City Museum

Vacation Travel Guide
City Museum featuring a city 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

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 ¥10,146 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 10
Located in Downtown St. Louis, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Mississippi River and Enterprise Center. Busch Stadium and America's Center Convention ...
3.1/5 (1,181 reviews)
"It was great for the price. Very close to public transportation and walkable to the city. Wished there was a little more in the way of convenience stores in the area. That is no fault of the property. Otherwise, it was great and will stay there on my next visit!"

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2021

OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
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 ¥16,359 per night from Oct 17 to Oct 17
Located in Downtown St. Louis, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mississippi River and Busch Stadium. America's Center Convention Complex and Lumiere ...
4.2/5Excellent! (2,932 reviews)
"I booked a view of the Arch room through Expedia, and our view couldn't have been more spectacular. Rooms are clean and very comfortable. The Arch is right there about a 5 minute walk. Check in was fast and easy, parking is underground and very convenient, there is a charge but not significant. We ..."

Reviewed on Sep 20, 2021

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
4 out of 5
1 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥18,066 per night from Oct 9 to Oct 9
Located in Downtown St. Louis, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Mississippi River and Busch Stadium. America's Center Convention Complex and Enterprise ...
3.9/5Good! (1,033 reviews)
"It was very clean. Everyone had masks on. People were friendly. Everything was easy to get to and access."

Reviewed on Sep 17, 2021

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.

Popular places to visit in City Museum

City Museum


Best Lodging Options Near City Museum

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 ¥10,146 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 10
OYO Hotel St. Louis Downtown City Center MO
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 ¥16,359 per night from Oct 17 to Oct 17
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
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 ¥18,066 per night from Oct 9 to Oct 9
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
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 ¥15,261 per night from Oct 10 to Oct 10
Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Louis Downtown
The Last Hotel STL
The Last Hotel STL
4.5 out of 5
1501 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥20,699 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
The Last Hotel STL
Marriott St. Louis Grand
Marriott St. Louis Grand
4 out of 5
800 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥13,943 per night from Oct 16 to Oct 16
Marriott St. Louis Grand
Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch
Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch
4 out of 5
400 Olive St, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥13,246 per night from Oct 17 to Oct 17
Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch
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 ¥18,335 per night from Oct 16 to Oct 16
St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Live by Loews - St.Louis
Live by Loews - St.Louis
3.5 out of 5
799 Clark ave, St. Louis, MO
The price is ¥19,652 per night from Oct 17 to Oct 17
Live by Loews - St.Louis
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.