One of my favorite things to do in all of St. Louis is visit the Saint Louis Zoo. One of the best reasons is because its FREE! Sure you can pay to do the extras, like feed the stingrays in the summer, visit the Children’s zoo, take in a sea lion show, but the size of the zoo is enough to keep you busy without all of the extras!
Andrew and I have visited several times over our years of living in St. Louis. The Penguin and Polar Bear exhibits are just a few years old, and a new Grizzly Bear exhibit just opened this fall. We haven’t been to see it yet, but I’m hoping to very soon.
When my sister and I visited this past summer, we got there as early as we could so that we could beat the heat as best as we could. I tend to park up by the World’s Fair Pavilion. It’s a bit of a walk, but it’s better than having to pay for parking in the zoo lot. This meant we entered the zoo at the North Entrance, which is an actual building that also houses a gift shop, bathrooms, discovery classrooms, and a food court restaurant. We exited the building and decided to head clockwise through the zoo. This meant we took in the penguins and polar bear first and then moved to the Aviary that’s been there since the 1904 Word’s Fair. We also got to see the apes early on. It’s the first time we saw the inside the building since it was so hot, and we loved the gorilla that was eating an onion! Then it was on to the African animals and Big cat section.
By then we had made it towards the center of the zoo, which is where the seals and sea lions are located. When she and I were there we got to sit in during a keeper talk with the seals; when Andrew and I visited about a month later we sat in on a talk with the sea lions. It was fun to have seen both presentations shortly after each other.
Following our time with the seals (which also have a neat tunnel that you can go into to see them swimming above you), we decided to visit the bird house and then grab some food. We ate inside the Lakeside Cafe. I find that the food is pretty reasonable in price compared to lots of other tourist places I’ve been.
After that, we took in the bird house and primate house, and then finally headed over to my favorite area, River’s Edge. This is where you can find many Asian and African animals, like the elephants, hyenas, hippos, cheetah, spotted dogs, and rhinos. The best part was a baby rhino had recently been born, and we were lucky enough to be able to see the sweet thing in the distance of it’s habitat.
We decided not to visit the reptile or insect house, because neither of us are big fans of either of those! That meant it was time to head back to the north entrance and visit the gift shop. We both wound up purchasing a tank top to remember our sister trip.
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