Friday, June 8, 2012
We drove to St. Louis again on Friday to return to the massive playground called City Museum. Located in an eleven story former shoe factory downtown, we had lots of fun memories of our first visit there a couple of years ago.
Notice on the roof in this photo of the building, the school bus extending off the edge, the giant praying mantis, and the bird cage looking structure.
"Welcome to City Museum, where the imagination runs wild!
Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. The brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, a classically trained sculptor and serial entrepreneur, the museum opened for visitors in 1997 to the riotous approval of young and old alike.
Cassilly and his longtime crew of 20 artisans have constructed the museum from the very stuff of the city; and, as a result, it has urban roots deeper than any other institutions’. Reaching no farther than municipal borders for its reclaimed building materials, City Museum boasts features such as old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile, and even two abandoned planes!" This was copied from the museum's website because I would not know how to begin to describe this fabulous place myself.
As soon as we were inside, the kids remembered the three story slide that ends at the entrance. Here are the kids coming off the first of several runs down this slide.
After this first slide, we went up to the roof since it wasn't open when we were here before. In this next photo we are all inside the bus that you saw hanging off the top of the building. Shelby is in the driver's seat!
About that giant praying mantis overlooking the city far below...
Here is Dylan taking off on the white metal slide that begins in front of the praying mantis.
And that bird cage? Dylan, Shelby, Jackson, and G'pa had all climbed up into it. Look down to see how tiny the patio furniture looks on the roof far below them...yikes!
G'pa is watching all three on this slide. You use a knotted rope to walk up the slide to the top; they came down this one many times too.
Everywhere you look, materials are used in fun, unexpected, and unique ways.
There's so much to do inside that we finally decided to go back in. Can you find Shelby inside the coil in this next photo? Look closely at all of them to see if you can find the kids...and sometimes G'pa.
The next three photos were taken in the area at the bottom of an enclosed seven story slide. There is an enormous pipe organ in this area too. You look up at what appears to be a series of curved balconies but is actually the slide. During its shoe factory days, boxes were transported down this "slide." You have to walk through the "caves," shown in the photo that follows, to get to this slide.
Oh but you haven't seen any of the funtastic climbing structures attached to the outside of the building yet, including two airplanes!!!
In the photo above, the kids are climbing up to join G'pa on the catwalk in the photo below. To the right of this airplane, you can see a portion of the skeleton that is the second airplane body.
Look closely or click to enlarge the next three photos. Here are Dylan and Shelby as they exit the airplane onto the roof of this architectural tower.
G'pa was next out onto the roof, then Jackson is the last to exit the airplane.
Our intrepid explorers on the balcony of the tower!
Were we exhausted by now? Not a chance! We went back inside for more fun and back up to the roof for more climbing and sliding, ending the day with our surely-by-now-famous, G'pa-choreographed hood ornament pose.
I do hope we get to go to this place again and again! Please include this on your itinerary if you are ever visiting St. Louis.
Lovin' Life ~~ And Unique, Exciting Places!