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City Museum


Kendyl Rae

By Angela Ash

Sometimes you happen upon a place that almost seems unreal, as if it is a portal into another place altogether... somewhere that is equal parts down the rabbit hole, over the rainbow, and a giant chocolate factory that requires a golden ticket for admittance. Who would guess that this world of pure imagination could even possibly exist?  Well, it does, in all of its glory... right in downtown St. Louis. 

The City Museum is quite like a fun house that has evolved and has literally become something that evades explanation.  It seems to be alive... always growing and always finding new ways to bend reality. 

The massive formation of tunnels seem to be the most well known experience, often creeping and crawling outside, up, down, and sideways... creating a labyrinth that can end on different floors, in a giant tree, within an airplane or bus, or in the midst of a darkened maze.  Not knowing where or even WHEN you will emerge is all a HUGE part of the fun! 

There are cave systems that appear so real that it is mind blowing.  They contain more tunnels, winding staircases, and twisting paths that lead to beautifully painted rooms, and even five and ten story slides.  Yes... you read that correctly.  There is a TEN STORY SLIDE. 

And while all of this could captivate one for hours on end, continue to expect anything that is completely unexpected.  You may stumble upon a circus in action.  You may find yourself sliding down hills and ramps that look as if they would require a skateboard.  You can make arts and crafts.  You can ride a miniature train.  And if your stomach wants to get in on the action, you can eat anything from a full meal to snacks galore at one of several delicious eateries. 

And adults, this is not just for the kiddos.  The sheer marvel of this place is enough to keep your jaw dropping on the regular, but there are plenty of interesting artifacts and examples of architecture to make you feel that you are in a New York City museum.  But best of all, grown ups are invited to play in or on just about anything that the kids drag them through... or does it often end up the other way around? 

And located within the City Museum is also the unique and spectacular World Aquarium. For a nominal extra fee, you can explore the wonders of the deep sea, seeing everything from sharks to sea turtles.  And in keeping the tradition of the famed City Museumtunnels alive and well, you may crawl up or slide through an enclosed tunnel that goes straight through the large central aquarium, where you can swim with its inhabitants... all without getting wet! 

And this is definitely one of the most interactive aquariums in existence, where petting and touching is encouraged in the marked areas.  You can even touch a shark or stingray, or receive a manicure from tiny little fish that seem to make it their mission to provide soft hands to all who enter. 

But the fun doesn't stop with fins and gills, because the World Aquarium offers a diverse array of other animals, including reptiles, birds, and plenty of interesting mammals that you just don't see at the petting zoo. 

Kendyl Rae, a free spirit with her mind continuously focused on one adventure after the next, was in a constant state of euporia. When closing time sadly arrived, the only thing that made dragging her out of the mouth of a whale (true story) possible, was the promise of her very own unicorn.

When you decide to visit the City Museum, you must arrive as soon as they open, or it will be an impossibility to experience even half of what it has to offer.  And trust me, missing one slide... one tunnel... or even one quirky quote on the wall would be an unforgiveable shame.

For more information, visit them online or call (314) 231-2489.