You will find that St. Louisans are VERY proud of their Zoo.  They should be!  It is a wonderful Zoo that has great exhibits and is always a great day out for the family.  Another great benefit of the St. Louis Zoo is that admission is FREE.  With careful planning  you and your family could spend the entire day at the Zoo for free.

St. Louis Zoo for Free??

How is it possible that such a great Zoo such as the St. Louis Zoo is Free?  Admission is free based on a public subsidy from a cultural tax district, the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District.  So how do you spend the day at the Zoo for Free and avoid the out of pocket expenses?

St. Louis Zoo Parking – It’s not Free

Take the St. Louis Metro Link and get off at the Forest Park Debaliviere Station.  You can use this handy map to take a nice walk with your family through Forest Park to get to the Zoo.  Yes you will have to pay for the MetroLink Tickets but your round trip fair should cost less then the parking.

Food at the Zoo – It’s not Free

Just like any other attraction Food at the Zoo is not Free and is actually pretty expensive.  If your goal is to not spend money, brown bag your family’s lunch, and carry in a backpack.  Pick a nice attraction at lunch time and enjoy your prepared meal.

Special Attractions – They aren’t Free

The St. Louis Zoo has plenty of attractions and exhibits to keep your family entertained for an entire day, but sometimes they have special exhibits like the sting rays that cost a fee.  If I were to recommend spending money on anything, these exhibits would be the best place for a limited budget as far as Value goes.

Gift Shops – S000000000 NOT FREE

The St. Louis Zoo as done a great job of landing you and your kids in a gift shop after every exhibit.  Stay strong and say no, unless of course you want to by the stuffed seal as a keep sake of your fun day with the kids.  No judgment here!

Make sure not to miss some of the classic St. Louis Zoo attractions like the bears and the penguins.  You can find all you need to plan your day at the zoo here.

Fun Fact:  The St. Louis Zoo got its start at the 1904 Worlds Fair.  Find out how here.

Have a Great Weekend!