Museum I had been to in a while. Artists came together to make this fairytale of places, and it feels like you are just transported from one storybook to another. At one point, I see a small door open, nothing written on it to say where it is going, and I find myself through it and in this large, dark shaft. Was I in the employee parking lot? What is this place??? No, it’s spiraling staircases that lead higher and higher to a 5 and 10 STORY, not FOOT, STORY slides!!! No, I didn’t slide….seriously I couldn’t even process that this was a room.
I would walk from one room full of old pinball machines, to the next which hosted a Beatnik Café with old fashioned soda bottles and hot dogs. I found myself saying out loud, A LOT, WHERE AM I???? One floor was just a sea of creatures and waterfalls, the next was a system of tunnels that you could sperlunk in. A Castle sat in another corner, with an animal playground for toddlers next to it. A Circus on that same floor where they normally had performers come, big top and all. Then a full, HUGE, SKATE Park where you can come and skateboard or rollerblade!
And then there is the outside….Monstropolis. A playground on a level that was not only mind blowing, but encouraged for ALL ages to enjoy! Airplanes to walk in and out of, suspended high above the parking lot, a dragon’s scales to LITERALLY scale, a bus that teeters off the roof (closed due to covid), and so much more!!! I don’t think this is a Museum, but a movie set.
It took me a good three hours to see everything, and there’s a lot to enjoy here. I noticed several small places to eat, and unless you are sitting to eat, masks are required at all times while touring. The Beatnik Café was on the third floor and barely being used, while the main eatery on the second floor was much more popular. I loved the Café, it’s a great place to sit and have a hot dog while looking at all the crazy and wonderful art displays there. I found it much more peaceful and fun than the Eatery on te second floor.
Also don’t miss the beautiful displays of City architecture that they saved from around St. Louis before certain buildings are areas were demolished due to time and progress. These pieces are absolutely stunning and although they seemed to bore the kids around us, I encourage adults to take the time to take them in. Seriously, they made some gorgeous buildings back in the day.
So there you have it, the City Museum! I highly recommend you take the family for a day of this and the Arch in St. Louis, great things to see and I believe you’ll come away from the experience too saying “What the heck did I just see?” Enjoy!
Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!