The City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the coolest places I have ever been. Artist Bob Cassilly has created in an abandoned shoe factory "an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects."
As tempting as that description is, it does not do the place justice. The entry on the first floor alone is worth the admission price. Mosaics on the floor and columns, a huge whale sculpture that you can walk into, tree houses and climbing tubes created from found materials ranging from sprockets to rebar, to cisterns. Even the walls to the bathroom are lined with chafing dishes to give them a quilted look.
None of this even touches on the amazing Rube Goldbergian playground outside. Incorporating two abandoned planes, a log cabin, a sandstone tower, and hundreds of yards of twisted tubes linking them all, it's a crazy jungle gym three stories above the ground.
Tying the whole thing together are enough secret tunnels and passageways to keep even the most energetic and adventurous kid entertained for hours.
Every turn brought out another gasp of awe.