We Need to Talk About the City Museum

  1. kellyhenderson says:

    We went last year over the 4th, our kids were 6 and 9 at the time. We LOVED it! A tip we were given was go to early, we got there shortly after they opened and that helped a ton. We stayed 5 hours and it was packed when we left.
    Now that you mention it, my 6 year old did hit is head on the ramps. He was fine but did have a bump. I don’t remember the rest of us having any injuries. My husband couldn’t do the rooftop crawl out of the plane, he stayed on that wing forever before deciding to climb back down. He was worried he would get stuck. The kids and I went, while I am not afraid of heights it was terrifying! No one else in my family wanted to the do the Ferris Wheel with me so we skipped it. How we conquered most slides was to have a parent go first, then kids followed by the other parent so the kids wouldn’t be a few stories away.
    You are right though, that place wears you out! I am glad that we waited until our kids were a bit older to try it. We will definitely go back if we return to STL. It was a great long weekend and the City Museum was definitely a highlight of our trip. The kids are still talking about it over a year later and wonder why Memphis can’t have one.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      It actually wasn’t too crowded when we went- We were there on a Monday, so that helped a lot. I read later that the line to get in sometimes goes out the door. Wow. Now that I know what it’s like, I’d recommend to people that if it looks very crowded, DON’T GO. Add crowds to claustrophobia and you’ve got many people’s worst nightmare!

      • kellyhenderson says:

        Going early on a holiday weekend worked for us! It definitely got more crowded as the day went on. Can you imagine how hot the metal slide is on the roof in the afternoon? I’ve been enjoying your family travel posts! Your kids are the same ages as mine (daughter will be 11 next week, son is 7) so it helps me see what works or doesn’t work. We are planning a fall road trip. 🙂

  2. MEOAmom says:

    You’ve described City Museum perfectly. We have gone twice and it is so exciting and scary at the same time. The most recent trip in April I had a newborn in a Baby Bjorn while trying to keep track of my oldest child (my husband was following a couple of our kids as well) and just remember constantly seeing my daughter’s leg disappear down some hole and hoping she’d make it back up somewhere and find me eventually! As long as you know what to expect and realize people aren’t joking about how banged up you will be, you’ll have a great time. My 8 year old just asked my husband yesterday if he still had the scabs and bruises on his back from our visit in April. Its just expected.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Wow, a newborn? You’re brave! Someone was saying in the Yelp reviews of the museum that she lost her two-year-old on the rooftop. I would have been beside myself! I know there are attractions there for younger kids, but I think it would be difficult for any parent whose kid has seen the caves or the treehouse to stop them from going in- and you don’t necessarily realize what a problem it’s going to be until it’s too late.

  3. Carrie Finnegan says:

    OMG. We were there this weekend and this morning I was describing it as an “11 story playground of castoffs designed by Willie Wonka.” Clearly, you and i think alike. It was all fun and games until my 4 year old went down a rabbit hole and it took 30 minutes of me crawling around in what felt like a crawlspace to find her back on a bench where I started my search. The kids thought it was crazy fun, but I thought it was mostly crazy.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Ha! I think you can’t go there without thinking of Willie Wonka- There are a lot of similarities. His factory was dangerous, too, and yet it was every kid’s fantasy to go there.

  4. eep86 says:

    That sounds like so much fun! For me!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I think it would be a GREAT place for a night out. Without kids, you could really have fun!

  5. Amy Kovach says:

    I could barely even READ about those caves. I am not kidding. No way in a MILLION years I could go through that part. (although the other parts sound sort-of fun….emphasis on the ‘sort of’)

  6. Diana Hill Lovell says:

    I went there on an Art trip in high school. It was great for a bunch of high school kids in the middle of the day, but there wasn’t near as much crazy going on 14 years ago. I do remember the caves, though I hear they’re much more extensive than they were then. I’d love to take my boys, but after reading this, we may take just the older two or wait til my youngest son is a little older and leave baby sister at home for a few more years. My younger two boys have some serious listening issues lately, so if we make it to St. Louis yet this summer, I think we’ll stick with the zoo for now. Ssssoooo glad I read this!

  7. 40andlivingit says:

    You’re right, the City Museum is not for the faint of heart, but my kids and my HUSBAND, LOVE it. It lets kids be kids in this sign-a-release-waiver-wear-a-helmet-for-every-activity-generation. I love that it’s dangerous and crazy all in one. We have our own City Museum scars and wear them proud! I think I even got a concussion banging my head on a low beam I didn’t see. Yet we still can’t wait until our next trip back. What does that say about us?

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I think we all have a longing for the way things used to be when we were growing up, even though it wasn’t necessarily all that safe when we were kids! I hear so many moms say that their older kids don’t REALLY need a helmet on a bike because we never used them growing up and we’re all fine now– I have to bite my tongue to keep from telling them that I actually got a concussion as a kid when my bike turned over and my head hit the driveway- I didn’t wake up until I was in the emergency room, spent the night in the hospital, and missed two weeks of school!

      We’re all wearing helmets now.

      And we just might bring them the next time we go to the City Museum. 😉

  8. Melissa says:

    This sounds like the kind of place my husband would LOVE, and that would make me break out in hives and hyperventilate and need to break into the stash of Xanax. LOL

  9. Toni says:

    You’re not wrong, but I agree that it is still a wonderful, magical, incredible place. And my kids loved getting every bruise. We almost lived there when the kids were young, and it did them good to learn that the world isn’t a place entirely bubble-wrapped for their protection. It is a place where you need to pay attention, and bear in mind that some of the aforementioned injuries occurred when people did incredibly ill-advised and boneheaded things. Dress sensibly, use good sense, and you will have an amazing time. (The caves are my favorite.)

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