Activities & Resources
Saint Louis Zoo552in Saint Louis, MO 63110
about Saint Louis Zoo:
Innovative exhibits are a highlight at the Saint Louis Zoo, located inside Forest Park. The River's Edge exhibit is especially interesting - visitors follow a lush waterway to view the interaction between wildlife, plants, and people from four continents. Along the path live zoo favorites such as cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, and hippos, among others. If spiders, beetles, ants, and bees don't give you nightmares, a visit to the Insectarium is in order. Many other exhibit areas throughout the zoo feature animals from different climates and world regions, including a chilly penguin and puffin exhibit, and a herpetarium (think snakes, turtles, toads, salamanders, and lizards).
The Children's Zoo is a place for up-close, hands-on visits with animals. Children can touch animals such as guinea pigs, goats and rabbits, play on the playground, get wet on a splash pad, see an animal show on stage, and more. An indoor area allows families to escape rainy, hot, or cold weather while interacting with and learning about many kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. During our visit, we especially enjoyed the innovative playground (kids get to slide through a tube that allows them underwater views of the otters!) and the goat yard. Be aware, the goats eat zoo maps! Admission is charged for entry to the Children's Zoo, and some activities here are seasonal.
ZOOmagination Station, part of The Living World, allows families to investigate animal biofacts up close, design their own zoo habitats, and create creature crafts to take home. Puppets, costumes, discovery boxes, a playhouse, and a variety of play areas are part of this permanent exhibit.
Older kids love the motion-simulator adventure Dino Island, where they can come eye-to-eye with a T-Rex, Pteroenodon, and a herd of Apatosaurs. It runs daily, 10am to 5pm, weather permitting, and costs $3 per person.
The First Bank Zooline Railroad is one of the zoo's most popular attractions. The train ride lasts 20 minutes and is fully narrated as it winds around the zoo on a 1.5-mile loop. It typically runs daily, although hours vary by season. Fees apply.
For a calmer ride, consider a spin on the Conservation Carousel, a beautiful merry-go-round featuring colorful animals of all types. Rides are free for the first hour the zoo is open, or $3/person the rest of the day. Proceeds support the zoo's conservation programs.
The zoo is available for birthday parties, which run 1.5 hours at the Lakeside Café. The price of $18 per guest (10 people minimum) includes invitations, pizza and beverage, cake and ice cream, goodie bag, a costumed character, and a birthday guide to help with games.
Camp KangaZoo - a summer day camp - proves quite popular for school-age kids in grades first through sixth. The camp takes place on zoo grounds and puts learning about animals and their habitats front and center.
Teens aren't shut out of camper fun: Students in grades seventh through ninth can participate in their very own Teen Camp. Visit the website's Education section for further details.
We suggest budgeting a large chunk of your day to adequately take in all this zoo has to offer. Families could easily spend several hours here and not see it all.