Opened in 1996, Turtle Playground is a magnet for children of all ages who love climbing on the backs of the giant reptiles. Although it is located on the south side of Interstate 64/US 40, the playground is part of Forest Park and can be accessed by the Tamm Avenue overpass near the Saint Louis Zoo parking lot.
Represented in concrete are a snapping turtle, a soft-shelled turtle, a red-eared slider, a Mississippi map, three box turtles and a stinkpot turtle. In addition to the turtles, there are seven oversized turtle eggs, three of which include hatching baby turtles, and a long sinuous snake that appears to be taking a bite out of the overpass.
Created by Bob Cassilly, founder of the unique and quirky City Museum, the sculptures range from seven to forty feet in length. Turtle Playground was designed by Richard Claybour and funded by Sonya “Sunny” Glassberg as a gift to the children of St. Louis. The turtles are named for her children and grandchildren. The area is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.