Amenities + Details
Outdoor - Covered
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
Bar + Drinks, Food + Catering, Service Staff
A wonderful reception venue!Reviewed on 9/19/2015 Theresa S
Working with the St. Louis Zoo made planning a beautiful wedding reception a breeze. Initially we worked with Sarah T., an event coordinator, to find the venue in the zoo to best meet our needs. Side note, there are many options to pick from, depending on availability, and they were all beautiful! The zoo does all catering in house, works with specific bakeries for your dessert option (we picked Sugaree), and provides linens, plates, and a champagne toast; which are all included their quote. The tasting at the zoo was a lot of fun, and our small group had a great time figuring out our event menu. For events, the zoo also offers complimentary parking to guests, which is convenient if there is an event in Forest Park on the night of your event. Our day of coordinators were Don and Lisa, and I appreciated that they made sure to introduce themselves to me, early on at the reception. They were never hovering, but always seemed to be easy to find when I had a question or request. The zoo event staff were great- very professional and very friendly. All of the guests after the event were so complimentary of the food, the service, the location, and appearance of the venue. We are re so happy (and lucky) to have had our reception at the zoo!
Top NotchReviewed on 7/16/2015 Miranda D
I love that the venue includes tables, chairs, linens, and China if you choose to have food! Great bargin! Plus they offer wedding packages that include all your food, alcohol, and wedding cake! Almost one stop shopping!
Wedding and Reception VenueReviewed on 1/25/2015
The staff at the zoo was amazing in helping pull together my wedding and reception in a 2 month time span. Attendants were attentive, detail oriented and very helpful. They definitely helped make our special day one to remember.
AMAZINGReviewed on 10/29/2014 Kelli H
We were SO happy with the zoo! Jason (our events coordinator) was more than helpful with any and all of our questions. Mary (the night-of point person) was amazing and handled all of the small details behind the scenes. The zoo catering dinner was amazing - the guests raved about the food and beverage selection! I would recommend the zoo to everyone!
A wonderful and unique wedding experience that people will remember!Reviewed on 10/22/2014 Amanda M
The St. Louis Zoo was always my first choice for a venue and I could not recommend them more highly. Jason Moder was absolutely wonderful to work with. He met with us several times and ensured we had the best experience possible. The Zoo included catering, and the wedding package was incredibly affordable. Because the Zoo is a non-profit, there is no sale-tax which is also a perk. The food was amazing! We ordered lemon-pepper chicken and it was fantastic. Our wedding took place in the McDonnel Center which was smaller and included a private outdoor patio with a waterfall, and an indoor fish tank. We also had animal greeters so our guests could experience more of the zoo atmosphere. The Zoo provided us with a day-off coordinator, Christine, and she was also incredibly fantastic. She called the day before to tell me that everything was under control and that she was excited to work with us. That day, she was available to drive us to and from the event space in a golf-cart and to ensure that the entire event ran smoothly. She stayed all the way until the end and was a real joy to work with. Overall, the Zoo was amazing. The Wedding Package is incredibly affordable and it includes champagne entrance and toast, four hour open bar, appetizers, dinner and cake. The Zoo even got us a super fun wedding gift! If you are looking for a unique wedding experience in a beautiful local place with excellent service, this is for you!
Great value, beautiful venueReviewed on 6/29/2014 Leslie W
I could not come to terms with how costly it was to have a beautiful wedding, but then I found the zoo. Don't get me wrong, nothing about a wedding will ever be cheap, but this venue was by far the most affordable, all inclusive space. For a sit-down dinner, everything--the 4 hour open bar, two passed appetizers and one stationary appetizer, champagne toast, salad, entree plus two sides, AND cake--was included in the entree price (~60 per person for chicken, not including gratuity). We also agreed that we were more happy to give our money to the zoo than some company. In addition, the zoo event staff was wonderful to work with. Jason Moder was my contact during the planning process, and he was very good about answering emails and figuring out logistics. He was also very patient with my mother, who was more worried than me about everything. He was a pleasure to work with. Don was my day-of event coordinator, and he was great too! Anything we wanted or any concerns we had, they were attended to. Lastly, all of our guests agreed that the room (River Camp), which had an outdoor terrace with a waterfall and an aquarium inside, was absolutely gorgeous. Perfect venue. Absolutely perfect.
Beautiful!Reviewed on 10/21/2013 Brandi H
We had our wedding and reception at the River Camp location in the St. Louis Zoo. It was the perfect size for our 100 guest wedding, but can accomodate more. We worked with Jason, who was just awesome, and he was able to fulfill all our requests. The packages that are offered are affordable and everything (including cake with local bakeries) is included in the price so there's no need to work with mulitple vendors. The only downfall was the "day of coordinator" didn't seem to know all the details that Jason and I had discussed, but everything turned out great in the end! If you're looking for a fun and unique wedding spot, I highly recommend the STL Zoo.
