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What started out as a trip to the St. Louis Zoo turned into a day at the City Museum due to major storms. I have to admit, I've read about this place and even checked it out online, but nothing can prepare you for the scale of this ginormous fun house slash museum occupying an entire city block in downtown St. Louis. And the price for parking at $1.25 made it worth the $12 price of admission. The former International Shoe Company stands ten stories tall and has been transformed into what I think is an accurate description: McDonalds' playland on crack or steroids or both. A mini Ferris wheel adorns the roof along with a school bus that partially hangs over the side of the building. The stairs, railings, and slides have been constructed from recycled building materials. The three story indoor slide remained the highlight attraction for younger children. A visit to the ballroom on one of the upper floors is a must to get your sanity back. In this space, the chaos trims dramatically and you can finally hear yourself think again.
Once you've burrowed through the maze of rabbit holes (I'm not kidding how tiny and creepy some of these are) and Goonies-like shipwrecks and abandoned shacks, you enter the upper levels that resemble more of a museum. Just plan to lose your kids at least once, maybe twice, or more. At least the wrist bands provide a space for a parent's cell number.
One of my favorite rooms turned out to be the taxidermy room with enough stuffed owls, hawks and dead bugs to complete any fourth grade science project. The vastness of the former Shoe Company grips you the moment you step through a tiny rusted door on the third floor where you squeeze your way through twisted metal staircases and tunnels several stories tall in this maze of Dysopian wonder world. You're left wondering if you've entered the Matrix or a Divergent dream or some other similar alternate universe or fictional world.
Are you taking any road trips this summer? Or do you prefer to take day trips? Now you know what I do when I am unable to write: urban exploring while dragging my kids along. The official countdown to our family vacation is in one month. Any trips planned? Hope you are having a fantastic summer!