One of the Best Places in the Midwest For Kids Is Awesome For Adults Too!
This past weekend had to be one of the greatest of my adult/parent life, thanks to a surprising trip to St. Louis. If you have kids, you've gotta check this out.
Whenever traveling to bigger cities, it's always fun to check out museums. Having grown up in Chicago, my bar is set somewhat high, especially for something fun, both visually and interactive; both necessary when entertaining kids and my childish mind. No doubt we've seen some pretty cool children's museums too. But St. Louis has a game changer, and it's simply called "City Museum".
As a former Missouri resident, I had heard about the place a ton. However, my kids were always too young. Now at 9 and 5, it was time to finally check it out. Let me just say: MIND BLOWN! Now on the museum scale, it's not really chock full of exhibits. So unless you're a kid, or kid at heart, there's not a whole lot going on. But if you're an adventurous adult who loves creativity, and getting down on the ground and really playing with your kids, your kids, and honestly yourself, a visit.
The main attraction here is the caves and tunnels. In fact, a majority of the museum is simply that. It's like the coolest playground ever, better than the one your kids always want to play in at the "golden arches". You're walking through the room and see a whole in the ground, or the wall, when all the sudden, a person pops out of it. Let yourself crawl into it, and you'll find yourself in a world of tunnels, taking you up into a hidden room with a slide into the basement, up and around into a cavern with a huge spiral staircase leading up to a 10 story slide, or down through the body of a whale, coming out underneath it in the main lobby. And that's just the beginning. There's literally tunnels and slides everywhere. Yes, EVERYWHERE, with more being added each year. Plus there's a fantastic "circus/sideshow" themed area to check out, and the whole outside area, where you can climb through planes, 5 stories up, play in the giant"adult sized" ball pit, and end your day with smores at the fire pit. There's also a roof area, which was closed for the season unfortunately, and an aquarium (for an extra fee).
Couple words of warning though before you go.
- Plan on knee pads. You can buy em at the gift shop too. Your knees will thank you. (Mine are still a bit swolen.)
- Beware the small spaces. Most tunnels will fit and hold adults, but you can NOT have a fear of small spaces. I'm luckily slender, and was able to slide around most places, but on a couple occasions I was worried I was stuck, and slight thoughts of claustrophobia had to be pushed out of my head. The more you beat the fear and challenge yourself, the more fun you'll have. There are regular walkways if you want to explore without the crawling, but where's the fun in that?
- Yes, you're kids will get lost, often. But don't worry, as all paths lead back to central locations. Just set up a check in point, and let em go. Better yet, play with them. Both of you will not soon forget the memories.
- Don't wear clothes with anything extruding from them. For example the buttons on the back pocket of my jeans. They got caught on everything, and I now have two holes on the back of my jeans where the buttons used to be. Oh well.
The other big benefit: it's light on the wallet for a day of fun. It's $12 each person, and only $5 max for all day parking. For me, that's a huge value for the day of fun and memories. Do your kids and yourself a favor, and plan a trip to St. Louis ASAP.