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St. Louis Zoo TRAVEL GUIDE for Families

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Not every How-To Monday will be focused on something to make your life easier. There are some weeks that we just want to show you how to have more fun doing something. Since we visited the St. Louis Zoo last week during our journey from Chicago to North Carolina (yes, we went a little out of the way to St. Louis!), we thought it would be a great opportunity for a video.

Not just a regular old “these are the animals they have” kind of video, but something more fun. Plus, our two Lil’ Baby Gizmo testers are the star of this show. If anything, watch the video to see how darn cute the two of them are.

St Louis Zoo Elephant Entrance


The Saint Louis Zoo is located in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri. It is recognized as a leading zoo in animal management, research, conservation, and education. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The city purchased its first exhibit, the Flight Cage, from the Smithsonian Institution following the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. After the zoo was established in 1910, new exhibits, areas and buildings were added through the decades to improve care of the animals, the range of animals and habitats shown, as well as education and interpretation. The head of the male lesser kudu, with his elegant spiraled horns, is the symbol of the Saint Louis Zoo.

St Louis Zoo


This is one of our favorite things about the St. Louis Zoo. IT’S FREE! Yep, it has been free to get in for the entire 110 years that it has been open. That being said, there are some fees for some attractions such as the Conservation Carousel ($2.95/pp), Stingrays at Caribbean Cove ($3.95/pp), Zooline Railraod ($7.95/pp) and the 4-D Theater.


Visiting the St. Louis Zoo can definitely be a full day trip depending on how much you want to see. If you visit all the exhibit areas and read all the postings and information with each exhibit, it could take you 4-7 hours to see everything. If you are traveling with small children, you can easily skip things and visit for only 2-5 hours.

St louis zoo penguins


  1. Visit the Zoo in the Spring or Fall. You’ll get the best weather for walking around and the some of the animals won’t come out if it’s too cold or too hot. St. Louis is notorious for being REALLY hot in the summer so walking around in 100+ degree heat with animals who refuse to come out just isn’t as fun as it sounds.
  2. Bring a stroller. If you are traveling with a child under the age of 5, BRING A STROLLER. Just like any amusement park or huge outdoor entertainment center, your child will get tired. I promise you, no matter how much your child “loves to walk” you’ll use a stroller during your visit to the St. Louis Zoo.
  3. Get the wristband. You can definitely go to the zoo and get in free and walk around without spending any money BUT if you want to make the most of your visit, get the wristband. The wristband is $12 a person and includes the kids zone, sea lion show, the train ride and the carnival ride. Definitely worth it.
  4. Don’t miss the sea lions or the penguins. I would plan my day around these exhibits because they are two of the best.
  5. Pack light. If you decide not to bring a stroller, pack light because you’ll be walking a lot. The St. Louis Zoo is big which means a ton of walking and the last thing you’ll want to do is lug around a 20 lb diaper bag. Just bring the basics. OR follow my advice for #2 and bring a stroller! You’ll be able to bring a bunch more for you and the kids with a stroller.

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