does st louis have an aquarium?

Hey there, fellow aquarium enthusiasts and travelers! If you’re as curious as I was about whether St. Louis has its very own aquarium, you’re in for a treat. As a proud resident of this vibrant city, I’ve had the privilege of exploring the captivating wonders of the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. I can’t wait to share my firsthand experiences and insights with you. So, let’s embark on this exciting underwater journey and find out everything you need to know about the St. Louis Aquarium!

Key Takeaways

  • The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is an incredible aquatic attraction nestled within the historic Union Station complex.
  • This relatively new aquarium, opened on Christmas Day in 2019, offers a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.
  • You’ll encounter a mesmerizing collection of sea creatures, including sharks, otters, stingrays, and more.
  • The aquarium boasts interactive exhibits, thrilling activities, and even a light show, making it a must-visit destination in St. Louis.

Now, let’s dive deep into the world of the St. Louis Aquarium and discover what makes it such a remarkable place to explore.

The Most Popular Aquariums in America

Before we plunge into the specifics of the St. Louis Aquarium, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the popularity of aquariums across the United States. These aquatic wonderlands draw millions of visitors each year, offering a fascinating glimpse into the mesmerizing world beneath the ocean’s surface.

What Is the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station?

Nestled in the heart of St. Louis, the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is a relatively new addition to our city’s rich tapestry of attractions. This captivating aquarium officially opened its doors on Christmas Day in 2019, making it a fresh but beloved addition to the local entertainment scene.

The aquarium is situated within the historic Union Station, a cherished landmark that has undergone a remarkable transformation to become a hub of excitement and wonder for residents and tourists alike. With its aquatic exhibits and educational programs, the St. Louis Aquarium has quickly become a top destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a memorable experience.

When Is the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station Open?

Planning your visit to the St. Louis Aquarium requires knowing its operating hours. Luckily, the aquarium aims to cater to both locals and tourists, ensuring that you can explore its aquatic wonders at your convenience.

Typically, the aquarium operates on a schedule that accommodates various preferences. Whether you’re an early riser looking for a morning adventure, a midday explorer, or someone who enjoys the serene atmosphere of evening visits, you’ll likely find a suitable time to immerse yourself in the world of marine life at the St. Louis Aquarium.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Into the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station?

Now, let’s address the important question of admission prices. A visit to any aquarium comes with a cost, but the experiences and educational opportunities awaiting you inside the St. Louis Aquarium make it a worthwhile investment.

Ticket prices can vary depending on factors such as age, group size, and whether you purchase them in advance or on the day of your visit. It’s advisable to check the official website or contact the aquarium directly for the most up-to-date pricing information.

What Kind of Animals Can Be Found at the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station?

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting any aquarium is the opportunity to witness a diverse range of aquatic life up close. At the St. Louis Aquarium, you’ll be treated to a stunning collection of sea creatures, each with its own unique charm and importance in the ecosystem.

From the graceful glide of sharks to the playful antics of otters and the elegance of stingrays, the aquarium’s residents will both educate and enchant you. Here’s a glimpse of some of the incredible creatures you can encounter:

From The St. Louis Aquarium Website

For a more detailed overview of the aquarium’s inhabitants and exhibits, it’s always a great idea to explore the official St. Louis Aquarium website. They provide valuable insights into what you can expect during your visit, including profiles of the marine animals and the conservation efforts in place.

Sharks at the St. Louis Aquarium

Sharks are undoubtedly some of the most captivating and misunderstood creatures in the ocean. At the St. Louis Aquarium, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with several fascinating shark species. Let’s take a closer look at some of these incredible sharks:

Blacktip Reef Shark

The Blacktip Reef Shark is easily recognizable by its distinctive black-tipped dorsal fin. These sleek predators are known for their agility and can be found in warm, shallow waters. Observing them at the St. Louis Aquarium is a thrilling experience as they gracefully navigate their aquatic domain.

Bonnethead Shark

The Bonnethead Shark, often affectionately referred to as the “baby hammerhead” due to its unique head shape, is another star of the aquarium. These smaller sharks are a joy to watch as they move gracefully through the water, showcasing their adaptability in various environments.

Caribbean Reef Shark

With their stunning appearance and powerful presence, Caribbean Reef Sharks are undeniably mesmerizing. These apex predators are known for their role in maintaining the health of coral reef ecosystems, and observing them in the aquarium’s massive tanks is a testament to their beauty and importance in the marine world.

Nurse Shark

Nurse Sharks may not possess the menacing reputation of some other shark species, but they are equally captivating. Their docile nature and unique appearance make them a favorite among visitors. Observing their tranquil demeanor is not only enjoyable but also educational.

Sandbar Shark

Sandbar Sharks, known for their impressive size and the distinctive high dorsal fin, are another highlight of the aquarium’s shark exhibit. Witnessing these majestic creatures up close is an awe-inspiring experience that allows you to appreciate the diversity of life within our oceans.

What Kind of Exhibits Are Available at the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station?

