Skip to main content

Zoo Tours

Available Tours

Year-round and Current Seasonal Tours

Due to various animal considerations, availability and capacity limitations apply. Duration times are approximate. Tours are released on a quarterly basis approximately 5-7 weeks before the next quarter begins.

Avian Encounter

$60 per person

You don't need wings to get a bird's eye view of some of the Saint Louis Zoo’s bird show’s stars. This tour allows guests to attend the Winging It! bird show and then enjoy a meet-and-greet with both the birds (including some not in the show) and their trainer. Who-who-who wants a photo with an owl? Or an up-close encounter with an eagle? This tour is for bird enthusiasts eager to learn about our fascinating feathered friends.

After arriving at the Zoo, tour guests should proceed to the bird show at Lichtenstein Sea Lion Arena at least 10 minutes before the ticketed tour time. Seating begins about 15 minutes before the show starts. The bird show will start promptly at the ticketed tour time.

Please note this tour does NOT meet in The Living World (like other Zoo tours).

  • Number of guests: Minimum of two; maximum of six
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 5 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.

The Avian Encounter tour is a fully accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.

BOOK NOW: April - June
Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather

$40 per person

Spread your wings to meet the birds in our diverse collection — and learn how our conservation efforts are helping several critically endangered species. Our staff will share enchanting stories about our Bird House residents as you visit off-display areas like the incubator/propagation room, where keepers collect eggs and incubate them until they hatch.

  • Number of guests: Minimum of two; maximum of 10
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.

The Birds of a Feather tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: January – March
BOOK NOW: April – June

Chirping Cheetahs

$75 per person

Catch a glimpse of the fastest land animal on Earth at our Cheetah Survival Center. These spectacular, spotted cats are one of the most vulnerable species on our planet and the Saint Louis Zoo has been dedicated to their survival for 50 years! Go behind the scenes in this quiet corner of the Zoo to see how keepers care for our cheetahs and meet their unique behavioral needs.

These tours are conducted outdoors. Please be prepared for inclement weather. Note that umbrellas are not allowed in our behind-the-scenes cheetah area.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of six
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Chirping Cheetahs tour is a fully accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.


BOOK NOW: April – June
Gentle Giants

Gentle Giants

$60 per person

Take a stroll to Red Rocks for the exceptional opportunity to feed the Zoo's "gentle giants," our reticulated giraffes. Marvel up close at their long eyelashes and watch the giraffe’s masterful tongue grasp a leafy branch or piece of lettuce right from your hand! You’ll learn about their behavior and diet — and find out why their necks are so amazingly long.

These tours are seasonally conducted outdoors. Please be prepared for weather conditions. Closed-toed shoes are required.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of 10
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 5 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Gentle Giants tour is a fully accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.


BOOK NOW: January – March
BOOK NOW: April – June

Here, There and Grizzly Bear

$110 per person

Experience a “bear-y” special adventure on a Behind-the-Scenes Grizzly Tour! Explore our state-of-the-art bear building where you will get an inside look at how zookeepers care for Huckleberry and Finley, our sibling pair of bears. This tour gives you an exclusive glimpse into the life of a grizzly, with the opportunity to meet these majestic animals.

These tours are seasonally conducted outdoors. Please be prepared for inclement conditions.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of 8
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Here, There and Grizzly Bear tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: January – March
BOOK NOW: April – June
Hippo Howdy

Hippo Howdy

$90 per person

Let us introduce you to the third-largest land animal in the world! Learn about the hippo’s unusual ability to adapt to the harshest of environments and hear stories from our zookeepers about the care and feeding of these unique African herbivores. You’ll even get the chance to toss snacks into a hippo’s supercolossal mouth.

Pictures and videos are not permitted during the behind-the-scenes portions of this tour.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of six
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Hippo Howdy tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: January – March
Penguin Encounter

Penguin Encounter

$85 per person

Experience Penguin & Puffin Coast from a zookeeper's point of view! During this tour, you’ll have an up-close-and-personal visit with some of our playful penguins while you learn about our conservation center for threatened Humboldt penguins. You'll wrap up your tour with a walk through the exhibit.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of 10
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 5 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Penguin Encounter tour is a fully accessible tour.
If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.

BOOK NOW: January – March
BOOK NOW: April – June
Planet Protectors

Planet Protectors

$40 per person

Come join the keepers at Bayer Insectarium for an exclusive opportunity to interact with some of the rarest species in the world! And be prepared: The staff may put you to work by asking you to hold or help feed these incredible creatures.

Home to more individual animals than any other area in the Zoo, you’ll learn what these spineless wonders do for our planet — and what you can do to help save them!

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of six
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 5 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Planet Protectors tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: January – March
Pollinator Pals

Pollinator Pals

$40 per person

Enjoy a tour of our Butterfly Dome, where you will get up close and personal with our fluttering friends. Enjoy exclusive access to the Dome, as you and your group explore and warm up in this micro-tropic world. You’ll learn all about how we care for our collection of beautiful butterflies, with the opportunity to hold and touch a few cute and crawling “guest stars” from the Insectarium next door.

Home to more individual animals than any other area in the Zoo, you’ll learn what these spineless wonders do for our planet — and what you can do to help save them!

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of eight
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 5 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.

Pollinator Pals is a fully accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.

