Erica and I did a quick getaway to St. Louis this weekend. It usually takes some kind of combo-package to get us more than 30 miles away from Chicago and this time it was a Radiohead show and the City Museum. Erica's a big Radiohead fan and so that was a no-brainer (they now have a Chicago date later this summer, but when we bought our tickets there wasn't one). And we've been hearing about the City Museum from a variety of friends for years. Obviously we were intrigued by everyone's descriptions, but I don't think we were really prepared for just what an amazing madhouse the City Museum in.
The City Museum is not so much of a museum (though there are a few collections) as a giant indoor (and outdoor) amusement park and fun house. But one created by artists—so much of the place is just plain beautiful. It's also jam-packed. There are nooks and crannies and tunnels cross-crossing the entire facility. "Coddling" is not a word that I imagine they use a lot at the City Museum. Safety is obviously a concern, but they also seem to trust their patrons to not be stupid. For example, there's a real bar right next to the outdoor area and they'll serve you beer in glassware (the right glassware for your Duvel, even!). We had a great day and I'd go back in a heartbeat. There were a lot of children, as you might expect, but also other couples and small groups of adults, so we didn't feel weird being there without kids. The museum is open pretty late on Friday and Saturdays (and it seems that sometimes they do a late night thing where they turn off the lights at 10 pm and you tromp around with flashlights!) so maybe next time we'll go later.