Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Wed June 17 2015

This Museum Will Make You A Kid Again

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | June 17, 2015

This Museum Will Make You A Kid Again

All photos courtesy of the City Museum

In 1995, the late Bob Cassilly and wife Gail, took an old International Shoe Company warehouse that they owned in St. Louis and started construction on what would become, “an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects.” They dubbed it the City Museum.

Everything located within (and outside of) this museum has been acquired within the municipality of the city and includes old salvaged chimneys and bridges, construction cranes, tons of tile, and two abandoned planes. There is more than 600,000 square feet of space to explore. It's uncharted territory for visitors, because the museum does not provide any maps! There are two different ball pits to play in with big rubber balls instead of tiny plastic ones. There is a three-story, five-story and a ten-story slide and plenty of opportunities to climb, jump, and run your way around the ten-story structure. Don’t forget to check out the Ferris wheel on the roof!

Climbing from the airplane to three story slide

On the third floor is a circus ring with daily big top-style performances. Not far away is a vintage shoelace-making machine that used to make boot laces during WWII that still makes laces, along with necklaces and other lacey type items for sale to the guests. Other trinkets can be purchased at the museum gift shop.

As if that wasn't enough to offer visitors, this museum is home to the World Aquarium, an interactive animal exhibition and rehabilitation center. The aquarium held the Guinness World Record for largest collection of two-headed creatures. Sadly, the last one passed away in 2013.

Playing around like a kid again will no doubt make you hungry, and the City Museum Delivers. They have a sandwich shop called Samwiches In The City, The Baby Elephant Café serving up circus fare on the third level near the circus, The Cabin Inn with full bar for the adults and ice cream parlor for the younger ones, and, weather permitting, an Outdoor BBQ and Rooftop Cantina as well.

Kids climbing the giant slinky to the next level

The museum recommends long pants, closed toe shoes, bringing a flashlight and if you are in need, the gift shop sells knee pads. Go be a kid again the next time you are in St. Louis. You could get lost for a whole day there!

Here is a video of Chris Marquardt from Tips From the Top Floor exploring the City Museum:

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