Monday, March 23, 2009

Citified (and Sore)

As much as we love the St. Louis Science Center and the St. Louis Zoo (and their free-ness), I felt like doing something different during our day in St. Louis yesterday, a day that we usually spend every time we come home from visiting my folks in Arkansas, on account of St. Louis is so awesome.

At 12 bucks a person (excluding the baby), the City Museum was a pricey adventure, but oh my freakin' gawd, that place is better than Disney World for a recycling crafter and her two climbing monkeys!

Everything in the place is constructed primarily from stuff found within the city--steel pieces making up climbing structures, a couple of abandoned airplanes mounted way up high that you can climb all around, cranes and slides and big springs and even old shells and printing blocks and glass bottles making up mosaics on all the inside walls:
But most of what you do in the City Museum is climb:There are just all these cool steel pieces welded together to make gangways and ladders and tunnels and bridges and slides and just any awesome thing you can think of. And it's real, you know? I mean, you're not going to fall to your death or anything, but it's not all molded plastic and hand sanitizer, either. Syd busted her lip falling off a rope swing, and I ripped the pocket off my pants scrambling through a tunnel made of a big steel spring. You pick yourself up, nurse a little if you're two, then run off to do something else: There's also the same element of perceived danger that you'd get at an amusement park, but much more DIY: pretty much every single thing in that place challenged either my claustrophobia or Matt's fear of heights. Good to have a two-parent household, then, because Matt took this photo of me and Will--he was already on the second story himself:Notice here that even though Sydney is perfectly capable of doing this herself, I'm having to pack her across this bridge on my back while she squeezes my trachea and makes me feel a little light-headed: She liked the huge ball pit better:And that's just the outdoor jungle gym--there's also a huge indoor jungle gym that connects to it, a skate park area for running up and down and sliding and rolling on (who would have thought a skate park would be so much fun without a skateboard?), a circus area complete with circus classes, a huge DIY art area (that we didn't even visit, I was THAT revved up about climbing stuff), displays of artifacts found during archeological digs in St. Louis (lots of green glass bottles and awesome big marbles), a small shoelace factory (the girls and I are sporting new shoelaces today), a huge artificial caving system (oh-my-god-it's-so-small-and-dark-in-this-tunnel-I-think-I'm-going-to-die!), a gift shop featuring crafting stuff and local artists who create with recycled materials (meaning that I basically died in that caving system and found myself in heaven), and other huge climbing areas centered around eco-systems like the arctic, a swamp, and a big tree in a forest.

I think there was some other stuff that we missed.


Anonymous said...

Good lord, that place looks AWESOME! I'm terrified of enclosed as well as heights so I doubt I'd be able to handle that wire dealie you climbed through. The rest of the stuff sounds so amazingly fun!

Abby said...

OMG. that's freaking awesome. we are going to st. louis in may (my bro is graduating from wash u)...we were planning on the science museum and zoo for the same free-ness reason...but i dunno, this is CRAZY cool. i don't know if avery would be too afraid though.

cake said...

that sounds like paradise. i really love it when museum exhibits made up of "real stuff," like all that stuff you said was found in the city, rather than just fiberglass and paint faux environments. we really need to go there. we passed through on our way down to texas. next time, we'll make a day of it.

glad you had such a great time.

dongdong said...

oh my goodness. That is fabulous. My son loves the ball pit as well. If I'm ever in your city, I will have to check it out.

Stephanie said...

What a place.
So, so cool.
I don't see St. Louis in our future, but I'll definitely keep this in mind!

julie said...

St. Louis is definitely an awesome place to spend a day--I'm starting to like it better than Chicago for a weekend trip, which is saying a lot, because I looove Chicago, as well.

We did spend most of our time at the museum in the huge outdoor climbing area, because that's what looked the CRAZIEST from the outside and that's what we did first, so we spent like four hours doing that before we even looked at anything else, but there are lots of cool things there that you could climb and tumble around on without freaking out, if you're squeamish about heights OR enclosed spaces--ball pit (one for kids and one for adults), skateless skate park, aquarium, turtle habitat, circus, art studio...