The title “City Museum” seems like a misnomer; unless it’s a museum where visitors can touch the paintings and climb the walls. The City Museum occupies a 600,000 square foot retired shoe factory, and contains an elaborate playground, designed for adults and kids alike. The place was designed by an artist, which is reflected in the design of the railings, stairs and occasional wire structure. Decorations also include museum-like reproductions of Roman reliefs, trees and spiral staircases. There is system of caves, with stalagmites and stalactites decor. Along with the labyrinth of caves, the museum boasts a giant ball pit, a number of slides (one of which is 10 stories long), and many other places to explore with a completely acceptable level of child-like enthusiasm. Other places to explore include two actual (retired) airplanes and an outdoor jungle gym, which is fully enclosed with wire and quite safe. There is also an actual school bus hanging off the edge of the roof and a Ferris wheel that lights up at night, providing a splendid view of the city.
Through all of the crawling and climbing, visitors can inadvertently get a good workout. To make the most of your experience, wear sneakers and long pants, and bring a flashlight. There are four eating options within the museum: a Café that serves circus fair, an ice cream and smoothie shop, a BBQ restaurant, and the rooftop cantina. A ticket for the museum costs $12 for 3 years and up, kids 2 years and under can enter for free. Tickets cost $10 after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The City Museum is centrally located in downtown St. Louis, and is about a 5-minute drive from several of our recommended hotels. There is plenty of parking around the City Museum. The City Museum’s designated parking lot costs $5, and there are also numerous parking spots on the adjacent streets, along with other commercial lots.
Open W-Th 9a-5p; F/Sat 9a-12a; Sun 11a-5p. Closed M/Tu.