The Saint Louis Zoo's new Monsanto Education Gallery located in the lower level of The Living World invites young children and their adult caregivers to explore the animal world together. The gallery was made possible by a gift of $2 million from the Monsanto Company to create a flexible, multi-purpose education area at the Zoo.
The Gallery will provide unique opportunities for children, age 0 to 8, and their caregivers to explore the wonders of the natural world together and to discover ways to extend love of nature to their everyday lives. Camp Joey, the Zoo's day camp for children 4 to 5 years old, will now operate out of the Gallery space on weekdays in the summer.
Wild Wonder Outpost Discovery Room
2016-2017 School Year Schedule
Through May 26, 2017
- Monday-Friday: 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.
- Weekends: 9:30* and 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.
*On Sensory Saturdays (second Saturday of every month), the 9:30 a.m. session is reserved for kids with special needs.
- Holiday Schedule: 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. on December 26-30, January 16, February 20, March 27-31
Closed dates: December 7-8, 2016, December 19-23, 2016, January 8, 2017 - morning sessions and March 20-24, 2017.
9:30 a.m. on the second Saturday of every month
The new Sensory Saturday sessions will be modified with dimmer lighting, reduced sound and a sensory-break area with fidgets (self-regulation tools to help with focus, attention, calming, and active listening), pillows and other accommodations. Zoo staff members are experienced in working with children with special needs and enjoy helping children get the most from the gallery's offerings—on their own terms.
For more information about Sensory Saturdays, email email@example.com, call (314) 646-4544.
- $2 per person for Zoo members
- $3 per person for non-members
- Children under 1 are free
One adult (age 18 and up) is required for every four children. Everyone entering must have a ticket. Timed tickets and advance tickets are available at the Welcome Desks at both the north and south entrances of the Zoo. Reservations are not available. Wild Wonder Outpost capacity is 40 participants per session.
Groups: Groups of 15 or more may purchase tickets up to one week in advance.
A discovery room like no other within the Education Gallery, the Wild Wonder Outpost focuses on child-directed exploration, investigation and play, featuring age-appropriate animal and environmental themes. The experience is focused on families with children ages birth to 8. Children of all ages and abilities are welcome.
Children can choose their own brand of fun at these stations:
Backyard Wildlife Experience
Explore the habitat surrounding an interactive playhouse. Play with binoculars, magnifiers and field guides as you identify native wildlife. Learn about animal clues as you identify scat, bird songs and more. Turn compost, care for native plants and find out how to attract wildlife to your own backyards.
Animal Care Corner
Investigate the jobs of zookeepers, veterinarians, researchers and other professionals using costumes, pretend Zoo animals and tools of the trade. Discover how zookeepers care for the animals as you sift scat, squeegee aquariums and hook snakes. Examine x-rays, bandage bears and listen to the heart of a hippo, just like a real veterinarian.
Create an underwater adventure with amazing ocean animal models at the water sensory table. Check out items on a light table, view butterfly wings or other delicate animal parts.
Create your own animal habitat with realistic animal replicas and natural elements. Use plants, logs, caves, fences, waterways and more for animals in the wild or design your own Zoo homes.
Explore wacky wildlife adventures with a diverse cast of animal puppets, or tell a story with the forest finger puppets in their giant tree stump homes. Put on a costume and fly like a butterfly or charge like a rhino across the stage.
Cubs & Pups Pad
Just for the wee ones! Ages 2 and under can play with puppets, plush animals and puzzles on the soft leaf mats, or crawl through our ever changing animal burrow. Their caregivers can help them explore the animal world through books and manipulatives that simulate how animals move, act and sound.
See Hours & Prices
For information, contact the Education Department Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (314) 646-4544, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saint Louis Zoo Preschool
The Zoo will offer a fee-based half-day preschool program that will operate mornings during the school year in the Education Gallery. See details.