Favorite Places: The City Garden


Our friends Ingrid and Brent know 10 million cool places to hang out in St. Louis. And they’ve lived here exactly as long as we have. But seriously, they mention 5 awesome coffee shops or parks or farmer’s markets or festivals or music venues in every conversation and I’m beginning to think that I should secretly just record our conversations so that I can remember all the cool wisdom they are trying to impart. Yep. They are our “cool friends.”

Anyway, last Sunday they suggested we meet up at the City Garden in downtown St. Louis, which is about a 15-minute drive from our neck of the woods. It was amazing! Of course.



Cool feature #1? A giant hollow head that the kids can play inside, accompanied by a water feature that raised all sorts of questions from inquiring young minds, such as Mama, where does the water come out and where does it go???


Where is the brain? Did he have any bones before he lost his head? Am I his eyeball?

On a hot Sunday morning, we found ourselves in a large, comparatively cool green space with the river just east of us, the breeze flowing over the water and through the Gateway Arch. It was the perfect place for a summer picnic. Only, you know how picnics go with little kids. You plan and bring all this great stuff to eat only to set up and have the kids running haywire all around you, refusing to eat and wanting only to play. One of these days…




The Lovely Ingrid enjoying the one bite of food she got to eat


Oliver sharing rice krispie treats with Brent (and only Brent)



Even Emil was standing while eating!


But honestly, who could blame them? They had this to explore! There was a long basin with chlorinated water in which you are allowed to swim (the whole place is artwork for play). DSC_0029

And Georgia, who I think I will eternally think of as BabyGeorgia, has become so incredible with real babies! She asked to have her hands dried off so she could stroke Emil’s face gently while cooing sweet nothings in his ear. He was just as smitten:




The big kids enjoyed swimming like sea lions through the pathways between the boulders. I was kind of wishing I were a kid again so I could fit!






And Oliver took Georgia’s hand and led her though, telling me later, I held Georgia’s hand tight so she wouldn’t fall under wa-lah! (he speaks so well but still says “wa-lah” for water– and it is so cute I refuse to correct him)



Another Georgia/Emil encounter:DSC_0095



And we could have stayed at the basin all day, but there was more to see! Like an enormous spray ground surrounded by benches– so convenient for the mamas and papas. And plenty of shade nearby to chat!




Coolest ice cream truck ever. I pretended I didn’t know they sold ice cream… maybe next time I’ll let the cat out of the bag?


Oh, oh! And if you go there, be sure to check out this unassuming 9-square contraption by the spray ground. Each square plays a different musical note when you step on it. Really cool and hours of fun!






I am also told by the cool friends that there is an amazing cafe that overlooks the park that serves delicious local cuisine.

Of course there is.

Thanks for a great morning, Ingrid & Brent! We love you guys!

P.s.- If you don’t sign Eliza up for track and field, I will.DSC_0158







Have a great weekend!

12 thoughts on “Favorite Places: The City Garden”
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  1. What a fantastic place! I love that it is so kid friendly. I definitely need more cool friends to show me places like that in Indianapolis.

  2. That is so cool that they are some many fountains and sculputures that you are actually allowed to play in/on. All we have is a tiny little splash pad with no shade or benches. Bleh!

    I am going to the beach.

  3. We have nothing that I know of that is anywhere near as cool as this. Kids play in the fountains but they aren’t designed for it and you can’t actually swim! Awesome.

  4. Between the St. Louis Zoo and The City Park I’m ready to pack up the whole family and move! Looks WAY better (and a billion times cheaper) than Disneyland.


  5. My college roommate was from
    St. Louis. Gretchen was the walking advertisement/marketing spokesperson of how fabulous it was! Your blog has proven it to be true!

  6. We’ve been to that place and the kids had lot of fun. But one strange thing happend – while my sone was soaking the the “pool” his cloth got bleached out. The red shirt turned pink and the shorts came out with altered colors as well.

    What do they into the water? Too much chlorine?

  7. Oh, that’s too bad, Holger! Yes, I know they put chlorine in the water, but we’ve never experienced any bleaching from it. So sorry that happened to you!

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