Saint Louis Zoo picture
Saint Louis Zoo
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Phil Thomas/Flickr

Key Info

Government Drive

Price & Hours

8 or 9 a.m.-5 or 7 p.m. daily, depending on season


Zoos and Aquariums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! The Saint Louis Zoo does house these three types of mammals, but it also boards armadillos, sloths, swans, penguins, turtles, gators and tarantulas, along with many other kinds of creatures. And over at the Caribbean Cove, you can run your hands over an assortment of stingrays (clipped of their stingers).

But the wide assortment of animals isn't the only reason why past visitors praised this St. Louis attraction. Many recent travelers raved about the free admission, as well as the large, natural enclosures created for the animals. In fact, the zoo is so large that you may want to set aside more than one day to explore this expansive property. And if you're hoping to avoid swarms of people, arrive early or plan your visit during a weekday.

The zoo – situated in St. Louis' expansive Forest Park – is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in the fall, winter and spring (except on holidays and during the zoo's annual U.S. Bank Wild Lights holiday display). Extended hours are available every summer. Admission into the zoo is free, but extras, such as rides on the Conservation Carousel and the Zooline Railroad, do cost a small fee. To maximize savings during your visit, consider buying an Adventure Pass, which costs $12.95 per person and includes admission into most of the zoo's additional activities (you can save $1 by purchasing in advance online). There are also fee-based parking lots and several eateries, bathroom facilities and gift shops located throughout the property. You can also reach the zoo by taking the bus (No. 90) or the Forest Park Trolley. To find out more about zoo events and facilities, visit the attraction's website.

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