Family & Pets

Top Petting Zoos In St. Louis

August 1, 2014 6:00 AM

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Grants Farm
St. Louis is busting at the seams with places for kids to interact with critters. Whether your children want to feed a baby bottle to a billy goat, play with otters or get personal with a piglet, you’ll find just the right environment. Pack your camera and hand sanitizer and head out to these local attractions for some quality time with your new furry friends.

Grant’s Farm
10501 Gravois Road
St. Louis, MO 63123
(314) 843-1700
www.grantsfarm.com

Grant’s Farm is a St. Louis treasure. This Busch family property was once farmed by Ulysses S. Grant, but now it’s a well-kept, immaculate and totally free place for local kids to interact with animals. Feeding the little goat kids with baby bottles is a St. Louis childhood tradition. Make time to see the elephant and bird shows, they’re always very impressive. The Anheuser Busch Clydesdales are stabled on the property, and you’ll also enjoy an antique car collection, outdoor beer garden and train rides. Parking is $12 per car.

Children’s Zoo
St. Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 781-0900
www.stlzoo.org

Admission of $4/person lets you enter the Children’s Zoo, which offers a full day of fun. Kids can slide through the otter pool in a transparent tube, play in fountains, climb on a spider web or dig for bugs like an aardvark. Zookeepers are on hand with a rotating selection of animals for kids to touch and interact with, from snakes to guinea pigs. Kids can burn off energy and cool off by playing in the squirting fountains, feed colorful tropical birds by hand and get immersed in other learning activities. 

Purina Farms
200 Checkerboard Drive
Gray Summit, MO 63039
(314) 982-3232
www.purinafarms.com

Purina Farms is a fun animal attraction operated by the Purina company in West County. Call or visit the website to make a reservation for your free visit. The Farm is full of puppies and kitties, of course, and you can watch dog training and agility shows or tour the amazing house full of cats. In the barn, kids can learn how to milk a cow, scratch a calf behind the ears and play in the hayloft. 

Related: Top Bad Weather Activities For Kids In St. Louis

Suson Park
6073 Wells Road
St. Louis, MO 63128
(314) 615-8822

www.co.st-louis.mo.us

Suson Park is a sweet little park, with a lake for fishing, a playground and picnic areas. But many St. Louisans don’t know that the park is also home to a working animal farm, where kids can encounter horses, chickens, pigs, cows and more. The animal farm is completely free (donations are welcome) and is open from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. all summer long. 

World Aquarium
701 N. 15th St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 647-9594
www.worldaquarium.org

St. Louis’s World Aquarium is a unique place. It’s not like Sea World or Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. It’s more of a rescue and educational operation for sea creatures. It’s located on the second floor of City Museum and charges admission in addition to the City Museum price, but that money goes to support the wildlife work of the Aquarium. Like City Museum itself, the Aquarium is intimate and a little odd, with two-headed snakes and taxidermy displays. There are lots of touchable displays, though, and a petting zoo of seagoing creatures is a unique St. Louis attraction.

Related:  Top Day Care In St. Louis

Lauren Haas was the founder and publisher of The St. Louis Area Family Gazette magazine, and editor-in-chief of Marketplace Magazine. Now, Lauren is a full-time freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Contact her at Lauren@LaurenHaas.com

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