Points of Interest: St. Louis City Museum

When you visit most museums, you stand behind the velvet rope and look at the exhibits. Normally, you're not allowed to touch anything.

KHQA's Chad Douglas found a museum where you're encouraged to touch, climb and play with all of the exhibits.

He takes us to the St. Louis City Museum in this Points of Interest report.

The first thing you do when you get into the St. Louis City Museum is ditch the tie. Or roll up your sleeves and get ready to have some fun no matter your age.

"There is a lot to do at the City Museum," Tracey LaRiccia said.

There's a ride on a toy train.

"There are two floors of manmade caves you can go through and explore," LaRiccia said.

There are tons of things to climb.

"We've got tunnels, a circus. We've got an open art studio, architectural museum," LaRiccia said.

What's your favorite part of the museum?

"The caves and the slides," Wyatt Lake said.

"The slides," Tally Lake said.

And good thing because ... "We have dozens of slides," LaRiccia said.

They are not ordinary slides. In fact, nothing here is ordinary. Just about everything here is recycled or re-purposed from the floor to the walls. The building itself is an old shoe factory that sat empty for decades. There are only a few things original to the building. Those being the exterior walls and the support columns inside.

One of the original structures with the shoe factory are these shoe chutes where crews would be up on the top floor and send boxes of shoes down to the ground floor. Now, they use them as a slide for you.

"One of the things I like most about the museum is that everybody takes away a little something different from it," LaRiccia said.

And that depends on your age.

First time visitor, 8-year-old Caden Lake even got his dad to play. He says he's sure you'll have a good time, too.

"It's fun and there are lots of slides and fun things to do," Lake explained.

"I'd say maybe the most unique thing we have to offer is just the experience. Everything here is designed to be touched, climbed on, crawled through and interacted with," LaRiccia said.

I'm also willing to bet, if you're a return visitor, you'll see something new every time. Something you may never learn though is how the museum got its name. It certainly isn't because it showcases St. Louis' history. Tracey LaRiccia with the City Museum says nobody really knows how the name came to be.

"We were getting pretty close to opening, and they weren't real sure what to call it, and the City Museum is what stuck," LaRiccia said.

Also, the museum is constantly growing. In the coming months, it will expand to a fourth floor, and the toddler area is getting bigger. If you visit, you may want to allow a good portion of your day to hang out and explore the three levels of fun.

That doesn't even include the four story outdoor playground. We couldn't go out there because it was raining. Guess that gives me reason to come back.

There's also an aquarium inside the museum, but it's a separate organization and your admission to the museum does not let you into the aquarium.