Visitors' Guide for the St. Louis Zoo

Hippopotamus at the zoo
••• David O'Brien

There is no question that the St. Louis Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the bi-state region. The zoo attracts millions of visitors each year and is considered one of the best animal parks in the nation. It also has the added benefit of free admission for all visitors. Here's more information about visiting the St. Louis Zoo.

Location and Hours

The St. Louis Zoo is located at One Government Drive in Forest Park. That's just north of Highway 40/I-64 at the Hampton exit. The zoo is open most days of the year. From Labor Day through Memorial Day, it's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the summer, it opens an hour earlier at 8 a.m. It also stays open late on summer weekends until 7 p.m. The zoo is closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

About the Animals

The St. Louis Zoo is currently home to more than 5,000 animals from all over the world. You'll find all of the creatures you'd expect to see at a zoo, including elephants, hippos, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and monkeys. The zoo is constantly expanding its animal habitats. One of the newer exhibits, Polar Bear Point, was completed in 2015. The Sea Lion Sound exhibit revamped the previous sea lion habitat, complete with an underwater walkthrough tunnel for visitors.

Top Attractions

You can easily spend a day at the zoo simply walking around and seeing the animals. Some of the most popular habitats are Penguin & Puffin Coast and Polar Bear Point, but it's also worth it to take in some of the other top attractions. The Children's Zoo is specially designed with kids in mind. Children can feed goats, pet guinea pigs, attend shows, and play at the playground.

If you don't feel like walking, the Zooline Railroad will take you where you want to go. The trains stop at four different locations throughout the zoo.

During the warmer months, you can take in the Sea Lion Show or pet the stingrays and sharks at Caribbean Cove.

Special Events

The St. Louis Zoo hosts many special events throughout the year and many are free. In January and February, there's the Winter Zoo and annual Mardi Gras celebration. Summers are filled with special events including the free Jungle Boogie concerts from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The Zoo celebrates Halloween each year with Boo at the Zoo, and marks the holiday season with Wild Lights. For more on all of the events happening at the Zoo, see the calendar of events on the St. Louis Zoo website.