“Rain, rain, go away,” were the words coming from my son’s mouth when we were in St. Louis last fall. We lucked out because the rain
held off the day we were supposed to go to a Cardinals game. (By the way, he loved his first baseball game and loved Fred Bird even more.)
The next day we were scheduled to go to the City Museum and, of course, on our way it started raining. We had planned to make a day of it at this one location and I was worried because I didn’t know if we would be able to entertain ourselves just with the inside activities. They have a huge outdoor climbing area called Monstrocity that I thought we would spend a good deal of our time in.
Boy was I wrong, and gladly so. The inside of the City Museum has so much more than a person can even begin to imagine.
We started out at the Shoelace Factory where old shoelace machines have been brought back to life to make colorful shoelaces to give as samples and full size ones for sale. Then, we headed to the arts and crafts area where kids were making masks of all types. They had everything you needed and everything we used was on its second life. They had the plastic rings from six-packs of soda cut up, Styrofoam pieces, shredded paper and that is just what my son used. They also had taken previous artwork that was left behind and rolled it into sticks for the masks.
After that, we headed out to explore. We started at the amazing optical illusion of spiral staircases. Standing at the bottom and looking up is truly a one-of-a-kind view. Then, you start climbing the staircases and kids are popping out all around you from the secret tunnels that are literally built throughout the entire building. We found out that this actually leads to a 10-story spiral slide. I have a tendency to get dizzy very easily, so we decided to only go up five flights as the slide is a very tightly wound spiral slide.
After finding out way out of the staircases, we headed to the jungle and whale area (at least I think it was a whale). This is the ultimate obstacle course with secret passages galore (again, kids popping out from every where you turned). Not only is this fun for the kids, but the adults are right in the mix, and it is a great workout. Crawling on your hands and knees, up and down hills, pulling your body through small places with your elbows and feeling like a kid again (until the next morning). Obviously, if you are claustrophobic, you will need to be choosy on which paths you take. My husband even tried the very small trail that goes under the floor, but he was out almost as soon as he went in!
On the upper levels you will also find some retro and antique items, the world’s largest pair of underwear, world’s largest pencil (yes it does write), a circus that performs at scheduled times throughout the day, a hands-on lesson on snowflakes, a toddler play area, a human hamster wheel, the hall of mirrors, and a train that departs at the whim of the children riding, and so much more.
Then, you discover yet another play area with hidden passages. It resembles a skate park but without the skateboards. The kids run, or slide on their bottoms, down the inclines and under all of it there are passageways that take you throughout this large room. Also, kids can try the swinging ropes, but my son was a bit too small to do this without me holding him.
After about 4 hours we were tired and ready to grab something to eat. They do have a cafe there for visitors to enjoy, but we decided it was probably better to get on the road and head home. We could easily have stayed several more hours as we did not see everything. In addition to Monstrocity there is an aquarium, both of which are an extra fee to visit.
After seeing Monstrocity, we decided it was probably better that it was raining, as my son is a bit too small to climb through that yet, I think. We will probably try it again on another visit to St. Louis that we have planned for the fall, as he will be a year older and much more able to climb through all of it.