Saint Louis, MO

What You Need to Know When Visiting the St. Louis Zoo

Kimberly Ritter

If you’re headed to St. Louis, MO, don’t miss a trip to visit and play with the animals at the free admission St. Louis Zoo!
St. Louis ZooImage Courtesy of

With over 100+ years of rich history, the St. Louis Zoo has been bringing animal-filled adventures to the St. Louis area. From buying the 1904 World’s Fair Flight Cage for $3,500 to having school children save their pennies in 1916 to purchase Miss Jim the elephant. This free admission zoo offers 90 acres of animal exhibits, attractions, shopping and dining for you and your family to enjoy.

Home to over 12,000 animals, representing 500 species, the Saint Louis Zoo is recognized worldwide for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Saint Louis Zoo attracts approximately 3 million visitors annually and is the most-visited attraction in the region.
Penguins at the St. Louis ZooImage Courtesy of

With different St. Louis zoo zones that feature everything from sea lions to lemurs, there is something for everyone at the St. Louis Zoo. Some of our favorites on past visits have included petting the sharks and the stingrays, playing with the penguins and making them chatter to us, and watching the bears.
Free Zoo in St. LouisImage Courtesy of

What to Know When You Get There

Admission to the St. Louis Zoo is free, however, there are small additional charges for some of the attractions. You can find those charges here. While admission is free, there is a $15 charge for zoo parking, find the details here.

We’ve been to zoos all over the country and the St. Louis Zoo is one of our favorites, this large zoo has so much to see, I would definitely plan to spend the entire day and if your budget permits, purchase the Adventure Pass for the best deal to take advantage of all of the cool attractions. We try to visit every time we are in the St. Louis area and can’t wait to go back again!

The zoo is open all year long except major holidays and special events. Some exhibits are seasonal and may not be available on occasion due to weather, when the temperature is below a certain degree, or due to current health conditions. Check the zoo’s website and social media for details and announcements.

Coupons for the St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo is free, but for the best savings on attractions at the zoo, I recommend the St. Louis Zoo Adventure Pass. It is $14.95 a person and gets you admission to multiple attractions. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Guidelines and Precautions
Just like any other attraction, before you make a visit to the St. Louis Zoo, be sure to check their website for updates on COVID-19 guidelines and procedures. While admission to the St. Louis Zoo is free, reservations are currently required to visit the zoo. You do need to reserve your spot in advance and can make your reservations online on the St. Louis Zoo website.

All guests visiting the St. Louis zoo age 9 and up, are required to wear a mask or face covering, including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Some attractions and restaurants may be operating at limited capacity or with modified service.

How to Get to the St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo is located on Government Drive in St. Louis, Missouri. Get driving directions to get to the zoo online here. Learn more about the zoo online at and you can also call them directly at (314) 781-0900 or toll-free: at (800) 966-8877.

Looking for other zoos with free admission? Check out our list here!

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