My employer had a family outing at the St. Louis zoo, which, by the way, is a free zoo. They had lunch for us and we were able to see some of the fun exhibits at the zoo.
It started off kind of rainy, but cleared up and got really hot and muggy - typical for around here. You don't really know what to think about a free zoo, but it turns out that it is a really good zoo. The animals were active - especially the hippos, hyenas, and bears. And they are adding a really cool sea lion exhibit that we will have to go back next year and visit.
And the highlight of the day was Caribbean Cove, where we were able to pet stingrays and sharks.
They are sort of slimy, but really very smooth and soft. Hands-on experience are my favorite so this was my favorite part of the day. Hubs took a little video of the experience.
I accidently slipped and "fell in." But we petted sting rays and even a few little sharks. The sharks aren't as fond of being touched as the rays so they zip by pretty fast. Sometimes they let you feed the sting rays, so they seem to be more friendly.
When/If you visit, we'd definitely suggest this spot. Hubs and I parked on the road, had lunch provided, and even got $5 in zoo bucks (which we used towards the sting ray exhibit which costs $3/person), so the total cost of this day was $1. Those are just the kind of dates we love!