City Museum

750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA

Located in a former shoe factory, City Museum devotes 600,000 square feet and four levels to play for all ages. The museum was the brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Bob Cassilly—along with a crew of 20 artisans known as the Cassilly Crew—who constructed the space from objects found around the city, from construction cranes and fire trucks to church pipe organs, old airplanes, and plenty of reclaimed building materials. The result is a wonderfully weird and wacky museum that’s constantly evolving, depending on what’s been donated and collected recently. There’s a sky-high jungle gym, a rooftop Ferris wheel, an aquarium, and multi-story slides that once served as chutes for shoes. The museum has a “no map” policy to encourage exploration, but does advise visitors to bring their own flashlight—you never know what you’ll find in those dark caves.

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Playground for All Ages

The City Museum is a funhouse for young and old, displaying reclaimed articles in a 600,000 sq. ft. former shoe factory. The museum bills itself as an “eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel.” Where else can you see a five-story slinky, a rooftop ferris wheel, a 10-story slide, a 76-foot pencil, and things you could never have thought of, all made from recycled artifacts? Think cars, cranes, tin cans, tires, refrigerant coils, you name it. Seriously—fun for all ages. Wear comfortable clothing, ideally sneakers and long pants, and leave your hands free if possible. Day or night, the fun is there. One blogger described the Museum as a “playground meets science fair meets historical architecture meets circus.” The exhibits are ever-changing, as new “found” articles are constantly being donated and re-purposed. Must be seen to be believed.

The City Museum

The City Museum in Saint Louis is hard to describe. It is a combination of random museum exhibits and a giant metal playground. Outside of the city museum is a giant metal playground park. It goes about 5 stories high at some points and features many strange things. For example, climb a spiral staircase to reach an old airplane. Or, go the other way and slide down an old converted fire truck. There’s also a ball pit and a gril on the ground under all the metalwork. Next, head inside where things get even wackier. There is even more climbing structures and slides. Plus an old skate park you can run and side around on and a scale model train that kids can ride. If you want to take a break from climbing look at some of the museum exhibits. Such as one that features pieces of buildings built by famous architects. There is also one that has different old movie posters. But, for most people the main highlight of the trip is the 10 story spiral side. It is kinda hard to find it... Just go behind the large whale near the gift shop. As you enter the door to get there it is like a real cave. You will go quite far in before you get to a tall skinny room with a glass skylight on top. As you start to climb up you can see what the slide will be like by taking the identical, but shorter 5 story slide. The climb up there is definitely more scary than the ride down. The City Museum is a weird place but is definitely worth the stop.

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