I recently took my 3 children to this zoo and they loved it! We spent 5 hours exploring the animals and STILL did not see the whole thing. We parked along the side streets in Forest Park and walked to the North Entrance. A very nice walk AND it saved us $11 on parking that we later used in their AMAZING gift shop. You'll definitely want to wear comfy shoes, even if you park in the Zoo Parking Lot, you'll still be walking ALL OVER this large zoo. Entrance to the zoo is free but bring extra money if you want to visit the Children's Zoo, ride the Carousel or the Train, and get snacks, drinks, souvenirs, etc. We brought in a large bottle of water with no objections from the staff. In fact, the staff overall was VERY helpful and polite no matter what their position was. In the Bird House, two staff members stopped their cleaning duties to answer questions about the birds from my kids. They were so helpful and nice and didn't act irritated by the fact that we had interrupted their work! Try to get to the zoo early, when the animals are the most active. Towards the end of the day, we went to the River's Edge and couldn't find a SINGLE animal!! They must know what time the zoo closes, or maybe it's their dinner time, but I saved that walk for last because I heard it was the best. Oh well, we'll have to start with that area first the next time we go!! The bathrooms were very well taken care of, but if you enter into the zoo at the North Entrance, don't hit the bathrooms right away in the Welcome Center b/c those are always packed. Wait just a few steps away and you'll find some that don't have a huge waiting line. Also, it gets very hot in the Herpetarium House between all the people and the heat lamps from the snakes and reptiles. You may want to skip it if you can't handle climate change well. But DON'T skip the Penguins!! Even though it's cold, it's the cutest area of the zoo (but very stinky-chew gum, it helps!!). Have fun at the zoo!!!
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