Admission was free, but parking was $15. I drove around for a while until I was able to find some free parking. If you plan to visit, get there early because at around 12:00, all the free parking is completely full, and you will have to pay $15.
While walking there a Chinese woman stopped me to have her picture taken in front of the art museum. She didn’t speak any English, but she had a cool app on her phone that you could talk into and it would translate for you. It could translate English into Chinese and vice versa. It was really cool. I am so looking forward to having universal translators star trek style. Technology is amazing. The future is now.
Definitely visit the petting zoo. You can get up close to the animals, and you can touch them. Kids love petting the guinea pigs.
They had macaws on it open perch. I was able to get up close to take a picture.
Zoo Keeper: “Be careful. Don’t get too close. They bite.”
Me: “How do they not fly away?”
Zoo Keeper: “They do fly away… some of the times.”
Apparently, when the birds fly away, they have to call the trainers to get them back. The trainers have stick that they use to make a sound, and the birds are trained to come back when they hear it. Then they put them back on the perch.
If you’re lucky enough to be at the sea lion pool during feeding time, you can watch the trainers feed the sea lions. They do tricks. The sea lions do tricks, not the trainers.
Beware of Microtransactions
Even though admission to the zoo is free, there are many exhibit and activities which require the purchase of additional ticket, and of course, food and drinks are sold at an inflated price like most parks. A basket of french fries at the pavilion was $6.
Also see: Free Museums in St. Louis