Whether you plan to visit for one hour, two hours or the entire day, we want to help you experience an educational, entertaining, safe and successful trip to the Saint Louis Zoo. Here are some ideas, suggestions and valuable information to meet your needs.
For tracking purposes, all schools and groups are now required to register before visiting the Zoo. Please let us know when you are coming by completing the school/group registration form. When you arrive at the Zoo, please check in at one of the Welcome Desks located at both Zoo entrances. Whether you are scheduled for an educational program or tour, or just planning to tour the Zoo on your own, completing this information provides us with the necessary information to better serve your group, particularly in the event of an emergency. For questions regarding group registration, please call (314) 646-4544.
Please note: The school/group registration form is required only for group tracking purposes. To order group tickets and meals, please contact the Group Sales Office at (314) 646-4718 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks prior to your visit.
Please see Hours & Prices for information on the free hour for Children's Zoo and Conservation Carousel.
All-day parking is available on the Zoo's North Lot on Government Drive and South Lot on Wells Drive (not for buses). Limited street parking is available in Forest Park.
Only cash and charge are accepted for parking payment.
Parking fees subject to change. Parking for cars is free on the Forest Park streets around the Zoo, but please pay attention to no-parking zones, marked by signs. Parking rules are subject to change.
Students may bring sack lunches to the Zoo. (Glass bottles are prohibited.) However, we cannot store lunches. Please be prepared to carry lunches in backpacks or store them in your vehicles. Storage lockers are available at the south entrance of the Zoo for your convenience. The price for a storage locker ranges from $8 - $10. You are welcome to enjoy your lunch at any of our outdoor tables or benches, except those on the terrace at the Cafe Kudu and at Lakeside Cafe. See Picnic Map for places to enjoy your lunch.
- Mondays and Tuesdays are traditionally our least busy days; Fridays are typically the busiest.
- Make sure to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately! The Zoo is a rain or shine location!
- Wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Bus drop off/pick up – Buses may drop off and pick up passengers along the curb directly outside of the entrance of The Living World (North Entrance) of the Zoo. All busses should drop off/pick up passengers on the south side of the street, nearest the building. Please do NOT drop off on the opposite side of the street, for passenger safety.
- Bus staging – Busses may WAIT to pull up in front of The Living World (North Entrance) in the southern lane along Government Drive.
At all times, please adhere to the bus loading signage along the street, as well as directions from Zoo staff.
There are several routes to take to get to the Zoo; congestion on the streets may cause a delay in your arrival time. We encourage you to plan extra travel time.
Bus Directions to The Living World
From US 40/I-64:
Option 1: Take the Hampton exit (34-B) and follow signs to Forest Park. At the first roundabout, turn left (west) on Wells Drive. Then, at the second roundabout, turn right onto Government Drive and arrive at the Zoo's North Entrance.
Option 2: Westbound Alternate Route: Take Clayton Road exit; turn right on Skinker, then right onto Wells Drive into Forest Park. Take the first roundabout, and turn onto Government Drive and arrive at the Zoo’s North Entrance.
Eastbound Alternate Route: Take McCausland exit, turn left on McCausland/Skinker, then right on Wells Drive into Forest Park. At the first roundabout, turn onto Government Drive and arrive at the Zoo's North Entrance.
Starting March 1, 2017, buses over 24 feet will no longer be able to park on our South Lot. Buses must obtain a permit to park in Forest Park through the City of Saint Louis Department of Parks. Parking permits are obtained by calling the Forest Park Permits Office at (314) 289-5330, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., or by completing an online application. You will be assigned to a designated lot for parking by the Parks Department. The parking permit fee is $5 per bus or commercial vehicle. Only check or money order payments are accepted. Parking permits must be requested two weeks or more before your scheduled fieldtrip. The Parks Department cannot guarantee a permit will be issued with less than two weeks’ notice.
Teachers or other bus users will need to provide their name, name and address of school/organization, date of visit, and the number of buses arriving at the time of their request. Permits will be mailed.
Please note: Your parking permit must be prominently displayed on the windshield of your bus during the time the vehicle is parked in Forest Park or you risk getting ticketed.
We want your Zoo visit to be a valuable learning experience for your students. One thing we hope visitors learn is respect for our Zoo animals, and for all wildlife. When you're on Zoo grounds, please help us keep our animals safe and our grounds beautiful. Do not allow students to throw food or other items into the animal exhibits, or try to touch the animals. Please respect our flowers and plants by not picking or collecting them. While touring the grounds, be mindful and courteous of other visitors around you. Thanks for your cooperation.
The Saint Louis Zoo Security Department recommends that large groups bring cell phones or group two-way radios. This way, group members can find one another easily if they get separated.
Also, please check in at the Welcome Desk at either Zoo entrance to leave a cell phone number in which you can be contacted in case of emergency.
For information on lunch at the Zoo, special attractions at special group rates and other savings for field trip groups, see Group Visits.