Great River Road 19 - Miranda’s Take on the St. Louis City Museum

Before we even started traveling down the Mississippi, my parents had me interested in their talk about an ‘adult playground’.

Being Dutch and seventeen, playgrounds have kind of fallen off of my list of campground perks. I’m too tall to do half of the activities, and since my brother stopped accompanying me to the playground, I’ve stopped going.

Oh, and I hate plastic slides because of the electric shock I get at the bottom.

Homeschooled. Sorry, can’t help it.

Biking to the Museum

But yes, this adult playground got me thinking. So I was very excited when the day came and my dad and I biked down to the City Museum.

After we dropped off the backpack at the check-in station, we wandered around a bit before we found out how to get to the rooftop. Apparently I wasn’t reading every word for once.

The Rooftop

I was amazed when I got to the rooftop. I guess the crowd was what hit me first. It was a Friday and apparently a half-day of school in the area, so it was pretty packed.

I had seen part of the rooftop from the road on our day out to the Arch, so the first thing I wanted to do was go in the school bus that hung half over open air. I knew it was something my brother wouldn’t have done. But I did it. And it was fun.

Big Slide

I think next we went up a couple levels to go down the praying mantis slide. At first I was bit nervous. I couldn’t see where the slide ended. But since I knew it must end somewhere, I slipped through the bars and let go. It was a very fast slide, but also long, and I loved it. Daddy came down next, and he liked it, too.

Ferris Wheel

I asked if we could go on the ferris wheel, which I think my dad was a bit surprised about, considering my first ferris wheel experience at Sheels in Nevada, but that was about five years ago.

I’ve changed since then. And they were playing bubblegum oldies. Nobody can resist a ferris wheel ride while listening to a radio playing bubblegum oldies.

The ferris wheel wasn’t that big, but it still gave that little thrill of ‘ooh, I think I left my stomach up there’ when we just started going down. It was pretty fast.

We played around a bit, went down the praying mantis slide again and climbing up over it. (“Are we there yet?” “No!”)

Ten Story Slide

And then there was the ten story slide. I was very excited to go down it, especially when I could look over the guardrail while in line and not be able to see the bottom. But it was awesome. It took a really long time to get the end, and when I staggered off, I had to lean against the wall for a minute. Ten stories, all curlicue.

The Caves

When Daddy got off, we found ourselves in ‘the caves’. Like a touchable Carlsbad Caverns. We had no idea how to get back up, so we just wandered around a bit.

The Organ

We heard music and found where it was coming from. It was like the organ at Organ Pipe Pizza, and I was entranced with the percussion section that we could watch. So we watched and listened for two songs. Then we left to find our way out.

Second Rooftop

I crawled a little bit, and finally I crawled through a maze that led us back to the actual building and not under it. That’s when we realized that we had only visited one part of the rooftop.

So we went outside and explored up there. There were a lot of slides, which I was having a heck of a fun time going down. Never too old for slides, especially when they’re all metal and no shocks!

I liked the first rooftop part best, but the second was cool too. It was a lot more busy than the first rooftop part.

A Break

After we finished the rooftop attractions, Daddy insisted that we take a break for a while. So we ate a couple of Clif bars, inspected the printing press block thingies on the wall, and then went off to have fun inside.

Another Slide

I was looking for another fun slide to do, but I had to climb and wriggle a little bit before we got to it. And it was steep. I didn’t want to do it at first, but two elementary school-age boys rushed past and threw themselves down without a qualm, so I figured I could do it too. And I did. And it was fun.

Spiral Thing

It’s all a blur after that. I remember Daddy telling me to climb up ‘one of those spiral things’ and pretty much figuring out that it DIDN’T lead to the next floor up, but instead led to an intricate maze of tunnels I didn’t have the moxie to go through.

Miranda going down her second favorite slide... whee!

Miranda going down her second favorite slide... whee!

Miranda at the City Museum

Miranda at the City Museum



Printing press block thingies

Printing press block thingies

Inside a spiral thing

Inside a spiral thing

Old pinball machines

Old pinball machines

Cowboys not on the ferris wheel

Cowboys not on the ferris wheel

An Actual Museum

I do remember finding an actual museum part of the so called City Museum. It is very interesting seeing what people have found to collect. Bugs, doorknobs, gargoyles, pinball machines, and other stuff my dad saw and I didn’t.

The Quiet Place

Yeah, I kinda lost him in there.

See, I saw this slide, and I wanted to go down it, but it went up through a floor, so I had to find a staircase. So once I found that staircase, I went up it and was met with the most pleasing sound I have ever heard - silence. And it was dark.

It almost was like this mid-floor had once held great possibilities but was now only home to a collection of wooden blocks and the entrance to a slide.

Finding Daddy

I slid down the slide and then found Daddy and took him up so he could experience the amazing silence.

We could hear talk and laughter floating up from the floor below, but it was if it had been turned down too low. We stayed up there for a good ten minutes before we both went down the slide.

Skate Park

The other part I remember is what was pretty much a skate park with no skateboards. There were kids running up one side, turning around, running down, and then running right on up the other side.

There were also ropes hanging from the ceiling we held onto and flew to the other side. That was a neat little place. And the tunnels in the walls. Daddy actually crawled through a couple of those with me.

Time to Go

When he said it was about time to leave, I said, “Can we at least go on the ferris wheel again and down the ten foot slide?” So that’s what we did.

Yella Cowboys

On the ferris wheel we made fun of the boys in cowboy hats who waited with their girlfriends to get on the ferris wheel, but then didn’t get on themselves. When we went down the ten foot slide, we had even a harder time finding our way out, but we eventually did.

Leaving Too Soon

The only part of the whole thing I didn’t like was leaving. We didn’t even go on every floor. Whatever a floor was. There were those mid-floor things and wherever the spiral things actually led to.

Go There!

If you’re ever in St. Louis, go to the City Museum. You won’t be disappointed.

1 Comment Great River Road 19 - Miranda’s Take on the St. Louis City Museum

  1. Picture of Anne Anne November 05, 2015

    City Museum is awesome! My favorite parts are the slides and the caves. It’s also fun to go at night and see the city from the rooftop. Unfortunately the man who founded it, Bob Cassilly, died a few years ago. Luckily others have taken on the museum and his creations continue to grow.

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