Monday, June 8, 2015

St. Louis City Museum


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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.



The side of the building features more intricate tunnels and slides and, yes, that is an airplane. 

Numerous artifacts (wooden, stone and metal facades) like these gargoyles are spread throughout the museum mostly from long gone skyscrapers from Chicago or St. Louis.

A wall of printing engraver's plates decorated one room. I could've spend hours sifting through these, but you have to read them backwards and it was giving me a headache and the room turned out to be off limits and I got kicked out by a really nice worker.

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!

22 comments:

  1. I've never been to a fun house or a museum. That looks like a lot of fun!

    No road trips (other than with A to Z) or vacations for me this summer. :( Bummer!

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    1. Maybe a fall trip instead? I love the colors of autumn.

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  2. Wow, what a cool place to visit! I'd try to hit it on a weekday, preferably when no school field trips are scheduled. But the kid in me would have a great time exploring the staircases and rabbit holes.

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    1. We went on a Thursday, but it's summertime, so it will probably stay crazy until school starts.

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  3. Well that sounds like fun, not the losing your kids part, unless you want that lol I'd explore the rabbit holes

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    1. Ha! It was a bit intimidating at first. Most of the tunnels lead back to the same place you started. Those rabbit holes were too claustrophobic for me.

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  4. Love the City Museum. My oldest son had an 8th grade trip there just before the last day of school. He wasn't that impressed, but that's probably we had just gone there not too long ago.

    We're going to Arkansas to dig for diamonds and crystals.

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    1. Ahh! I've heard of that place. Sounds like a great adventure!

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  5. A Ferris wheel on the roof? *shudders*

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    1. I know, right? But imagine that view...

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  6. From Central Missouri and never been there. We tend to drive to KC and peruse the museums there. Great idea for future drives :) visiting on the Road Trip.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I've never been to KC, but I'm sure it's worth a trip.

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  7. This looks like an interesting place! It's funny how you ended up in a forbidden room.

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    1. It's funny how I wrote a similar scene in my latest novel, and then it happened in real life. Thx for visiting my blog.

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  8. Great pictures. I wish my city had a large museum one could get lost in. I have to go to bigger cities for that experience.

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  9. I love this! Ugh, seriously want to visit, this seems like such a cool museum!

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  10. How awesome! We aren't very far from there, either. We may have to plan a weekend trip.

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  11. Looks like an interesting place to explore. I'm doing a lot with my kids this summer. I just took them to Burgess Falls National Park. Mammoth Caves is next.

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  12. Goodness, I would love to take a roadtrip this summer, but with the little one? Yeah, that's not happening. I'll have to experience other people's adventures and exercise that thing we call imagination. ;)

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  13. Museums are great when they engage the kids! Looks fun. They'll learn stuff without even realising it.

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  14. i love the uniqueness of this museum! cool weird and amazing! definitely worth the trip!
    and we may be doing a day trip or two instead of a big week this summer, but sometimes that can be just as fun!

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  15. I'm slowly taking laps with the A2Zroadsters each week. Obviously summer is really here and my blog visits get interrupted with something or another, but hey this is all in good fun, right? Anywho, this looks like an amazing to see if ever I'm in St. Louis. Thanks for sharing. Feel free to drop by anytime!

    Curious as a Cathy

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