Friday, December 13, 2013

Wild Wonder Outpost, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis City


Location:
Forest Park One Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110

Amenities: indoor play room

Website: http://www.stlzoo.org/education/educationgallery/

Designed for children ages 0-8, the Wild Wonder Outpost at the St. Louis Zoo is a great playroom with some unique features you won't find in other playrooms around the St. Louis area. For starters, each month, the staff changes up the theme of all the exhibits in the playroom. November 2013 was frogs and amphibians and December 2014 was Penguins and Arctic Animals. In the background, they play calming music which really seems to help the kids stay calmer and more focused on their play. There are cubbies to store coats and bags, and an area to park strollers inside the playroom, but separate from the play area.

There's an art area, an area reserved just for children 2 and under, then in the center of the room is the "Wildlife Theater" stage with plenty of puppets and animal dress up costumes to go around. The "Build a Habitat" play area was a favorite for my daughter, with bins and bins of small plastic zoo animals, along with wooden blocks, felt "ponds", plastic molded rocks and more to create your own zoo. The animal care area lets your little one play "zookeeper." The large water table is a hit with the kids and they have smocks to help keep the kids dry. However when it's very cold out - the water in the table is FREEZING as well! The Backyard Wildlife area contains a playhouse and garden, plus a compost bin. Lastly, the sand table is really a fun sensory experience for kids, as the sand is "moon sand" which feels  squishy to the touch and forms together to build castles. There's so many different things to play with, there's no way you'll get to play with everything in just one 45 minute session.

And since you can never get through a play session without your little one needing a potty break, there is a restroom inside the playroom, and it even has a small tot toilet.

The Wild Wonder Outpost is located in the lower level of the Living World building at the North end of the St. Louis Zoo. Sessions are 45 minutes, and are $3 per person ($2 per person for zoo members). Children under 1 are free. See the website for session times (daily thru May 2014, then weekends).


"Backyard Wildlife Experience" Playhouse

"Backyard Wildlife Experience" Area

Moon Sand Table

"Wildlife Theater" Stage
Behind the scenes of the "Wildlife Theater"
Water table - the staff changes the water table to go along with the monthly theme.
Top photo: Frog theme (Nov 2013), Bottom photo: Penguin theme (Dec 2013)

Art Area

Art Area

"Cubs and Pups Area" - for children ages 2 and younger

"Build a Habitat" Area

"Build a Habitat" Area

"Animal Care Corner"

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