The St. Louis Zoo is located in Forest Park in the heart of St. Louis. It was first opened in 1910 and many of the structures used by the zoo were repurposed from the World’s Fair of 1904. It is free to attend the St. Louis Zoo, as the zoo is funded by the local tax payers and private citizens. In 2017 and 2018 the St. Louis Zoo was chosen as the best zoo in America by USA Today newspaper.
As the zoo grew over the years, many exhibits have been added. The zoo started when the walk through bird cage that was constructed for the World’s Fair in 1904 was bought from the Smithsonian Institution. The bear pits were built next in 1921 and then the primate house was constructed in 1923 followed by the reptile house in 1927.
The new bird house was build in 1930, but with the Great Depression ongoing construction at the zoo slowed down. The next major construction at the zoo began in 1971 when the Aquatic House was built and the Emerson Zooline Railroad, which is always a major attraction especially for children, was built in 1963. The Children’s Zoo was built in 1969.
The River’s Edge was built in 1999 and is home to elephants, cheetahs, hyenas and other animals. Many other exhibits have been added over the next many years including a current construction project to expand and create new habitats for the primates.
The St. Louis Zoo is a great destination for families. You can pay to park right at the zoo or you can park elsewhere and walk to the zoo. You are allowed to bring your own food and drinks into the zoo, although there are many food and beverage options through out the zoo. The zoo also hosts Halloween and Christmas displays which people can walk through and enjoy during the evenings.