At A Glance
Location: 750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO, 63103
Hours: Opens at 10 AM daily
Price: Tickets range from $18 to $30
City Museum is located in the heart of downtown St. Louis, housed in the Washington Avenue Loft District, in the former International Shoe building. The museum opened in 1997 and has exhibits that mainly consist of repurposed industrial and architectural objects.
The museum was founded by Bob Cassilly, an artist, and his then-wife Gail Cassily. The couple purchased the building in 1993 when it was still largely vacant, and they began construction nearly as soon as they bought it. The project was shrouded with great secrecy until the first visitors were invited inside on New Year’s Eve in 1996. The museum opened to the general public in 1997 and initially drew crowds of over 300,000 visitors per year, but by 2010 that number was up to 700,000.
What to Expect at City Museum
City Museum is a marvel that you don’t want to miss when in St. Louis. It’s easily one of the best attractions in St. Louis, and it really does have something for everyone. This attraction is divided into 4 floors inside and then the rooftop area as well. Here’s an overview of what to expect in each area:
The first floor is home to many “natural” exhibits including a 10-ton block of Missouri granite that’s lifted by a NASA windmill, a boiler that’s turned into a puking pig, man-made chambers, and a labyrinth of trees and mazes.
Once you reach the second floor, you’ll be amazed at the sight of the huge aquarium that’s home to both real and imaginary fish. Also located on the second floor is a hallway of mirrors and the 1870s vault that once belonged to the First National Bank of St. Louis.
City Museum created the third floor for the sheer act of having fun. On this level, you’ll find exhibits such as the skateless park, a circus ring with live shows, a vintage game lounge, and toddler town, among other things.
The fourth floor is where you’ll find some very interesting St. Louis history. The collection is complete with a collection of St. Louis architectural pieces, a glass lantern slide collection, and more.
The rooftop is the ultimate spot at St. Louis’ City Museum and is worth every penny and minute spent there. On this level, you’ll find the old dome roof from the Science Center’s Planetarium, a ferris wheel, an old school bus, and lots of live events.
Rides and Slides
And did we mention that City Museum St. Louis is home to many slides and rides for all the adrenaline junkies out there? Slides, slides, and more slides – they are literally on every floor! There are also slides and the ferris wheel to ride on the rooftop.
Absolutely! A hidden gem it is not, but it is an excellent mix between an art museum and a history museum. Unlike any other attraction you’ve seen, it’s literally a playground for both children and adults.
No, the St. Louis City Museum costs anywhere from $18 to $30 depending on what you choose to do on your visit. Still, at this rate, it’s an extremely fun and interesting place to spend an afternoon!
The City Museum of St. Louis is constantly growing and expanding, so it’s best if you dedicate 4 to 6 hours to touring the museum. You can shorten this by not enjoying the rooftop, but you’ll regret missing out on it later!