St. Louis City Museum: Tips + Tricks

The City Museum is pretty overwhelming to say the least. If you caught my previous post, I mentioned that the City Museum requires a post all to itself!

First off, if you are not prepared it can be overwhelming and stressful. Fortunately, I did some research before I left and kind of had an idea of what to expect. Even with my research some things came up that I made sure to take note of, so I can share with you.

Parking

The City Museum is in the heart of downtown St. Louis. You will notice signs and hear people talk about car break-ins. I would recommend parking in a parking garage. Yes, it is a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it. If you will be leaving your bags, purse and any other important items in your car, it is worth the peace of mind. We parked about a block away in a parking garage and paid $15.

Admission

There are two options. You can purchase tickets online to beat waiting in line when you get to the museum or you can pay when you get there. Prices online are a bit more expensive.

  • $12 per ticket
  • $5 additional for roof top access

Make sure you check the weather before you go, because the roof top and Monstro (included with general ticket) access is open weather permitting.

A ticket must be purchased for every visitor ages 3 and up.

To purchase online check here.

Hours

Monday – Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday & Saturday; 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Sunday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where to start?!

There are stairs, slides, structures and more EVERYWHERE. I recommend getting there first thing in the morning (they open at 9 a.m. except Sunday at 11 a.m.) and going to the rooftop, if it’s not raining. It gets extremely hot up there during the day and if you are wanting to ride the Ferris wheel, wait in line and get it out of the way then work your way to the bottom.

There are no maps, because they literally are always building and adding. Some areas to check out include:

  • First Floor: This is where the oceanic wonderland is. Lots of mosaic, sculptures, grates and tunnels to climb through. There is also a 5,000-gallon aquarium with native Missouri fish, turtles, oyster shells, sea glass and mosaic tiles.
  • Cabin Inn the City: There is literally a cabin within the museum. This cabin was an actual frontier log cabin from early 19th century and is now underneath MonstroCity. This is a place to order food and drinks. You can sit either inside or outside.
  • Fourth Floor: We actually didn’t discover the fourth floor until the end, but they have a Toddler Town up there! If you have littles, definitely check it out. You will find a small train called City Express for children to ride on, skateless park, Circus Harmony, Art City and much more.
  • Shops + Concessions: You more then likely will need to refuel and re-hydrate. Here is a list of concessions within the museum.
  • The Roof: You will find more slides, water area where you can hop on stepping stones, a school bus to climb in, a Ferris wheel and restaurant.
  • MonstroCity: This is where we spent a lot of our time. It has two aircraft suspended into the air, slinkies to crawl through, ball pits, lots of slides and much more.

What NOT to bring

I figured I would title this section “what NOT to bring” because the less you have, the better off you are. If you have to bring anything, bring it in a backpack so you can climb through the tunnels and even that may be a tight squeeze. Do not bring any valuables and no strollers.

Tips + Tricks

  • As mentioned above, start with the roof to beat the heat if it is summer.
  • Bring knee pads if you have any or you can purchase some in the gift shop. Some of the tunnels really hurt when climbing and crawling.
  • When you put your wristbands on, write your phone number on your child’s wristband. There is even a spot for it. This freaked me out when I read this, but trust me you want to do it. There are several employees throughout the entire museum and they are super helpful. They have radios on them, so if your child happens to get lost, they know what to do. NOTE: I was very impressed with the employees. Amelia (2 years old) went down an extremely long slide by herself. My husband was at the top, I was at the bottom. The employee at the top radio down to make sure she made it down okay. It eased my mind that they were on top of it 🙂
  • Use your cellphone flashlight! Some of the tunnels get super dark, pull it out and turn it on.
  • Wear tennis shoes! I wore flip flops and my feet killed afterwards.

We had an amazing trip to St. Louis and if you ask our children what their favorite part was, they say the City Museum. Amelia didn’t even make it out the door before falling asleep.

It truly is something you should NOT miss when visiting! After all it was voted the #1 Family Attraction in the World.

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