For 50 years, the Saint Louis Zoo has offered a special area just for its youngest visitors to connect with nature. The goal today is the same as in 1969 — to provide dynamic experiences for all children that will inspire a love of animals and learning.
The Children's Zoo is currently CLOSED.
Children's Zoo Admission
$3.95 per person. Children under two are free. Save with an Adventure Pass.
See naked mole rats up-close and personal, pet guinea pigs and goats and meet a variety of friendly animals.
Visit with our two female Tasmanian devils. Watch a large colony of meerkats of "Lion King" fame. These industrious little animals have a termite mound and an elaborate system of PVC burrows. An active family of fennec foxes, the small foxes with the huge ears, is always fun to watch. Plus, a kangaroo that lives in trees? That's right! The Matschie's tree kangaroo from the mountainous forests of Papua New Guinea is well adapted to life in the trees. These marsupials can climb trees like a cat and are good jumpers just like other kangaroos.
Tasmanian devil females Yindi (YIN-dee) and Jannali (JAN-al-ee), both age 2, came to St. Louis from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia. The brand new Tasmanian-themed outdoor habitat was built specifically for these endangered animals, and the sisters' arrival marks the first time in 30 years that the Saint Louis Zoo has cared for this species. The more than 2,000-square-foot living space includes two dens, a fresh water pond and a landscape of hardy plants, boulders and logs. The dens are cooled in the summer and heated in the winter with water circulating through a grid of piping in the den floor. The habitat also offers the animals an elevated area where they can look over the exhibit area below, and it has been specially constructed to provide plenty of soil for these expert diggers to burrow.
Zoo visitors are able to view the Tasmanian devils through two, eight-feet-high and eight-feet-wide Ornilux glass panels. This is the first exhibit at the Zoo to incorporate this special glass, which is glazed with ultraviolet reflective striping that is highly visible to birds, yet almost invisible to humans.
Selected as one of only six U.S. zoos to care for Tasmanian devils, the Saint Louis Zoo is participating in the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program—an Australian government initiative. As part of its commitment to this species, the Zoo provides funds to Australia’s Zoo Aquarium Association Wildlife Conservation Fund supporting Tasmanian devil population monitoring and management. Tasmanian devil populations in the wild have been decimated since the emergence of devil facial tumor disease in 1996.
Another part of the fun at the Children's Zoo is a "Just Like Me" play area, where children can imitate their animal friends. Here children can hop through water geysers, as jets of water spurt randomly so they can cool off in summer months. Kids can climb on a giant spider web or dig like an aardvark in a sandbox. They can try to measure up to a llama, grizzly bear, boa constrictor or red-tailed hawk.
A unique feature of the Children's Zoo is the thrill of zooming down a slide through the otter pool with river otters swimming all about. An acrylic see-through chute passes from the lookout above the pool, through the water, to the viewing area below, allowing you to slide past some of the most playful animals in the world. (Children should be under 54").
The indoor space of the Children's Zoo is divided into four themed biome areas: desert, forest, water, and the backyard. Kids can crawl through the Frog Surround to see tree frogs above them, climb about a cool tree house, see moon jellies and a live coral reef, learn how to attract wildlife to their backyards and much more.
Moon jellies, a coral reef and freshwater fish are new additions to the Children's Zoo building.