Tuesday, September 13, 2011

City Museum - You have GOT to be KIDDING me!

V writes: Today we went to the greatest children’s museum EVER! It’s in Saint Louis, but I would gladly leap into the car to come! There also is a really neat water park / sculpture garden that you HAVE to stop at! You could stay here for MONTHS! I hope EVERYONE comes!

I write: I’m entirely with V on this one. Today we visited the most spectacular children’s “museum” I’ve ever seen – City Museum in downtown St. Louis, MO. There is a museum element (third floor – lots of architectural pieces from the Midwest, glass doorknobs, metal doorknobs, cornices, neon, etc.), but the greatest part is the play element including a rooftop playground, outside playground and two stories of indoor playgrounds as well as room for crafts, good eats, room to sit and rest between climbs and slides and structures large enough even adults can play along.

In fact, City Museum is not billed as a children’s museum at all. It was built in an old shoe factory, with recycled parts used throughout. There are more slides than we could find on this first trip, nooks and crannies to explore, and not a whole heckuva lot of organization which is PERFECT for the true adventurous spirit. Somehow it all comes together with themed areas that are noticeable to those who look beyond the play structures.

Some of my favorite things about the museum were the mosaics which decorate it throughout. Someone has done a LOT of work to create this magical space which was entirely worth the 2,000+ miles we covered to get here. There are mosaics in tile and in glass, on the floor, walls, ceilings and columns.

It took a bit of talking, but I managed to talk V into trying the Monster Slide, a three-story drop she really enjoyed. There are lots of other smaller slides, but the ultimate slide here is the 10-story Slide. One of the old shoe shoots along which shoes once spiraled to the ground floor for packing and shipping has been transformed to a spiral slide for riders of all ages. It takes about 30 seconds to go from top to bottom, and the unusual ride is extraordinarily fun.

Neither words nor photos can really convey the feeling of the place. Try these pictures. And if you’re ever in St. Louis, be sure to set aside a WHOLE day for this playground.

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