Exploring St. Louis: Citygarden
Hidden right smack in the middle of downtown St. Louis is two blocks of amazingness. You’ve probably driven by it, on your way to work or a ball game, never assuming that behind the perfectly manicured landscaping was a garden of—in Ethan’s words—”peacefulness.” Citygarden is one of our city’s secret gems, and one of our favorite summer places to play.
Beautiful, large-scale sculptures and fountains combine to form a play space that feels off limits, but is very much hands-on. You won’t find a “No Climbing” sign anywhere in this park, all structures are fair game! Which means giant arcs become slides, an enormous hollow head a hiding place, a placid reflecting pool the perfect way to cool off on a hot day.
While some folks use Citygarden as a place to unwind on a lunch hour, we go for the water. The garden features two splashing ares, one in a large pool complete with stepping stones and a waterfall, the other a small pond with a boat sculpture in it’s middle. Any time of day, when it’s hot, you’ll find children enjoying the water.
Did I mention the pop jets? They are my favorite part of Citygarden. Hundreds of them on smooth concrete tiles, perfect for big kid feet or baby knees. Jets of water shooting up in different patterns and timings. Ethan likes to run through the jets or just watch, Finn likes to stick his chubby fingers in fountain holes in anticipation of a spray.
Finally taking good pictures in this space was so fun. I’m usually there with the kids by myself, which makes grabbing the nice camera kind of impossible, especially around the water. Check it out, I even made it into a few shots!
For a perfect morning in Citygarden, you’ll need swim suits for the kids, towels, snacks, sunscreen, and a picnic blanket. When the kids have built up an appetite, break out a packed lunch or stop by one of the many food trucks that park along the garden. There’s also a restaurant above the waterfall and plenty of walkable eateries if you’re feeling fancy (aka, not soaked and sweaty).
The summer is almost over, the air is feeling more like fall by the day, but there are surely more hot mornings on the horizon which means there’s time to explore Citygarden if you haven’t already. And if you’ve been but not in a while, go back! Don’t cross it off your list. Not feeling the water? Take a guided tour of the artwork on your iPhone. Just be sure to remember the time, or you’ll find a ticket on your car when the meter runs out (which happened to me just last week).
Citygarden is just one more reason we love St. Louis.