City Museum ST Louis

The City Museum in St. Louis is an urban playground like no other, a whimsical wonderland that defies easy description. It’s part children’s museum, part artist’s workshop, and part architectural marvel, all housed in a 600,000 square-foot former shoe factory in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.

The idea for the City Museum was conceived by artist and sculptor Bob Cassilly, who purchased the vacant International Shoe building in 1993 with a vision to turn it into an eclectic mix of playground, funhouse, and surrealist pavilion. Opened to the public in 1997, the City Museum has since welcomed millions of visitors who come to explore its unusual attractions.

The museum is a labyrinth of creatively repurposed industrial and architectural objects, most of which are salvaged from around the St. Louis area. Cassilly and his team of artisans, known as the Cassilly Crew, have transformed these items into a series of diverse spaces and exhibits that both children and adults can explore and enjoy.

The museum’s exhibits are spread across multiple floors and include a myriad of tunnels, slides, bridges, and climbing structures. One of the standout attractions is MonstroCity, an outdoor playground that features two Saber 40 aircraft fuselages suspended in the air, a fire engine, a castle turret, and a myriad of metal tunnels weaving in and out of the structure. It’s a place where children can climb, explore, and let their imaginations run wild.

Another iconic part of the museum is the 10-story spiral slide that descends to a subterranean cave system. The caves are a labyrinth of sculpted artificial caves and tunnels that wind around and under the museum. These, along with the numerous other slides in the museum, are a favorite for kids and adults alike.

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On the roof of the City Museum, visitors will find even more to explore, including a Ferris wheel, a school bus hanging precariously over the edge of the building, and a series of slides and climbing structures. From the roof, visitors are also treated to a panoramic view of St. Louis.

The City Museum is also home to the World Aquarium, a separate entity located within the museum that provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about and interact with a variety of aquatic species. The aquarium houses everything from turtles and stingrays to sharks and alligators.

The museum is not just about climbing and exploring. It also hosts a variety of educational programs and workshops for children, including art classes and circus skills workshops. Moreover, the museum’s eclectic collection of architectural and industrial objects serves as a testament to St. Louis’s rich history and heritage.

In addition to its exhibits, the City Museum also features several eateries, a vintage clothing store, a bar with live music performances, and a circus ring with daily shows. It’s a place where the lines between art, history, and play are blurred, resulting in an experience that’s as educational as it is entertaining.

In conclusion, the City Museum in St. Louis is a unique cultural institution that offers a diverse range of experiences for its visitors. It’s a place where imagination and creativity are celebrated, and where children and adults alike can explore, learn, and most importantly, have fun. Whether it’s climbing through the cavernous MonstroCity, sliding down the 10-story slide, taking in the views from the rooftop Ferris wheel, or participating in an art workshop, there’s something for everyone at the City Museum. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone visiting St. Louis, and a place that continues to captivate and inspire all who walk through its doors.

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