Happy Thursday! I have had a great chance to roam around St. Louis this week and one of the activities I took my family to was the St. Louis Zoo! It’s SUCH an amazing zoo, and they truly care about their animals. The trees and botanicals are SO stunning, and keep everything shaded and comfortable (especially in the Missouri heat). If you are in the area, and want to know exactly how to get the MOST out of your trip (it’s also FREE, btw), this is the guide for you!
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The St. Louis Zoo is almost like a work of art. Whoever did the landscaping and layout design REALLY knew what they were doing. But, it’s HUGE and can be confusing if you only have a few hours and want to prioritize your time.
This is KEY because you will never find your way out unless you have one. I’m not kidding when I say the twists and turns will leave you circling the zebras for hours. Not that we don’t lovelovelove zebras, but it isn’t always the most fun area to be around in the heat (HELLO manure).
They do have signs posted around the zoo, but it helps if you can see the entire layout. Don’t be like your husband who refuses to ask for directions, just do it. Decide which animals you want to see more and then map your route to that. Unless you plan for 5 hours of zoo time, you won’t see everything in the zoo.
There are SIX zoo zones: River’s Edge, The Wild, Discovery Corner, Historic Hill, Red Rocks, Lakeside Crossing. I recommend doing it in this order:
River’s Edge –> Discovery Corner –> Lakeside Crossing –> The Wild –> Historic Hill –> Red Rocks
This is because Lakeside Crossing has all your food and cafe options, so you can stop right in the middle of your trip, have lunch and then continue on. If you miss it and go straight to the Wild, you will have to double back to eat lunch and you’ll waste valuable time wandering around when you could be seeing animals doing their cute little animal thing!
Besides just seeing the animals, there are a ton of activities and shows you can see during your trip to the zoo. There is a Sea Lion Show, Safari Tours, Stingrays at Discovery Cove and Animal Enrichment and Training. I love the Stingray activity — you get to interact with the stingrays and the keepers are SO knowledgable about their animals. They are such beautiful and gentle creatures, I am in awe of being so close to them!
The Sea Lion show is great if you have little kids — they will absolutely LOVE it. The trainers are funny and kind, and the animals are sweet. You can watch them do tricks, swim powerfully through the water and play with their trainers.
There are 3 types of Safari Tours: Extreme Zoo Safari, River’s Edge Safari, and African Safari. My personal favorite is the extreme zoo safari because they show you the most dangerous and poisonous animals in the zoo and you get to go through the Herpetarium (aka SNAKES AND LIZARDS), which is my most favorite place in the zoo.
They have awesome food at the zoo. I am a big fan of the Lakeside Cafe and the Safari Grill. There are a lot of options from burgers, cheese fries (a personal favorite), chicken strips and cheese quesadillas. They also have stands all around the zoo that see drinks, ice cream, popcorn and other snacks. I always get a italian ice at a stand, and chicken strips at the Lakeside Cafe. SO yummy. Basically what I’m saying is you can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants, no matter what your age.
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If you can’t tell, I am a HUGE animal lover. I also have talked to several of the keepers and docents, and they have SUCH a passion for their job. The animals are healthy and active and SO beautiful.
Do you like zoos? How often do you go? If you are in the St. Louis area, I HIGHLY suggest you go visit this FREE zoo. Grab your family and enjoy an afternoon around the world!
HAPPY FRI-YAY, fam! I’ve been so excited for this post to go…03 August 2017
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