My family does Christmas on Christmas Eve, with a big family dinner assembled by my mother. To make life easier while my mom did all the cooking, M and I took my niece and nephew to the most fantastic children’s museum in the country, St. Louis’s City Museum.
The reason it’s so fantastic is that it’s not really all that museumy. It’s more like a giant 10-story art exhibit that you can play in. The building was a former shoe factory, long-abandoned and reclaimed by sculptors and other artists. The first floor has what seems to be a whale, which you climb into only to find two-stories’ worth of man-made caves to slither around in.
The third floor has my favorite part: Art City, a giant room where kids (and adults) can do craft projects.
On Christmas Eve, the choices were to paint your own ornament or to make a dreidl out of clay. It’s exactly the art studio any artist would want, only 200 times bigger.
Outside is where the sculptors have taken over. Somehow, they found an old airplane body, welded about six-stories worth of iron to make it possible (and safe) to climb way the hell up to it, and let kids (and adults) go nuts high above the ground.
It all makes kids (and adults) look like this:
That there’s my nephew Austin, but it’s pretty how much how I felt all day, too.