Excellent Place for a Wedding Reception!Reviewed on 8/16/2013 Becca E
The Lakeside Cafe was the perfect venue for our wedding reception; it was classy but low-key with a great, laid-back atmosphere, which was exactly what we wanted. Working with Sarah was wonderful; she was great with communication and answered all of our questions. I was my own wedding planner so it really helped when she made sure we had everything for the reception, down to our toasting glasses and things I never would've thought of! Our meeting and walk-through went well, and everything was organized how it should have been. All of our guests raved at how magnificent the transformation was between what you see during the day versus the event space at night. We were even able to rent the train for an hour; we had our guests meet all of us at the train station. Choosing the Zoo was definitely the best choice we made regarding the wedding and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Wonderful Service!Reviewed on 8/11/2013 Jen S
The St. Louis Zoo was wonderful to work with from beginning to end. They have multiple event spots that are wonderful - we chose River Camp for its size, it's unique location, the neat aquarium, and the ability to use their outdoor patio. Jason, our event coordinator, was very gracious with us. We were planning this wedding from a distance (we live in NY) but he was very responsive to our emails and calls. They do require that they use the on-site catering services, but the wedding package is a great value and made catering decisions very easy. My guests loved the food. Day of, the event staff were incredibly helpful and ensured everything went smoothly. The food service staff were wonderful as well. The room size ended up being perfect for our 115 guests, even when the bar had to be moved inside due to spotty rain. A very good experience from beginning to end; made planning our reception incredibly easy.
Amazing ReceptionReviewed on 4/23/2013 Hallie O
We couldn't be more thankful to have held our reception at the St. Louis Zoo Living World. By far, the zoo is the most inclusive reception site we found. The staff was incredibly professional, responsive, and knowledgeable. Jason made our vision come to life! Everything was perfect from start to finish! I strongly recommend the St. Louis Zoo for anyone looking for a stress free and unique reception venue.
Lakeside Cafe BEAUTIFULReviewed on 6/06/2012 Jennifer A
The Lakeside Cafe was a beautiful place for a reception. It seems silly, but it turns in to a great reception site with some decorating. It was a great atmosphere with the cocktail hour outside and the dancing and dinner inside. The event staff was very helpful in the planning process leading up to the wedding.
Could not have been more perfectReviewed on 8/18/2010 MaryAnn G
The Zoo was amazing. We worked with Jason and Mary. The day of the wedding there was a tornado that went through St. Louis. Half the Zoo didn't have power and limbs were down everywhere. We didn't know any of this until after the reception. They had our corner of the Zoo in prestine condition. They were organized, polite, accomadating, and wonderful. The food and bar service was great. I can't say enough good things about our experience there.
Loved Lakeside CafeReviewed on 5/25/2010 Angela R
My husband and I recently had our wedding ceremony and reception at the Lakeside Cafe at the Zoo, and we couldn't have been happier with the venue. Jason Moder (the event coordinator) and Mary Foster (the site manager) were nothing but patient and helpful. We did hit a few snags with security not allowing some of our vendors in promptly, but overall we were very pleased. The Lakeside Cafe is really transformed for weddings--I've eaten there several times while visiting the Zoo, and it was truly unrecognizable as the casual dining fast food area it is during the day. The waitstaff were all extremely friendly and efficient, and the food was good. We ordered some wines through their distributor, and found the markup to be quite reasonable ($23 for a $18 bottle). Being a non-profit, they really don't try to nickel-and-dime you--all set-up and clean-up is included in the price they quote you, and they are willing to throw in extras (gift and cake tables, sweetheart table, extra chairs) without charging extra. The other advantage of their non-profit status is that they do not charge sales tax on the food, which we calculated saved us $600. We highly recommend having your wedding at the Zoo. Jason and his staff will bend over backwards in order to accommodate whatever requests you have, and you'll enjoy the double-takes when you tell people where it is!
Review for Saint Louis ZooReviewed on 5/10/2010 Jill M
It was unique. It had a huge fish tank built into the wall that was right off of the dance floor. Outside it had a veranda w/ plants, flowers & a small waterfall. It had a beam wood ceiling & walls. They provided free parking & a free golf cart to take guests to & from the site. Easy to work with staff - very flexible & professional.;We had a tasting prior to the reception. We loved the food. However at the reception I knew that it wasn't the same as soon as they set it in front of me. It definitely didn't taste the same either. About 1/2 of our guests didn't like it, including myself.