Yesterday I experienced the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Some people call it a “museum”. In fact, it has the word “museum” in its name. But the fact is St Louis’s City Museum is more of a surreal fun house turned adult jungle gym turned death trap than it is a museum. I missed some of the exhibits, but while I was there I didn’t see a single factoid written next to an exhibit. I’m not saying that’s what makes a museum, but I have trouble seeing how this is a museum rather than a giant obstacle course.
Most of the museum is comprised of a series of tunnels through increasingly bizarre and surreal landscapes. There are tunnels through wine barrels, fake dinosaur skeletons, ancient faux architecture and a tree house. Some of the tunnels are made out of faux stone and get increasingly narrow and dark. You can never see where you are going. You aren’t sure where you will end up. You aren’t sure if you’ll get STUCK in the tunnel, though I suppose that’s not as much as an issue as I thought it would be because I never saw anyone screaming for help .
Wire tunnels entwine their way outside of the building and people are climbing seemingly in midair. It’s kind of freaky. For someone who is afraid of heights, it’s absolutely terrifying. I could definitely see how it would be a ton of fun for two lean adults who enjoy climbing things, but as a chubby mother trying to keep her 2 year old from falling down one of the hidden tunnels in the ground, it was pretty frightening.
That’s another thing, it was totally surreal to be standing somewhere in the middle of the museum and suddenly see someone emerge for a small hidden hole in the floor that doesn’t look big enough to fit a person– yet out of the hole someone would squeeze.
It was absolutely fascinating.
And absolutely bizarre.
But we probably shouldn’t take our kids back there until they are at least 7 and we can send them off together with orders to meet us somewhere at X time. Even then, I will be standing there worried one of them broke their neck in a tunnel or that one of the wire cages collapsed hundreds of feet in the air.
Not that I’m paranoid or anything.
Except that I am.
I’d like to go back sometime, thinner and without kids so I can fully explore the place. I’d probably still be too scared to do some of the tunnels, but I’d definitely love to explore it more.
They should probably advertise it more as a place to go rock climbing than as a children’s museum though. Just saying.