ST. LOUIS – One of St. Louis’ top attractions earns a rave review from the New York Times for its giant playground and growing arts scene.

If you drive around Downtown St. Louis, it’s hard to miss the City Museum. The yellow school bus on the rooftop, a castle in the parking lot, and a variety of climbing stages and slides give it major appeal.

The New York Times says all of these outdoor features offer a family-friendly environment and set the stage for a strong arts landscape. It’s a topic that former St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Valeria Schremp Hahn dives deeper into with a NYT feature titled “At an All-Ages Playground, an Art Collection Grows.”

Over the last decade, City Museum has invested in nearly $3.4 million of contemporary art and Louis Sullivan-designed architectural pieces, per the NYT report. Some newly-added forms of art are even interactive for children as well. For instance:

  • Children can play “I Spy” with two glass-block works by Dustin Yellin, a Brooklyn artist. There are thousands of tiny picture cutouts sandwiched between glass layers.
  • Families can flex for photos with a nearly 10-foot, flexing bronze sausage man by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm.
  • People can punch a 14-foot, inflatable honey bear bottle that teeters under the rooftop atrium. “Bop Bear” was created by a suburban St. Louis native named Fnnch.

The New York Times says many modern art additions were inspired by City Museum founder Bob Cassilly and his passion for exploration. Many of the City Museum’s prominent art selections can be viewed in its fourth-floor gallery.

October marks 26 years since City Museum opened in St. Louis.