There is no better way to describe the uniqueness of the City Museum than to take from their own website:
"Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. The brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, a classically trained sculptor and serial entrepreneur, the museum opened for visitors in 1997 to the riotous approval of young and old alike."
We went here last year during a trip to St Louis for a friend's wedding. We went with a large group of children and adults and it was fun to see how the different ages explored the space. It is very difficult to put into words what you find when you walk in the doors of the City Museum. It is a visual treat unlike any other. I would allow at least 2-3 hours to explore. It is huge and honestly a whole day could be spent climbing, investigating, and discovering.
Our twins were almost two when we visited and we only had two hours, so we were limited in what we could do. On the first floor our favorite parts were watching the fish and then climbing in the treehouse. At almost two, our twins were able to climb a fair amount of the treehouse on their own. My husband and I also had fun taking turns challenging ourselves to go higher. There were also caverns that were fun to run around in. I think the amazing opportunities for gross motor movement was my favorite part of this incredible space.
The third floor was our other favorite. There was a mini-train for toddlers. Our twins were a little too young to ride it on their own, but now as three year olds they would be thrilled. There is also a skateless skate park that was super fun for adults and children to slide around in.
Of all the amazing things to see and do at the City Museum, I believe the staircase captured the attention of our children the most. It is amazingly intrique and it took us about 45 minutes to coax them down the stairs because they kept stopping to marvel and touch parts.
I would love to go back in another year or two and see what new things we can discover.
*Super expensive, but amazingly creative.
*Upstairs there is a train for the smallest children who are willing to ride on their own - our 21m olds were not yet ready.
*Highly recommend, but better for preschoolers.
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