24 Jun

Day 25

Wow! What a day! I think we crammed in a LOT of St Louis today. I’ve also filled this post with lots of photos. I’m pretty sure it’s worth it though.

We started at the Arch, of course.

The pod elevator doors totally looked like aliens should come out, a la Star Trek or Dr. Who.

They were even more groovy inside. Son called them the Claustrophobia Makers, but he stayed strong and didn’t freak out. Daughter was anxious beforehand but totally loved it all once she saw that we didn’t have glass windows to look out of as we rose.

After being in the arch, we wandered around the museum of western expansion below the arch. As hubby was explaining how it was organized in concentric rings by time period, and outward by topic, I realized it mimicked expansion like ripples on water. OK, I was a little slow on the uptake, but I really like conceptual stuff like that. The kids really liked the ranger talks and all the pioneer toys and buffalo parts they got to play with.


We lunched downtown at the Pita Pit which happened to be around the corner from City Garden, an amazing oasis of water and plants and sculpture that was completely accessible and enjoyable.

I enjoyed the art, and the kids enjoyed the water features!

We had originally thought we’d go to the Discovery Center because it was a hot day, but once the kids were wet, it made more sense to go to the City Museum since half of it is outside.

This place defies definition, with lots of architectural and industrial salvage, some on display, but most of it transformed into a sculptural wonderland to climb in and on and explore. There’s a ferris wheel on the roof, which we did not go on, and at least 10 slides, which we did go on.
This one had painted roller conveyor parts as sides so when anyone touched the sides as they slid, the painted patterns changed.

Even the adults enjoyed the slides!

This one was on the roof and guarded by a giant praying mantis. There was also a bus hanging off the edge of the roof, and an inverse, welded rod cage under the dome the mantis is on top of, from the bottom of which hung a rope swing. Being inside the hanging cage felt very Mad Max in the Thunderdome. There was a treehouse and suspended tunnels to and from airplanes. There was a corridor freak show of neon and mannequins and boardwalk oddities, there were tunnels into the basement and under the walkways. It was amazing and bizarre.

I hope these photos click larger because the museum/playhouse was amazing. The kids found caverns with stalagmites and stalactites, and creature forms and grottoes, which led to what was essentially an elevator shaft for shoes when the building was a shoe factory. The space was filled with spiral staircases and auger shaped railings, and if you climbed to the top you could take a 10 story spiral slide down. One exited the slide surprisingly dizzy!

Inside on the first floor and mezzanine water a fantasy forest and underwater world where you could climb into a tree and exit through a whale’s mouth, or something like that. The kids kept running up and telling us what super secret tunnels and slides they had discovered. Amazing!

Unfortunately, there were a few casualties. K slipped in some water and bruised her leg, X got a bit of friction burn on his elbow from a slide, and A banged his head on one of the aircraft. Obviously these injuries needed treatment, so we headed off to Ted Drewe’s for some classic Route 66 frozen custard.

Yup, we feel much better now! (Note that X is holding his treat upside down — he chose a “concrete” which I think is just ice cream so cold that it doesn’t come out of the container when upturned.)

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