Whether you want to go on a mini jungle safari, surround yourself with solitude and drink in local history and culture or tickle your curiousity with science, you need to visit Forest Park. This large park is the heart of Saint Louis and is home to the city zoo, art museum, local history museum and a science center, plus is a city favourite for picnics, outdoor activities and all around wholesome fun.
Dedicated in June 24, 1876, the founders of the park with the vision that "the rich and poor, the merchant and mechanic, the professional man and the day laborer, each with his family and lunch basket, can come and enjoy his own ... all without stint or hindrance ... and there will be no notice put up to ‘Keep off the grass.’” Ever since its inception, the park has served as a popular meeting ground for citizens of St. Louis, as well as a major touristic attraction. The park has seen its fair share of historical activities, which includes hosting the 1904 Summer Olympics, and the ground breaking Louisiana Purchase Exposition in the same year.
- This Saint Louis Zoo is the park’s most popular feature, with its own veterinary, animal nutrition center and a fascinating population of more than 18,000 animals and birds. The zoo is divided into five animal zones: the River's Edge, which includes elephants, cheetahs, and hyenas; The Wild, which includes penguins, bears, and great apes; Discovery Zone, which includes a petting zoo; Red Rocks, which features lions, tigers, and other big cats; and the oldest part of the zoo, Historic Hill, which features the 1904 Flight Cage, a herpetarium, and primate house.
- Have you ever watched the stars twinkle from up above and played with the idea of living in space? In the Saint Louis Science Center, thanks to its planetarium, exhibitions and monthly star-gazing events, you can actually research about these possibilities and ponder over the mysteries of space.
- The Missouri History Museum is filled with information about greater Saint Louis, the entrepreneurially innovative 1904 World Fair, and houses a 16-ton statue of Thomas Jefferson.
- White trees and colourful installations come together to create a small, artistic wonderland. The Saint Louis Art Museum is a huge gallery which contains Oceanic art, Pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes, and 20th-century German art. If you’d like to immerse yourself in theater instead, the Muny is also located here.
If you love playing sports, the park has two tennis courts, a golf course and you can also hit the Steinberg skating ring. There are also other points of interests throughout the park such as the pavilion of the World’s Fair, a pagoda circle, a boathouse and plenty of lake and water features.
Forest Park Travel Tips
- There’s a Visitor's Center from where you can get information from.
- Most of the institutions inside are free entry.
- In the summer, you can visit the horticulturists delight The Jewel Box, play golf, watch movies on the hill and go sledding and ice skating in the winter.
- You have the options of packing food for yourself of dining at the eateries inside the park.
- Swimming is not allowed anywhere in Forest Park.
- Pets are required to be on leashes.
Forest Park Hours
- The zoo and museums open around 9am.
How to Reach Forest Park
- Get off at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere station.
- Bixby’s (Contemporary)
- Boathouse (American Traditional, Brunch, Burgers)
- Atlas (Contemporary, Bistro, European, Brunch)
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59.72% of people who visit Saint Louis include Forest Park in their plan
3 PM - 4 PM
42.86% of people start their Forest Park visit around 3 PM - 4 PM
People usually take around 2 Hrs to see Forest Park
91.61% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Forest Park
Forest Park Reviews & Ratings
Hands down indisputably one of the best attractions in St.Louis. not only do they have miles of trails to get lost on. They also have a classic and well maintained golf course to burn energy and time. If you're not in the mood for exercise, well take a walk through one of the many iconic exhibits they have to offer. From enjoying the sun and a wide variety of animals and restaurants. Or maybe staying out of the weather and enjoying the art museum or the history museum. One things for sure you could spend a weekend in forest park and still have more to discover.
First Park is a beautiful park. It is very big and has museums within it. I liked the running/walking path. The only thing I didn't like is that they have signs for runners/walkers to use the gravel path. I found it to be a little hard to run on. There is a smooth path but it is recommended for bicyclists. Of course, people can and do use the smooth path. I recommend Forest Park as a good place to go for your exercising activities.
Beautiful. The scenery is gorgeous, and it is full of exotic wildlife. The only downside is that it is small and so it gets crowded easily and it doesn't get you far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city. But if you are just looking for a nice place to have lunch or go for a walk then it is a great option.
What a wonderful common space! There is so much to do here in any season, including a world-class Zoo. Visit! The only downside is parking during big events: it's very slow to get everyone in and out, and if you aren't early you can have an arduous hike from your car to your destination-- not a small place!
Always something to do at this beautiful park. I've been a couple dozen times and everytime I go I feel like I see something new because the park is so huge. Home of the St.Louis Zoo , The Jewel House, The Boathouse, The St.Louis Art Museum, The St.Louis History Museum, and so much more! There is even a Golf course which is really nice. Great place to have an out door get together with friends and family. I can't wait to see what we will do next time we are there!!
I wanted to know if we can rent the park out for a wedding buy the water areaAnswer Report Abuse
I guess Forest Park does offer buildings, rooms, and spaces for a variety of events. You can inquire about renting a particular space in Forest Park by calling on 314.289.5300.Report Abuse