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Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Have you ever met a penguin, fed a giant tortoise or held a giant walking stick?

Book Your Behind-the-Scenes Tour or Day Program Today!

Share an experience like no other when you go behind the scenes at the Saint Louis Zoo!

Book one of our Zoo Tours or Day Programs to get to know the animals up close and see what it's like to be a zookeeper. Or, book a Specialty Tour to explore the inner workings of facilities such as our veterinary hospital, research laboratories and administration areas.

What to Know Before You Book

  • All tours are walking tours. No transportation is provided.
  • There is a fee for parking. More information on parking and directions is available here.
  • Some tours take place in temperature-controlled environments or outside. Please dress accordingly.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required for all tours.
  • Tours are not guaranteed to be private unless your group fills the maximum capacity.
  • Due to the unpredictability of animals, tour experiences may vary.
  • All guests must abide by staff instructions at all times.
  • Each tour and program has a specific age requirement listed in the description.
  • For safety reasons, children under 18 must be accompanied by a paid adult adult on Zoo Tours and Specialty Tours. Day Programs do not require an adult, however, if a parent or guardian wishes to accompany the participant, they may do so by purchasing an additional ticket.
  • While all of our public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tours and programs may not be. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral needs within your group, please call our Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make any reasonable accommodations.
  • In compliance with best practices for zoo animal welfare — and the quarantine protocols outlined by federal regulations and the Association of Zoo and Aquarium accreditation standards — service animals are not permitted in our behind-the-scenes animal areas.
  • Zoo Tours, Specialty Tours and Day Programs are non-refundable. If it becomes necessary to reschedule your tour or program, please contact Guest Relations at or (314) 646-4797. Zoo Tours, Specialty Tours and Day Programs must be rescheduled within 30 days of cancellation. No refunds or rescheduling opportunities will be given for no-call/no-shows.
  • The Saint Louis Zoo reserves the right to cancel any tour due to unforeseeable animal health, weather or staffing issues. In case of such an event, the Zoo will contact you to reschedule.
  • Want to give a tour as a gift? Purchase a Zoo gift card here:

Schools (high school level and above) are welcome to book tours, but space is limited. Call our Tours Department at (314)-646-4840 for school tour accommodations.

Zoo Tours

Talk about a CLOSE encounter! Get to know the Zoo's wildlife in a whole new way with a tour experience you'll remember for a lifetime.


Day Programs

Spend the day with the Saint Louis Zoo’s team of keepers, helping guests learn how to feed the stingrays and touch the sharks! Or, become a train engineer for the day. You'll keep our railroad activities on track, helping passengers, narrating the journey around the Zoo, and operating the whistle and bell.


Specialty Tours

Get a backstage pass to explore our animal care facilities, or take a deep dive into the Zoo's business operations, conservation initiatives and more!