After a brief reprieve from winter weather this week, which we celebrated by grilling burgers, we’re back in the teens and twenties for our high temps today. I knew I couldn’t handle being indoors all weekend, growing stale, so we packed up the kids and our nerves, added a side dose of patience, and headed to the city to burn off some of that restless energy kids hold in bottomless canteens.
I love the city, and the City Museum is the embodiment of everything St. Louis. It’s gritty, it’s industrial, it’s creative, it’s hardcore. It’s also a whole heap of fun. The City Museum is the brainchild of Bob Cassilly. Using recycled materials and old, repurposed architecture, Bob has created a wonderland fit for children and adults alike. If you think the admission price is steep, think again. You can get lost in there for a full day for $12 per person (Friday nights are cheaper) and although you can add on the aquarium exhibit, we didn’t. We’d all been before, but this is the first time we were all there together.
After hitting the multi-story slides, we journeyed upstairs through all manner of rebar tunnels to the Skateless Park, a collection of wooden and cement ramps, bowls, and half-pipes set up for those who don’t have skateboards but just want to run back and forth, up and down, and make fools of themselves:
Skateless Park also has rope swings and, yes, benches for those who don’t feel like participating in the fun.
Afterward, we ended up in the art area, where Laurel played with clay while Ethan played next door in Toddler Town, a collection of slides made from conveyor belts and a ball pit.
The art area was very near the minitrain, and while Laurel and I made snowflakes with the Snowflake Lady, Ethan rode the train. The Snowflake Lady was entertaining, and said she had child cutouts and adult cutouts, and Laurel had to do a child cutout. Laurel chose the first one below (see if you can guess what it is, then mouse over for the answer). After the Snowflake Lady saw how she did, she allowed her to try a harder one (the second picture). After THAT one, the Snowflake Lady told Laurel she could just come on back and try anything she wanted, regardless of difficulty. Laurel loves art and is quite adept at it, so she took to this like a fly to manure. Or something:
Meanwhile, as I said, Ethan rode the train. Twice. At least:
Finally, we went and watched the circus, free with admission (though Ethan was dragged kicking and screaming away from the trains — his fit was so acute a cart vendor gave him a clown nose to play with). It was a cute performance, and although Ethan’s lack of napping was beginning to rise to the level of a minor terrorist attack, the dancing sandwich held his attention. Alas, I have no photo of the dancing sandwich, but I did have the presence of mind to snap a photo of the acrobats:
At intermission we left — Ethan’s daily excitement meter had reached critical mass. On the way out he was momentarily taken with turtles basking beneath a heat lamp and by the belly of the City Museum ‘whale.’ We left tired and happy, and on the way home Ethan declared…are you ready for this?…that he was TIRED.
So here’s to Bob Cassilly, and his little energy burning retreat in the city — the perfect medicine for a dreary winter day. Thanks, Bob. You’re a boon to the city.