St. Louis Zoo
We had a great time at the St. Louis Zoo during our trip to St. Louis, Missouri! The atmosphere of the zoo was friendly and family-oriented. It is actually located on the historic site for the 1904 World’s Fair, and it one of the most beautiful zoos we have ever visited.
The St. Louis Zoo is considered one of the best zoos in the country. There are over 20,000 animals surrounded by beautiful landscaping. The zoo also has tons of attractions, shows, shops, and places to eat. We only had one day to spend at the zoo, but we could have spent another day there. There is so much to see and do there!
The St. Louis Zoo is open all year long and admission is FREE! There is an extra fee for some attractions. You can see the full list of extra attractions, shows, and prices HERE.
We arrived early so that we could get a decent parking spot. There is a North Entrance and a South Entrance. Both have parking lots (costs $15 and both fill up FAST). There is also parking on the street, but these spots also fill quickly.
We were able to enter the zoo about 8:45 and the weather was beautiful. It wasn’t too hot and it felt like we had the place all to ourselves.
After watching the penguins play and the polar bear eat his breakfast, we headed over to the Carousel. Many of the activities that have a fee are actually FREE from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. The kiddos rode the carousel (normally $3 for ages 2+) , then petted the stingrays (normally $4 for ages 2+) , and then we visited the Children’s Zoo (normally $4 for ages 2+) An employee let me know that as long as you enter Children’s Zoo before 10:00 a.m., you can stay and play there well after 10 a.m. for FREE.
We spent a good amount of time at Discovery Corner which includes the Emerson Children’s Zoo.
The kiddos were able to pet and brush goats, pet guinea pigs, and see many animals in this area. They saw fennec foxes, meerkats, a sloth, and a tree kangaroo. The kiddos had a great time in the Children’s Zoo. It is well worth a visit.
The Discovery Corner area includes the Monsanto Insectarium and The Living World. We enjoyed seeing all of the butterflies and insects.
Above: There is a playground area in Children’s Zoo. There is even a clear slide, and the kids can see the sea otters playing while they are sliding down.
Above photos: Butterflies inside the Monsanto Insectarium
Above: Inside the Monsanto Insectarium, we could look through a large window and watch ants carry leaves and flower petals along several branches.
Above map via
We did a lot of walking at our visit to the St. Louis Zoo. I recommend wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. I also recommend bringing a stroller and/or wagon for little ones who can’t handle a ton of walking (there are strollers for rent).
Many spots in the zoo are shaded which is nice on the really hot days and there are plenty of areas to sit and take a break or have a snack.
The Zoo also has a train that runs and makes several stops throughout the entire zoo. It costs $7.95 per person and you can ride it all day.
We really enjoyed that we could get up close and personal with many of the animals.
Above: Penguins & Puffins
Above: Red Panda
Above: The hippos napping underwater was a big hit with all the kiddos. They loved getting so close to them. It was amazing that the hippos could rest under water and only come up for air every 5 minutes or so.
Above: Elephants and Baby Elephants
Above: The polar bear was my favorite. We watched him eat breakfast and came back later to see him taking his nap.
Above photo via
There are several vendors throughout the zoo that sell snacks and drinks. There are also restaurants and cafés where you can cool off and eat indoors or on an outdoor terrace. Here is a list of the zoo’s cafés, restaurants, and grills:
-Café Kudo (Dietary restriction options and gluten-free menu available)
-River Camp Café
-Big Cat Beverages (offers a variety of beers and even a gluten-free option)
-Tundra Treats (slushies, novelty ice creams, and Dippin’ Dots)
-Scoop’s Ice Cream Shop (hand-dipped ice cream)
-Sweet and Salty Company (lemonade, kettle corn, and funnel cakes)
-Ice Cream Oasis (sweet treats)
-Carousel Café (nachos, pretzels, and hot dogs)
-Hippo Dots (Dippin’ Dots)
– Hippo Hideaway in River’s Edge
-Laughing Hyena (adult beverages such as beer, margaritas, and coconut rum snow cones)
Learn more about each restaurant at the St. Louis Zoo HERE
There are so many animals at the St. Louis Zoo. To see a list of all the animals to see there, click HERE.
Zoo Hours: Monday thru Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. & Friday thru Sunday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
St. Louis Zoo // One Government Drive – St. Louis, Missouri 63110 //314.781.0900
St Louis Zoo WEBSITE
Have you been to St. Louis? Any tips or advice for anyone who hasn’t been yet?
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