When you think of St. Louis, Missouri, you most certainly think of visiting the iconic Gateway Arch officially known as the Thomas Jefferson Westward Expansion Memorial. We began our day with a visit to the famous Arch and then found an even better gem for our family in the City Museum.
Have you ever seen a museum like this? We were recommended to the City Museum by a teacher friend who lives in the St. Louis area. We followed her advice and the Museum invited our family to come spend our Saturday here!
Now mind you that any place featuring the word ‘museum’ in its title is questionable to our tweens. ‘Museum’ has a connotation of being boring and perhaps a little too educational in their eyes. We haven’t visited many museums along our route because we prefer to spend the majority of our time outdoors. But, this museum is unlike anything that exists anywhere else we have ever been. We were fascinated by this unique, urban spectacle. The City Museum is a definite highlight of our time in St. Louis!
Let’s start with the fabulous rooftop.
It costs an extra $5 in addition to your $12 general admission ticket. The rooftop is open weather permitting and is tons of fun! There is a cool cafe up here too where you can get drinks and snacks, including beer.
It’s best to wear comfortable clothes and definitely old athletic shoes. A couple of our kids sneakers got beat up here, so be sure to not wear anything you care a lot about. Pants are even smart to wear, even though the kids get hot running all around! We even saw what must’ve been City Museum veterans wearing knee pads.
There is no map or brochure to navigate the building. A lot of it is ever-changing I guess. The 3rd Floor was where we spent a lot of time. It is home to a number of attractions including Skateless Park, which is a collection of skateboard ramps, minus the skateboards, with rope swings tied in front of the ramps and mats to land on. We would’ve liked to have seen the Everyday Circus that performs daily but the timing just didn’t work out for us.
Around the corner from the Circus, is Art City where guests can try different art techniques. Beatnik Bob’s is an interesting spot across from the Circus, featuring vintage video/pinball games, and a concessions stand with candy and ice cream. Everywhere you look there is something interesting to look at or climb on or through!
It was honestly tough to get too many pictures here as the kids were off and running the entire time! I’m so happy that our four are old enough to fend for themselves because this is a place where young ones could easily get lost. There are so many places to climb and explore!
If you are lucky enough to snag a parking spot in the museum parking lot (which we did), it is only $5. There is plenty of parking in the surrounding areas too. There are lots of good food options here as well, so you don’t have to worry about going hungry. Our favorite was the BBQ cart outside of the ball pit area just outside of the entrance.
And what museum stays open on a Saturday summer night until midnight? This one! We were all worn out way before that, but next time I’m planning to shut the place down!