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City Museum
Vacation Travel Guide

City Museum as well as children

This quirky children’s museum invites visitors to crawl through whales, climb into tree houses and whiz down three-story slides.

The City Museum has playgrounds, aquariums and factories among its many hands-on exhibits. Quirky artifacts, such as “The World’s Largest Underpants,” are found alongside slippery slides and live animals. There’s even a daily circus show.

These exhibits take up 600,000 square feet (54,500 square meters) of the old International Shoe Company building in downtown St. Louis. Artist Bob Cassilly transformed the space using objects found on the streets, such as chimneys and old car parts. The museum is largely aimed at toddlers to teenagers, although there are art displays and an architecture exhibit to keep all ages occupied.

The first floor includes an underground cave system and an underwater display. Walk through a life-sized model of a whale, then crawl down into the caves, or up into elaborate tree houses. A 5,000-gallon (19,000-liter) fish tank houses aquatic life from local waterways.

A shoelace factory on the second floor is a nod to the building’s heritage. Watch how laces were made in the 1800s, and you can even order a custom-made pair to take home. There’s also an interesting display of vintage opera posters. The biggest attraction, however, is a large aquarium, with stingrays, sharks, alligators, sea snakes and turtles. Get a different view of the ocean’s greatest predators in a small glass tunnel that runs through the shark tank.

The daily circus show, with experienced acrobats and trapeze artists, is on the third floor. (Check the museum’s website for show times.) Next door there’s a small Natural History collection. The Beatnik Bob’s exhibit has memorabilia from the 1950s, including vintage pinball machines. After exploring these exhibits, ride the slide back down to the first.

In summer the rooftop has a Ferris wheel and playground with splash pond.

On your way out, stop by MonstroCity, a multilevel jungle gym just outside the main entrance.

City Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Opening times vary so check the website before visiting. Wear sturdy shoes with a closed-in toe and heel. Parking is limited, so public transportation is a good option.

Top things to do in City Museum

Top Hotels Close to City Museum

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
4 out of 5
315 Chestnut St, St. Louis, MO
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥15,244 per night from May 16 to May 16
Located in Downtown St. Louis, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Courthouse, Gateway Arch, and World Aquarium. Dome at America’s Center and Busch ...
4.3/5Excellent! (3,365 reviews)

Reviewed on May 10, 2021

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch
Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch
3 out of 5
2 South 4th Street, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥14,668 per night from May 17 to May 17
Located in Downtown St. Louis, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Courthouse, Gateway Arch, and Busch Stadium. Dome at America’s Center and America's ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (1,829 reviews)
"The fountain in the lobby was beautiful. All the doors had card key access only for extra security. It was within walking distance to many awesome things to do and the parking was enclosed under the building and safe"

Reviewed on May 12, 2021

Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch
OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
3.5 out of 5
400 S 14th St, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥8,993 per night from May 23 to May 23
Located in Downtown St. Louis, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Enterprise Center and Busch Stadium. City Museum and America's Center Convention Complex ...
3.2/5 (1,267 reviews)
"Great place to stay great staff always helpful and wonderful"

Reviewed on May 6, 2021

OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in City Museum

City Museum

Best Lodging Options Near City Museum

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
4 out of 5
315 Chestnut St, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥15,244 per night from May 16 to May 16
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch
Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch
3 out of 5
2 South 4th Street, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥14,668 per night from May 17 to May 17
Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch
OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
3.5 out of 5
400 S 14th St, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥8,993 per night from May 23 to May 23
OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
4 out of 5
1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥13,104 per night from Jun 3 to Jun 3
St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Westin St. Louis
The Westin St. Louis
4.5 out of 5
811 Spruce St, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥14,707 per night from Jun 1 to Jun 1
The Westin St. Louis
Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Louis Downtown
Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Louis Downtown
3.5 out of 5
610 N 7th St, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥17,277 per night from May 16 to May 16
Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Louis Downtown
Marriott St. Louis Grand
Marriott St. Louis Grand
4 out of 5
800 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥15,538 per night from Jun 2 to Jun 2
Marriott St. Louis Grand
The Last Hotel, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
The Last Hotel, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
4.5 out of 5
1501 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥18,534 per night from May 27 to May 27
The Last Hotel, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
4 out of 5
1 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥17,273 per night from May 31 to May 31
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.