That was the first I had heard of the museum. It peaked my interest but I didn’t see myself going to St. Louis anytime in the near future (I promise it’s not because I’m a die hard Cincinnati Reds fan) until I was invited on the NURFC‘s Education trip. To say I was exited to go to the City Museum would be an understatement.
I was more than excited; I was like a toddler going to see Yo Gabba Gabba.
That’s what the City Museum does to adults; it turns us into children.
After receiving our wristbands and getting over the initial shock of the giant museum NOT having a map or visitor guide (which I personally loved: exploration + curiosity = a true self guided experience), my colleagues and I dove into the Enchanted Caves. I was a little hesitant at first, how was I going to fit into these tiny spaces? Crawl on my belly? Crabwalk? Would I get stuck in the long dark slides? Well, it wasn’t “easy” and I certainly needed the encouragement of my friends (as you’ll see in the videos below) but the experience was incredible. I ruined my blouse and I didn’t care. I was dirty, sweaty and I laughed so hard, I cried. All of this happened and we were still on the first floor.
After spending 90 minutes in the Enchanted Caves we thought we should explore the rest of the museum.
We climbed what felt like a million stairs to slide down the seven story slide…
Played in the giant hamster wheel…
Are you wondering if this is a ‘real’ museum?
Well, it is.
Housed in old International Shoe building in St. Louis, this is a museum of recycled/repurposed architectural and industrial objects with an eclectic collection. It’s very impressive AND very fun!
The second floor collection, yes, I’m using the word collection, features old vault doors and beautifully displayed vintage opera posters.
And this is just the stuff we managed to see in a few hours. We never made it to the roof (I’m a little sad about this) but I definitely plan a trip back to ride the Ferris Wheel, see the signature giant praying mantis and check out the school bus that extends past the edge of the building. Really, it does.
Did I mention there’s an aquarium and a shoelace factory?
The City Museum is an experience that’s fun for children and adults. I saw just as many 20-30 somethings crawling around in the Enchanted Caves as I did 6-12 year olds. Seriously.
After exploring the City Museum website before and after my visit in preparation for this post, a quote by founder Bob Cassilly has stuck with me: “City Museum makes you want to know. The point is not to learn every fact, but to say, ‘Wow, that’s wonderful.’ And if it’s wonderful, it’s worth preserving.” How’s that for a collections policy?
My only suggestion: Bring knee-pads. You’ll thank me.