Places You Need To Visit Immediately: The City Museum

You guys. It’s time to talk about The Best Place That’s Ever Happened.

No, it’s not Chuck E Cheese.
And it pains me to admit it’s not Dollywood.

Friends, the most magical place on earth is The City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

My girl Meredith and I hit it up on our road trip and had such an amazing time we:
a) got a little verklempt at all the awesome
b) are organizing a 12-person road trip to go back there in June

If you’ve ever wished that the game Mouse Trap were real, human-sized, and that you were the mouse, this is the place for you.
If you like activities that should proooooobably require the signing of a waiver, this is the place for you.
If you’ve got a healthy appreciation from whimsy and weird and danger, OMG welcome home.

Reasons You Must Visit The City Museum

* giant ball pit with balls that are 6-8 inches in diameter
* a 4-story Ferris wheel ON THE ROOF
* an arts and crafts section where you can make things with glitter and construction paper
* a huge section devoted to the Chicago School of Architecture
* a functioning shoelace factory
* an aquarium with turtles and a 39lb catfish
* tunnels and treehouses and secret hiding spots
* a 10-story spiral slide (!!!)
* a grand piano that everyone has carved their names into and kids can bang on
* rope swings over halfpipes
* a circus school
* awesomely creepy vintage pinball machines and natural history displays
* cocktails (!!!!)

What? Yes. I couldn’t believe it either. It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in real life. We literally overheard a father approach a concerned-looking staff member and say “Don’t worry, we found him.” The souvenir t-shirts read “knock yourself out” on the front and “ice packs at the front desk” on the back.

It’s just so lovely and refreshing to see a space that’s so unabashedly, unapologetically different, you know?

Have you been to The City Museum? What are your favorite weird/exciting/under-appreciated attractions? (We also loved The World’s Largest Treehouse and this UFO welcome center.)

All photos by Meredith Westin

26 Comments

DJ

I love this place, even though I'm scared of heights which eliminates about 50% of the museum! I first went there in high school, and then dragged my husband there a few years ago. I think they need to do a Night at the Museum there… it would be more like a horror movie.

I have to agree, better than Dollywood đŸ™‚

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Cristin

Ahh so weird, I live in New York but I happened to be in St. Louis this weekend visiting a friend and she totally took us there. It really is the most magical place ever! When we left, my boyfriend told me we need to move to St. Louis, just for the city museum.

Also, having a fangirl moment– can't believe there is a slight chance I could have run into you there (if I wasn't too busy finding ALL THE SLIDES)!

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Anonymous

When I was little our weekend get a ways as a family were always a drive to St.Louis to the City Museum! I'm 21 now and I still love it just as much. You find something different every time!

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Haley

YES. The first time I visited I was 8 years old, and let me tell you – as a little kid, it's pretty magical. But after years and years of visiting it (I only live 3 hours away), it gets more magical every time.
There is one spot in St. Louis called "The Magic House" that has always been my favorite, but it's definitely geared towards children. But I will never be too old for the City Museum!

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ohdizzle

That place looks so cool! I don't know when I'll be in St. Louis next, but I'm definitely putting it on the to-do list.

My favorite weirdo museum is the Museum of Jurassic Technology in LA. It's a combination of an art piece, a museum, and a mad house. My favorite room? The tribute to the dogs of the Soviet Space program. I wrote about it here if you want to know more:
http://ohdizzle.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/lost-in-la-museums/

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Anonymous

I've been here four different times and it's one of my favorite places in the world. Such a magical place đŸ™‚

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Sarah @ Marvelous-Darling

I LOVE THE CITY M– USEUM! My boyfriend is from St. Louis, and when we went to visit after Christmas, I got over the flu just in time to make my first trip to the City Museum. A few sections were closed, but it was incredible. Definitely my favorite spot in the city so far!

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Rachel Skaggs

My favorite moment at the City Museum was sliding down a huge outdoor slide…only to land in a campfire circle where I then was able to roast a marshmallow and make a smore!

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Catrina

Love love love the city museum! My husband took me for my 25th birthday and it was so great I had to take a friend a few months later. Haven't been in a few years and I am dying to see the roof!!!! The slides were my favorite part. The one that goes from like the 3rd floor to the first floor makes you go super fast! And there's there is the five story (if I remember correctly) one that's all windy and will make you dizzy!! It is seriously one of my favorite places on earth! Also, I heard they opened a thrift store in there which makes it that much more awesome!

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Catrina

Love love love the city museum! My husband took me for my 25th birthday and it was so great I had to take a friend a few months later. Haven't been in a few years and I am dying to see the roof!!!! The slides were my favorite part. The one that goes from like the 3rd floor to the first floor makes you go super fast! And there's there is the five story (if I remember correctly) one that's all windy and will make you dizzy!! It is seriously one of my favorite places on earth! Also, I heard they opened a thrift store in there which makes it that much more awesome!

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Kate - Crazy Lovely Me

I went to the City Museum in high school, and my family is talking about doing a St. Louis trip over a weekend in August or September where I plan on dragging them to it (we were going to go last weekend, but the fools thought they could go in just a couple hours and still go to the Arch, Merrimac Caverns, and drive three and a half hours each way there and back in a day…ha!). It's an awesome place – it's so unique and wacky and amazing!

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kalie

i went last year, and i have been dreaming about it ever since. i never wanted to leave. i wish they had one where i lived, and you could get a gym membership to it. it would host the best parkour ever.

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Corin

Oh my, that museum looks AMAZING!

My favorite bizarre museum is the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden (http://www.dhmd.de/index.php?id=204). I think there's a bit of a lost in translation issue with the name, since it's more about anatomy than hygiene, but it is this awesome combo of science/history/art museum that I talked most of my friends to while I was living in Germany and not one of them was disappointed!

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Laura Shelton

I have been to the City Museum countless times & you still managed to capture some photos of things I've never seen! That is what I love about the place. Endless possibilites.

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Rachael

Wow. I need to go there! It reminds me a bit of the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania http://www.mercermuseum.org/ which has a vampire killing kit on display. It's mostly "normal" items but then every now and then…well, vampire killing kit!

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Darcie

I have been to the City Museum once about a year or so ago – but even then I didn't get a chance to explore the place as much as I'd have liked. I'm actually moving to a St. Louis suburb toward the end of June to start my full-time job. So I plan on visiting that museum many more times. đŸ™‚

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Anonymous

Greatest place ever!!! I describe it as a playground on steroids – partially in the dark! Soo fun. Don’t go alone.

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Jamie

Native St. Louisan here, and super excited to see the city museum featured on your site. It’s truly unique (and so much fun)!

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nicole

long time lover of the city museum- right up there in weirdness are the House on the Rock in wisconsin && Meow Wolf in New Mexico. They’re all so wonderfully strange and slightly terrifying???

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