Long walks, longer lectures and maintaining decorum, while calmly taking in the knowledge of the city around you.. is that what comes to you mind when you think of a museum? In the City Museum of St. Louis, it’s more about crawling through tunnels, climbing up ladders and learning about the city around you while you’re literally up to your knees in parts of it! This museum, in a style that’s unique and refreshing, mixes the fun of a theme park with the secrets of St. Louis.
Artist Bob Cassilly founded the museum, converting a shoe company into a quirky 600,000 feet museum topped with a Ferris wheel, which opened to the public in 1997. Cassilly and is group of artisans collected building material from all around the city and created each and every exhibit, resulting in an eclectic combination of a children’s playground, a funhouse and a surrealistic pavilion. This architectural marvel was created according to the founders dream that children and adults alike could come to the museum and be filled with amazement at real objects from the city. “City Museum makes you want to know,” said Cassilly. “The point is not to learn every fact, but to say, ‘Wow, that’s wonderful.’ And if it’s wonderful, it’s worth preserving.”
- Walk into the first floor and through a humungous model of a Bowhead Whale and enter a series of tunnels hidden up in the ceiling. To enter these, you can either walk through a giant slinky or travel through a tree house which leads into a giant hollowed out tree that leads the other side of the floor.
- The most popular feature of the museum is one the first floor, the Enchanted Caves and Shoe Shafts. These run through the center of the Museum, and go all the way to the highest floor.
- The second floor contains two 3,000-pound vault doors built in mid-19th-century St. Louis. Vintage opera statues, a ‘hamster wheel’, statues and around 1000 safety deposit boxes make up the displays in this room. This is also the home of the Shoelace Factory, where visitors can order custom made laces.
- Also on the second floor is The World Aquarium is an animal exhibition and rehabilitation center, and exists as an NGO that isn’t actually a part of the museum itself. The Aquarium has its own charges and timings, separate from the City Museum.
- The Third floor has a number of attractions: The Skateless Park, The Every Day Circus, which performs daily at the museum and does private parties as well, Art City where visitors can try their hand at a number of art techniques, Toddler Town; a section dedicated only to those 6 and under and Beatnik Bob's, which features the ‘World's Largest Underwear’. There’s also a collection of vintage video/pinball games, and the Architectural Museum and a Natural History museum. Interestingly, this floor is said to be haunted.
- The roof has a small, old fashioned Ferris wheel which will thrill the kids for sure. A slide, giant rope swings and a now defunct school bus peeks out over the edge of the roof. Outside the building, is the museum’s newest attraction called the ‘Monstrocity’, filled with a castle’s turret, a fire engine, two Sabreliner 40 aircraft fuselages and two ball pits for kids to play in.
City Museum Travel Tips
- Visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a chaperone 18 years of age or older.
- Proof of age may be required.
- No food or drink is allowed to be brought into the museum.
- City Museum is designed to be enjoyed by children of all ages. However, visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a chaperone 18 years of age or older.
- The museum is handicap accessible, but there are areas that may be difficult to maneuver.
- There is absolutely no smoking, (this includes E-Cigarettes and Vaporizers).
- The City Museum experience can include a lot of sliding, climbing, swinging and crawling! Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Sandals/flip flops are strongly discouraged.
- Regardless of style, footwear must be worn at all times.
- You can keep your bags in the Coat Check located on the first floor behind the elevator.
- Most attractions have 2 routes which is ideal for those less adventurous.
Entrance Ticket Details For City Museum
- $12.00 plus tax, free for under 3’s.
- The museum currently only accepts cash, visa, mastercard and discover.
- Fri & Sat (arrive after 5pm): $10.00 plus tax.
- The Roof: $5.00 plus tax.
- Parking: $5.00 (cash only).
- World Aquarium: +$7.95/ +6.00 after 5pm Friday and Saturday.
- The roof top and the World Aquarium is available only with city museum general admission.
- Groups of 15 or more: $8.00 plus tax.
- City Museum does not accept walk in groups. Advance reservation required.
How to Reach City Museum
- There is a MetroLink station that stops nearby.
- From the MetroLink station, catch the Delmar bus (Route #97 to the museum.
- Rosalita’s Cantina (Mexican)
- Bailey’s Range
- Old Spaghetti Factory (Italian)
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60.08% of people who visit Saint Louis include City Museum in their plan
09 AM - 10 AM
30.61% of people start their City Museum visit around 09 AM - 10 AM
People usually take around 3 Hrs to see City Museum
92.11% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting City Museum
City Museum Reviews & Ratings
Can I buy tickets in advance?Answer Report Abuse
Yes, you can buy tickets in advance online from the official website of the City Museum.Report Abuse
I'm from out of town; where is the most convenient parking available?Answer Report Abuse
There is a parking lot beneath Monstrocity which is the nearest to the museum. But, you will also find different metered as well as unmetered spaces on the public streets around.Report Abuse
I am unable to walk a lot but, I do have a scooter to use. Will I be able to follow my family around on it? do you have elevators so I can go from floor to floors.Answer Report Abuse
Most of the area of the City Museum is accessible even when you are not able to walk a lot. But, you might face problems while exploring attractions like cave system or jungle gym. I would suggest calling them on 314-231-2489 before visiting and the staff will do everything in their capacity to help you have the best time.Report Abuse
Is it possible to purchase pendants from Gift shop by phone or E-Mail! We live 90 Miles from St.Louis!!!! Thank You. Wayne NessleinAnswer Report Abuse
Yes. You may call on City Museum, Sanit Louis contact number 1-3142312489 to have you connected with the gift shop. I think ext. 127 is theirs. Alternatively, you may write to them at email@example.com.Report Abuse