A few weekends ago, we finally got to go to the Kansas City Zoo after living in Marshall for over 3 years. We bought some passes as part of a church auction last Fall and had to use them by the end of 2017. As most of the year had gotten away from us, we finally got around to going at the beginning of November!
Ironically, it ended up being a great time to go, as many of the animals were out-and-about, giving us a pretty solid view of a tiger, chimpanzees, a polar bear, and many others.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with what I saw. It’s been since the mid-1990s since I’ve been there, and Brooke had never been there, so our only frame of reference was the (free) St. Louis Zoo at Forest Park. In many ways, the setting was similar to the St. Louis version, but this one would cost us at least $50 for a family of four, plus expensive concessions if we wanted to get any. On the other hand, while the St. Louis Zoo has some specific attractions that cost extra to enter (e.g. the insect house), there are more attractions included in the price of admission at the Kansas City Zoo (with the exception of things like the train and merry-go-round).
Overall, the selection of animals was solid, though I get the sense that the St. Louis Zoo just has more available to see. The snake house is bigger, the monkey house is bigger, the bird enclosure is larger…all of these are simply because the 1904 World’s Fair was held in St. Louis and those structures are still there, used as part of the zoo. I feel like the Australia exhibit in Kansas City is larger than in St. Louis, so there are definitely some animals that KC has that St. L doesn’t have, but they’re kinda the exception to the rule.
Also, the Kansas City Zoo is really spread apart, so you have to take a shuttle to get to half of the animals. The elephants, giraffes, gorillas, and other large animals were in a connected area of the zoo, but far flung from the parking lots and the entry point. After spending our time there, we were tired enough (and rather chilly…), so we didn’t feel the need to trek out that far. I feel like the St. Louis Zoo is a bit more compact, so you can actually see quite a bit in a shorter amount of time.
Overall, we definitely had a good time and are glad we went! It took us 1.5 hours to get there, so it’s a shorter trip for us, but at the same time, we could spend the extra hour and go to St. Louis and spend less than $50 for the visit, using that money instead to visit Joanie’s Pizza or something.