BOOK NOW: January – March
Reptile Rendezvous

Reptile Rendezvous

$55 per person

This behind-the-scenes tour of the Charles H. Hoessle Herpetarium offers an up-close look at our vast collections of snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises — as well as amphibians and crocodilians. Learn about safety protocols, snake antivenin and keeper tools. Then, challenge yourself to reach out and touch one of your new amphibian or reptile friends!

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of six
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Reptile Rendezvous tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: January – March
Rhino Ramble

Rhino Ramble

$80 per person

This tour takes you behind River's Edge to the hidden rhino barn to be properly introduced to one of our imposing black rhinos. You'll get the chance to feed this weighty vegetarian and may even get to touch their armor-like skin!

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two guests; maximum of six
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Rhino Ramble tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: April - June
Sea Lion Encounter

Sea Lion Encounter

$75 per person

Put your flippers together for a California sea lion superstar! Enjoy the Sea Lion Show and then stay after for an exclusive look at how the trainers work with these animals by using positive reinforcement to cultivate remarkable behaviors. You may even have the opportunity for a priceless photo with one of the show's “sea-lebrities." Your tour will conclude with a guided exploration of our innovative Sea Lion Sound habitat and aqua tunnel.

These tours are conducted outdoors. Please be prepared for unfavorable weather conditions. Sea Lion Tours have a temperature minimum of 45 degrees. If temperatures are below this threshold, the tour may be canceled and rescheduled.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of six
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.

The Sea Lion Encounter tour is a fully accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at 314-646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.

BOOK NOW: March
Sloth Slowdown

Sloth Slowdown

$100 per person

Go behind the scenes and meet the elusive South American creature that sleeps half the day away! You’ll be schooled on all-things-sloth by the keepers who care for them as you take a special peek into their laid-back habitat. Also in store? Sloth snack time! Closed-toe shoes required.

  • Number of Guests: Maximum of two guests
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 5 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Sloth Slowdown tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: January - March

Swamp Celebration

$35 per person

Take a walk through history as you tour the Cypress Swamp in the Zoo's 1904 Flight Cage. A diverse flock of waterfowl will enchant you as this tour explores a wetland ecosystem, reflective of the landscapes found in southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. You'll learn about how the Zoo cares for these beautiful animals — and how you can help protect our region's unique swampland.

Please be prepared for unfavorable weather conditions.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of 10
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of our public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Swamp Celebration tour is a fully accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at 314-646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.

BOOK NOW: April - June
Tour de Tortoise

Tour de Tortoise

$65 per person

This visit to the Charles H. Hoessle Herpetarium takes you into the heart of tortoise territory. Some of these slow-moving reptiles weigh up to 600 pounds, so bring your camera for substantial photo opportunities!

Guests must be able to walk downhill on uneven terrain in the tortoise habitat. These tours are conducted seasonally, outdoors. Please be prepared for weather. Closed-toed shoes are required.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of four
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 8 and up

Please note that while all of our public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Tour de Tortoise tour is not an accessible tour.

BOOK NOW: April - June

Train-rific Tour

$50 per person

All aboard for a Train-rific Tour! Learn about the history of the Zooline Railroad as you ride the express route right into the Zoo's train shed. An Engineer lets you look up close at an engine and reveals what it takes to keep the Zoo's train program on track. You'll finish your journey by riding around the Zoo on one of our famous trains, and will take home an authentic souvenir railroad spike.

These tours are conducted outdoors from May through October. Please be prepared for unfavorable weather conditions.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; maximum of six
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 2 and up. One adult per two children required.

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Train-rific Tour is a fully accessible tour.
If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.


BOOK NOW: April - June
Vet Hospital Tour

Vet Hospital Tour

$35 per person

Have you ever wondered how the Zoo maintains such a diverse collection of animals and keeps them so healthy? How do we treat a giraffe vs. a tiny frog? And how do we care for animals threatened with extinction or with other specific needs? Meet with our vet staff to learn some of the innovative and unique ways they treat the Zoo’s animals.

  • Number of guests: Minimum of four; maximum of 15
  • Duration: 45-60 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 14 and up

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Vet Hospital Tour is a fully accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please call the Tours Department at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations.

BOOK NOW: March 12
BOOK NOW: June 11

Wade with the Rays

$175 per person

Join us for an "a-RAY-zing" dip in the stingray habitat at Stingrays at Caribbean Cove! Interact with our aquatic friends and learn ways we can help them in the wild. You will gently walk to the middle of the pool, sit on a stool, and let our rays come to you! The rays will find this experience as enriching as you do – in fact, you’ll be a part of their daily enrichment session.

Water shoes will be provided. Please wear (and plan on getting wet) a T-shirt, khaki or jean shorts, and closed-toe shoes. Swimsuits are fine but we require shorts and shirts over them. We will provide a shirt. There is a changing room on-site for you to change into dry clothes after your experience. Bring a bottle of water, a camera, and get ready to Wade with the Rays!*

*Pool experience is at keeper’s discretion.

  • Number of guests: Minimum of one; maximum of two
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 14 and up
  • (Guests who are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paid adult.)

Please note that while all of The Zoo's public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be.
The Wade with the Rays tour is not an accessible tour. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral considerations within your group, please contact our Education Department so our staff can be prepared to make appropriate accommodations: (314) 646-4533 or dultz@stlzoo.org.

BOOK NOW: May - September

Upcoming Seasonal Tours