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“Fun place to explore”
Review of City Museum

City Museum
Ranked #8 of 275 things to do in Saint Louis
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Don't take the name so literally. We're about fun. Not your white walls, walk around, and be quiet museum. If you want to climb around, get active with your kids or are a big kid at heart, we're the place. If you get freaked out easily, you might not want to come. We're four floors filled with miles of tunnels, a full cave system, over 30 slides, a circus, an arts area, a large outdoor climbing space, Architectural Museum, a Cabin that serves adult beverages, a Museum of Mayhem, Mirth and Mystery, and a ton more. Also, there's the roof with a Ferris Wheel and a bus hanging off its edge.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed October 24, 2011

This museum is not at all what you would expect. Lots of climbing and slides for the adventurous. Lots of great areas to just hang out, also. Don't miss the rooftop!

Thank bkbkg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,264 - 5,268 of 5,614 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2011

This was a totally unexpected surprise. I didn't really know what we were going to see and were pleasantly suprised. What an amazing place. There are so many places to explore. If you have kids (probably want to take the older ones and not toddlers) you have to go here. The attention to detail is some of the mosiac designs is really impressive. I was a little disappointed because there were so many add-ons to an already pricey ticket, but the City Museum is still a must-see.

Thank AJR2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2011

This would have been a great place for us about 10 years ago when we'd have had the children with us. They would have loved it. No good for us but at least we were given our money back. I requested this when I learnt they were privately not state owned.

Thank MargaretJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2011

Going to a museum while on vacation didn’t seem like the most exciting thing to do; in fact, it seemed like the complete opposite. Museums weren’t interesting or exciting in my mind. That is, until my family pulled into the parking lot at the St. Louis City Museum. The outside of the ancient building had tunnels going in and out of the brick walls. An old, yellow school bus hung off the edge of the roof. A plane hung in the air, as if it had just stopped in midflight to accompany the people of St. Louis. So many different things to look at had me stunned. If there was all this to do just on the outside, what could there possibly be on the inside? Little did I know, that trip to the St. Louis City Museum would change my outlook on everything.

It didn’t take long to notice that my family was from out of town, I’m sure. Our noticeable gawking at the old shoe building had many of the staff members smiling. When finally arriving inside the building, we all knew we would be there for a long time. One of the worries I always have in the back of my mind is the money my parents have to fork out every vacation, and in a place like that, I was sure the prices for each person would be outrageous. Especially considering there was a separate price for the world aquarium they have, and the roof top. To my surprise, I was completely wrong.

General admission is $12.00 per person, $5.00 per person to enter the roof top, and $6.00 per person for the world aquarium. That’s only $23.00 per person for everything! The year before my family went here, we decided to visit the Ripley’s Believe It or Not aquarium at Myrtle Beach, Florida. The general admission there was $21.99 per person 12 years and older, and that was everyone in my family! The aquarium wasn’t in the least bit interesting and there really wasn’t much to do. The St. Louis City museum’s world aquarium is so much better! There is so much to do, and the aquarium is just a side attraction! There are tubes of water and fish swimming going across the ceiling; it was so amazing to see fish and other water creatures swimming above everyone. There is a tank of nibbler fish that eats all your cuticles off and makes your nails healthier (it didn’t hurt at all). There is also a huge tank of giant sea creatures with a tunnel in the middle you can crawl through, almost like you are swimming with them. It was absolutely incredible. Like I said, this is just the aquarium.

One of the things my family talks about the most when thinking back to that amazing day is how easy it was to go from one place to another. For example, I started off in the mouth of a whale (not a real one, of course) and ended up in this huge enchanted cave. There is a toddler town, a skate-less park, a gift shop, a vintage clothing store called the “Baleout”, four story tree houses, there is even a circus. Yes, I said a circus. There is the Mezzanine (a sandwich place), a giant ball pit, a “MonstroCity”, a shoelace factory and much, much more.

My family and I were very impressed at how the staff seemed to keep everything in order, as well as being very informational. One man in particular took the time to tell my family about the museum and we were very surprised to hear that most of the items used to decorate it were recycled. The man was very nice, answered all of our questions, and didn’t hesitate to tell us where some of the best attractions were. You expect to get a lot of new information at various museums, and this one made you question everything. And naturally, with questions you get all kinds of answers from the friendly and knowledgeable staff that were always around to help. This was very convenient for everyone there, who didn’t want to stop exploring but still had questions.

Throughout the building was clean and organized, and not once did I feel that my safety was in danger. The whole place seemed to be family oriented. You would expect a museum with so many jungle-gym-type objects to be only for children or small people; in this case, this is not the truth. The museum is for everyone! All ages, all shapes and sizes, everyone can explore and climb and crawl just as well as the next seven year old. My father, for example, has lifted weights ever since I can remember and is not a particularly small guy, yet he had the most fun out anyone else in our family. He was able to feel like a kid again; swinging on ropes, climbing up slinky ladders, riding the Farris Wheel on the roof, just having fun with everyone else. This is one aspect that made the museum one of the most memorable vacations ever.

Little did I know, that trip to the St. Louis Children’s Museum would change my outlook on everything. Going to a museum, you don’t usually expect what my family and I got, but it was good thing. We all got to experience something that made us challenge how we had viewed the world before. I would recommend this museum to anyone that wants to feel like they are young again and that anything is possible, to families that want something safe, fun, and educational, and to anyone that is tired of the traditional and expensive vacation exhibits. Take it from me, you won’t regret it.

