Friday, April 06, 2012

City Museum!


The blog post on our trip to St. Louis to visit the Mettenburgs had one major omission: our visit to the City Museum. The reason was of course that it was all too much for one post. When we told people we we're planning a visit to St. Louis for Spring Break, the one thing that kept coming up was the amazing City Museum. When Joe & Cate concurred, we knew we couldn't miss it, so on Monday morning we visited one of the most amazing museums we've ever been to. Museum probably isn't quite the right word for the place, it's nothing like the museum exhibits we're used to in the Smithsonian; instead, it's more like a giant playground.

Outside there are dragons and old planes in the sky that you are invited to explore via a series of ladders and tubes of rebar. Crawling through an archway five stories in the air you spy a giant ball pit with no clear entrance. What at first seem like architectural or decorative elements quickly become places to climb on and clamber over. Slide down a roof, find a secret spiral stair, jump into a giant ball pit.

As the day started to warm up (to an unseasonable mid 90's), we went inside to find slides, tree-houses, whale mouths, giant hamster wheels, magic shows, secret tunnels and caves. Owen's favorite part was entering into the mouth of the whale, which led to a complex series of indoor caverns. As Joe put it, this is the kind of place where you see a tiny hole in the floor, and you feel compelled to get down on your knees and crawl through it to see what's on the other side. In the case of the whale's mouth, the caves led to a central room with a large crystal formation in the middle and an opening above that revealed the remains of a spiral delivery system left over from the old shoe factory that previously occupied this space. Of course this needs to be investigated, and sure enough, climbing up through the caves to a series of stairs reveals the dirty and rusted spirals, and eventually you reach the top to find a 10 story spiral slide! The exhausting climb to the top was worth it, so much so, Owen and Gigi did it 3 times!

Eventually, Elaine and Cate took Nora home for a nap, and Joe and I stayed to explore some more with the big kids. By the end of the day we were all exhausted and thoroughly impressed with the City Museum.


(click here for all our City Museum pictures)

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