By Bruce Carlson

Hey there, fellow explorers of the extraordinary! Today, I’ve got a treat for you—a whimsical adventure to the enchanting City Museum in St. Louis! Trust me, you won’t want to miss this hidden gem. The idea came from our son who lives in the local area. Our other two sons and their families were here to celebrate Father’s Day, our 50th wedding anniversary, and see our new home.

The City Museum

The City Museum at first sounded like a local museum of the St. Louis area. I hadn’t heard of it before and at first, all I could hear and see in my head was the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Bueller…. Bueller….Bueller….Bueller.

However, my son said no it’s a place for kids to climb around and run all over. I’m thinking it’s something like a large playground at one of the fast-food restaurants. So, we all got in the cars and headed for St. Louis.

The museum is just over the river and in a rather large building. It’s a number of stories tall. It looked like a lot of building for a kid’s playground. We were able to park next to the building. We walked over to the entrance and it started to become clear that this was no ordinary playground.

Picture this: a place where imagination runs wild, where old relics find new life, and where creativity knows no bounds. That’s precisely what we found at the City Museum—an urban playground like no other.  Now, you might be wondering where all this magic came from, right? Well, credit goes to the brilliant minds at, who created this wonderland.

Something for everyone

And here’s why I can’t contain my excitement: this place has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply seeking some quirky fun, the City Museum delivers, and then some! It’s a place where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and where grown-ups can relive their childhood dreams.

But wait, there’s more! The City Museum isn’t just for kids; it’s a haven for the young at heart too! Now you’re getting my attention. Explore secret passages, climb through caves, and traverse mind-bending mazes. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a real-life fantasy world!

It was amazing to look at all of the tunnels, rebar crawlways, inside and out. It was hard to describe the place because of all the different areas and the different paths one could take. It was an artistic creation that must have taken years to create.

The kids all took off in several directions. Scott and I followed Becca. We would cross paths with the others as everyone went their separate ways. I was always the last one. This was not a park designed for someone my size and age. Areas the kids could crawl through were a little more challenging to Scott and especially me.

I almost didn’t get through

There were several of the rebar crawlways I almost didn’t get through. One I had to go backwards and upside down to get through. It was a loop about 30 inches wide. It was outside and up in the air. As I got to the top of the loop the crawlway was too narrow for me to get my feet in front of me. All I could do was flip over on my back and use my arms to let myself down to the bottom.

We came back in and went to the cave area on the first and second floors. It was a reminder of the days with the Boy Scouts crawling through the caves and passageways at Eagle Cave in Wisconsin. Again, I was the last one through all of the passages. It was starting to get late so we walked up another floor or two and there were areas for the kids to throw balls at each other and swing on ropes. Brian and I caught up on the goings-on in our lives while the kids played. It was a rest time for me.

Thank God it was time to go. I was exhausted. I haven’t worked that hard in that short of time for a long time. We made one more visit, and that was the gift shop. There was nothing Karen or I needed from there. The kids got a few things. The one downside was the cost of parking. If memory serves me correctly, it was $30 to park for a little over two hours. We’ll look into other parking lots next time.

So, dear readers, it was one of those times to lose yourself in a crazy kids’ universe of wonder and play. It was a blast diving into the extraordinary world of the City Museum in St. Louis. We highly recommend you give it a try. And I triple-dog dare you to climb through all the passages and caves as I did. See how well you holdup.

Bring your imagination

Oh, and don’t forget to bring your imagination along for the ride; you’ll need it!

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we move through the process of selling our house, buying a new house (to become our home), and the adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, Bruce & Karen.

+ posts

We’re Bruce and Karen Carlson. We recently moved to the Metro East area of Illinois. This area is east of St. Louis from the Mississippi River north to Alton, east to Carlyle, back south to Waterloo and the Mississippi River, finally north to Columbia. The center is Fairview Heights, Swansea, Belleville, Shiloh, and O'Fallon. Not to be forgotten is Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Edwardsville. It’s a whole new world out there. Our goal with this website is to share our exploration of the Metro East area. As we find businesses and services we use in our daily lives, we’ll share how these businesses and services have helped make our lives better and easier to live.

We’re calling our move to the Metro East area retirement, but we’re not quite sure what that means. By sharing our story with you, we hope you too will gain a better sense of what the Metro East area has to offer and how their businesses and services can improve your lives and build a better community.