3  Thank Sammiie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 20, 2011

This past summer, five other lifeguards and myself, all of us being between seventeen and eighteen, embarked on a three-day getaway to St. Louis, Missouri. The first day we arrived, we visited the arch. The second day we visited Six Flags. Half of our third day we went to the zoo. We had about six hours to kill before we headed back towards Indiana and had received brochures about the City Museum through the visitor’s center. We decide to embark on this journey, which turned out to be our favorite part of the whole trip.
With modern day technology and the extensive directions on the brochure, the City Museum was not hard to find at all. It was in a large building in a very popular part of town, so it felt very secure. One distinctive way to tell you have arrived at the museum is to look at the roofs of the buildings. Once you are at the one with the Ferris wheel on top, you know you have arrived. There was a parking lot directly located across the street from the museum and it only cost three dollars to park in! This was very convenient being it was pouring down raining and the entrance was only a few paces away.
The brochures we received of the museum showed mainly the exhibits it offered and the extravagant outdoor of the establishment. Reading the brochure, we expected it to be a somewhat prestigious environment, so we wore clothes that had a dressy nature. Once we arrived and realized the fun we had in store for us, we soon regretted our choice of garments. Though the exhibits where very much like the advertisements, it also left out the tunnels we would be crawling through and the slides we would go down. A t-shirt and shorts would have been much more appropriate! However, the advertisements did grab our interest, and I am glad it did.
Initially looking at the admission fees, it can be a little overwhelming. For all the adventures and memories you will make, it is a steal! Seven dollars to be able to access the all the floors excluding the aquarium and roof may seem like a lot when you multiply it by six, but for everything this place has to over, we thought it was a little inexpensive. I recommend paying the extra five dollars and going to the roof and aquarium, what you will see will take your breath away. For the six of us, it cost seventy-two dollars, and it was well spent! The restaurant in the museum had amazing deals as well. With the amazing all American cuisine, including pizza, hot dogs, burgers, sub sandwiches, and much more, it was very cheap! We ordered a pepperoni pizza that cost about six dollars total and it was well portioned. Overall, the pricing of the City Museum is very inexpensive.
After paying our dues and entering the craziness, a friendly staff member greeted us. Their uniform consists of a yellow t-shirt with the words “City Museum” on the front and “Staff” on the back and black pants with neon stripes on the sides. This made them very visible if we needed anything. The staff member that greeted us offered to give us a quick tour of the first floor. We graciously declined and she promptly gave us wristbands that said “Get Lost” on them. She told us to have a spectacular time getting lost. Though in many settings this can seem very rude, it is truly what you do. The staff was exceptional and they had a “Lost Parents” station for family members who lost their parties. I give them five stars for that!
I subconsciously expected to get bored quickly, but this place proved me wrong. The six hours we spent there flew by so fast! On the first floor, you are greeted with bright colors everywhere. We walked back a little ways and found the caves and tree houses as well as the artic caverns. We quickly decided to partner up to begin our journey into the unknown. Words of advice; use the buddy system! At least one person in each group should have a cell phone so you can contact each other when you are ready to leave because frankly, you get lost and might not see each other. Travis and I decided to initially enter the artic caverns and soon found ourselves surrounded by caves with limitless pathways. We were stunned. This place is the most unique architectural entertainment I have ever been to. The tree houses linked to the caves, the caves linked to the caverns, the caverns linked to different floors, there was just so much you could do and we had so little time! There were numerous types of slides we encountered, but the one they are most famous for is their ten-story slide. Not feet, not yards, not meters, no. This slide was ten stories high and it was a thrill. It looked like a very old laundry shoot from the eighties that was shifted and altered into a thrill for all ages. On the roof we rode the Ferris wheel and outside we jumped into the massive ball pit before we navigated our way to the airplanes. We eventually found ourselves on the floor with a human sized hamster wheel. We could not tell you how we got there, because we are completely unsure, but it was a blast! This place is a good work out! We saw kids from about the age of four to adults older than us enjoying all the things the City Museum offers. There was never a dull moment.
Despite my size, I felt extremely safe crawling through the suspended tunnels and traveling down the slides. This place is build very sturdy and is maintained. Everything is made out of a material that is hard, yet crawling around on it, you don’t get scrapes or rug burns. There was only one entrance that was obvious to the building, so I would not be afraid to take my nephew there and let him loose. Being curious lifeguards, we asked a staff member on the hamster wheel floor if they ever have people pass out. They said yes, but most of the staff members are trained in CPR and AED usage and they proceeded to ensure us about our safety. They were very honest and trustworthy, which made us feel even safer there.
After our exhausting, yet exhilarating adventures, we decided to hit the gift shop for some souvenirs. We all got t-shirts, they were two for ten dollars, city museum wristbands, which were a little over a dollar, and I got my brother some astronaut food for a little less than three bucks. The shirts never shrunk and the wristbands are still whole, which means these were good quality souvenirs. They were very inexpensive and didn’t leave us broke!
The City Museum is now my favorite place to visit. It is truly an architectural wonder and allows you to be a kid again. It inspires creativity and induces happiness. Plus, you get a pretty good work out exploring all the paths. I give my highest recommendation to all families and groups considering visiting the City Museum. If you are in St. Louis, Missouri, it is a must! This place exceeds five stars!

1  Thank Vanessa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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