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World's Most Dangerous Children's Museum?

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The City Museum in St. Louis has been sued at least two dozen times in the last five years. That's because patrons have been injured on attractions such as the five-story jungle gym, the enclosed "Monster Slide" that drops riders the length of three staircases, and the rooftop Ferris wheel.

the city museum in st louis

A piece in the Wall Street Journal reports that museum owner Bob Cassilly says lawyers are taking the fun out of life. His annual insurance premiums have risen from about $36,000 since the museum's founding in 1997 to roughly $600,000 a year today -- representing about $1 of the $12 admission fee.

Some parents stay away from the place, because they think it's just too dangerous. But others say there's risk wherever you go -- and they don't let the potential dangers stop them.

Would you take your kid there?


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37 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous May 3, 2010, 4:03 PM

sure i’dd take my kids but only becuase i would love to play on it myself five story jungle gym sound like so much fun

Robyn May 3, 2010, 5:35 PM

Until there is valid evidence and substantial information on what these law suits are based on its a little difficult to judge this museum and label it as the “most dangerous children’s museum”. That seems to be jumping the gun a bit. I went there a lot as a kid and I plan to take my 2.5 year old when he gets a little older. It is definitely a museum geared towards kids that are out of the toddler stage and grade school age children. I know many friends who have gone there multiple times with their children and no incidents and have rave reviews on the place. I would also say it is a museum that you need to have a good eye on your kid while you are there, because the place is very large and there are a lot of things to see and do. Remember we live in a very suit happy society and people are all too willing to let their kids engage in activities that they might not be physically ready for. Thats how accidents occur. I’m not saying there isn’t any negligence on the museum’s part because I have no knowledge of what these law suits are based on, but I’m just saying, people are eager to sue these days. Because its always someone else’s fault, right?

Jodi May 4, 2010, 5:25 AM

After reading this I may want to take a trip to St Louis this summer with the kids. We love to visit different children’s museums and this one sounds amazing. We can’t keep our kids in padded rooms their whole lives.

Jenna May 4, 2010, 7:11 AM

I live in St. Louis and the City Museum is the number one place I recommend people from out of town visit. The best way to describe it is a sculpture you can climb in and there really is nowhere else like it on earth!

happygirlcb May 4, 2010, 7:12 AM

We visited there last summer, and I saw nothing that would make me consider it more dangerous than a local playground. Like anywhere else, there are rules to be followed and parents ALWAYS need to keep an eye on their kids. I thought it was an amazing place. My kids even told me that although they LOVE Six Flags, they’d like to go back to the City Museum even more…

AmirasMom May 4, 2010, 7:12 AM

BEST MUSEUM EVER!!! I love going myself. None other like it.

Scottie May 4, 2010, 8:33 AM

I have taken my kids here many times. We started going when they were six and seven. Yes you can get hurt there but kids can get hurt anywhere. Overall I would say it is much safer to play there than to ride a bicycle. At the rate people file lawsuits I wonder how long until there is a push to ban stairs in buildings and only have elevators. Stairs can be very dangerous.

Chrissy May 4, 2010, 10:14 AM

Based on the comments it sounds like Momlogic once again is engaging over hype, sensationalism.
That’s getting tiresome.
Please give us actual, useful information.

LisaS May 4, 2010, 10:39 AM

I’ve been taking my kids there since they were 3 and 5. They have always loved it, and it’s about the only place we can go where safety is *a* consideration, not the *only* consideration.

caroln May 4, 2010, 10:46 AM

I live in St. Louis and this is the best place ever. You have to keep an eye on your kids if they are young because they may slip through in a few places but if you watch where they go and tag along they will be safe. My kids are treenager and still love to go there. There are also many celebrities and bands that visit whenever they are in town , They love it. They even stay open late on weekends for the older crowd. They have a bar and dancefloor but mostly it’s just to have fun without all the little ones running around.

Lauri May 4, 2010, 11:09 AM

We go to the City Museum a lot. We keep an eye on our children. But I can not tell you how many times I have found small children wandering around with no parent in sight. I usually find someone who works there and point the child out to them so they can find the parent and remind them to supervise their children! Most people who sue places like that are just looking for a quick buck. Sad, but true.

Katie May 4, 2010, 11:20 AM

I would take them, I have taken them, and I will take them again. I don’t let them do anything I don’t think they are mentally or physically ready for. Watch your kids and it will be fine. All our out of town relatives and friends come in and take their kids and we’ve never had a problem. Sometimes kids get hurt—things happen. My daughter broke her arm this winter riding a horse—I didn’t sue to shut down the ranch. I am really tired of everything having to be safe enough for babies that there is nothing for older kids. Our park recently replaced the old playground equipment that was “too dangerous” (things like those sliders kids can ride across hanging on by their hands) and put up the standard colored molded plastic stuff you see everywhere. My kids don’t even like going anymore—they say it’s just like everywhere else now. The City Museum is definitely not like everywhere else!

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