How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis Zoo

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!


How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis Zoo

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.

How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis Zoo

First: GRAB A MAP.

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.

How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis 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!

How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis Zoo


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.

How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis 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. 

How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis Zoo


How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis Zoo

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. 

How To Get The Most Out Of The St. Louis Zoo

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!

About The Author

Taylor Mobley


  1. adkinsdomain | 3rd Aug 17

    Awesome pictures! I love the zoo!

  2. Marette Flora | 3rd Aug 17

    I love going to the zoo! It’s a nice way to spend a day! I like to go to the local zoo whenever we visit a new place, if possible. I will have to check this out if we go to St. Louis!

  3. Crystal // Dreams, etc. | 3rd Aug 17

    I haven’t been to a zoo in a long time. I’m a little wary of them. I’d love to go to this one just for the stingray activity! They’re one of my fave animals and I’d love to have a chance to interact with them one day!

  4. cara | 3rd Aug 17

    Love that this is a free park! It seems like a really awesome zoo and I always love seeing the elephants!

  5. Bethany | 3rd Aug 17

    We just were at the St. Louis zoo in April, we had a great time. We went to the Omaha zoo last month and I think because of the heat we actually got to see more animals at the St. Louis zoo.

  6. Sam @ The Haunted Housewife | 3rd Aug 17

    Ah, your outfit is SO CUTE! You’re making me want to go out and get overalls. The St. Louis Zoo looks like so much fun, my city doesn’t have a decent zoo. I have to drive two hours, but I really need to see some animals soonsies!

  7. ShootingStarsMag | 3rd Aug 17

    I do like the zoo, but it’s hard to find a good time to go that isn’t blazing hot in the summer! I have the Cincinnati Zoo by me which is a lot of fun but I’d get lost easy if I went alone I’m sure. haha

  8. Kuleigh | 3rd Aug 17

    I absolutely love going to the zoo! I’ve never been to St. Louis but my husband went and had the opportunity to go to the zoo there. I can’t believe it’s free!

  9. Rachel Ritlop | 3rd Aug 17

    I haven’t visited a zoo in so long! Omg so fun!

  10. Kristen | 3rd Aug 17

    The St. Louis Zoo looks like so much fun and I love that they have elephants, they’re my favorite ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope I’ll get to visit their zoo sometime!

    Kristen |

  11. Jessi Smith | 3rd Aug 17

    I love the zoo! It’s so great that this zoo is free!

  12. Rachel | 3rd Aug 17

    I just visited a zoo for the first time in years – it was a blast! And free zoos are the best zoos!

  13. Whitney | 3rd Aug 17

    I love zoos!! All of the animals they have fascinate me!! I loving looking at the animals. I want to go to the zoo near me (I’ve been several times), because they have the most adorable baby hippo- Fiona. She’s went viral. If you look up the Cincinnati Zoo on FB, you’ll see tons of cute pictures and videos of her on there!

  14. Ruthie Ridley | 4th Aug 17

    Great tips!! We love the zoo!! Love your pictures!!

  15. Jenny | 6th Aug 17

    The zoo is tons of fun! I go here as often as I can.

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