The St. Louis Aquarium offers a variety of engaging exhibits that allow you to explore different aquatic environments. Whether you’re interested in river habitats, ocean shores, or the mysterious depths of the sea, there’s something for everyone to discover.

These exhibits are designed not only to entertain but also to educate visitors about the fragile balance of life in our oceans and the importance of conservation efforts. As you wander through the various displays, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the wonders and challenges facing our marine ecosystems.

Is There a Cafe or Gift Shop at the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station?

Exploring the aquarium can work up quite an appetite or ignite your desire to take home a cherished memento of your visit. Fortunately, the St. Louis Aquarium has you covered on both fronts.

The Cafe

The aquarium features an on-site cafe where you can refuel during your aquatic adventure. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack, a hearty meal, or a refreshing beverage, the cafe offers a range of options to satisfy your cravings. Plus, the cafe’s location within the aquarium allows you to enjoy your meal while surrounded by breathtaking underwater views, making it a dining experience like no other.

The Gift Shop

Before concluding your visit, be sure to explore the aquarium’s gift shop. Here, you’ll find a wide array of souvenirs, educational materials, and aquatic-themed merchandise. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for the perfect gift for a fellow marine enthusiast, the gift shop has something for everyone. From clothing and accessories to books and toys, you’ll find delightful keepsakes to commemorate your St. Louis Aquarium experience.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Visit the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station?

The St. Louis Aquarium is a family-friendly attraction that welcomes visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a young explorer eager to learn about the wonders of the ocean or an experienced adventurer seeking a new aquatic experience, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Families with children, in particular, will find the aquarium to be an enriching and entertaining destination. It provides a fantastic opportunity for kids to connect with nature, spark their curiosity, and foster an appreciation for marine life and conservation efforts.

Can Fish Sleep in St. Louis Aquarium?

Can fish sleep in St. Louis Aquarium? Many people wonder about the sleeping habits of fish. While it may appear that they are always awake, fish do sleep, although it’s a bit different from how mammals sleep. The St. Louis Aquarium provides a suitable environment for fish sleeping in aquariums, ensuring they have areas for rest and relaxation amidst the captivating underwater world.

What to Expect at the St. Louis Aquarium?

Planning a visit to the St. Louis Aquarium involves considering various factors, from its location and admission prices to the available exhibits and attractions. To ensure you have all the information you need for a memorable experience, let’s delve into what you can expect during your visit.

What Is the Address of the Aquarium?

The St. Louis Aquarium is conveniently located within Union Station, one of St. Louis’s most iconic landmarks. Union Station’s central location in the city makes it easily accessible for both residents and out-of-town guests. When you arrive at Union Station, you’ll find clear signage directing you to the aquarium’s entrance.

How Much Does It Cost to Get into the Aquarium?

Understanding the cost of admission is an important aspect of planning your visit. The St. Louis Aquarium offers various ticket options to cater to different preferences and budgets. These options typically include:

  • General Admission: This ticket provides access to the main aquarium exhibits and attractions.
  • Special Packages: The aquarium often offers special packages that combine admission with other nearby attractions within Union Station. These packages can offer great value for those looking to explore multiple experiences in one visit.
  • Membership Options: If you’re a frequent visitor or a local resident, consider exploring membership options. Aquarium memberships can provide unlimited access, exclusive benefits, and discounts on special events.

To ensure you have the most up-to-date pricing information and to explore any ongoing promotions, it’s advisable to visit the official St. Louis Aquarium website or contact their guest services team.

What Are Some of the Exhibits That Can Be Found at the Aquarium?

The St. Louis Aquarium is a treasure trove of aquatic wonders, with each exhibit offering a unique and immersive experience. Here are some of the highlights you can look forward to exploring:

  • Shark Canyon: Dive into the world of sharks as you walk through a tunnel surrounded by these incredible predators. It’s an awe-inspiring opportunity to observe their grace and power up close.
  • Global Rivers: This exhibit takes you on a journey through the world’s major rivers, showcasing the diverse ecosystems and species that rely on these vital waterways.
  • Ocean Shore: Experience the dynamic environment of the ocean shore, where you’ll encounter fascinating creatures that inhabit the intertidal zone.
  • Confluence: Explore the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, two of America’s most iconic waterways. Learn about the significance of this meeting point and the wildlife that calls it home.
  • Interactive Touch Pools: Get hands-on with aquatic animals in touch pools where you can gently interact with creatures like stingrays and other fascinating marine life.
  • Observation Deck: Ascend to an observation deck for panoramic views of the aquarium’s stunning exhibits, providing a unique perspective on the underwater world.

These exhibits, among others, offer a dynamic and educational experience, allowing you to connect with marine life and gain a deeper appreciation for our planet’s aquatic environments.

When Is the Aquarium Open?

To make the most of your visit, it’s essential to be aware of the aquarium’s opening hours. The operating hours may vary depending on the season, day of the week, and any special events or holidays. To ensure you plan your visit accordingly, it’s a good idea to check the official St. Louis Aquarium website for the most current information on opening and closing times.

What Is the Size of the Aquarium?

The St. Louis Aquarium is a significant attraction, featuring numerous exhibits and galleries that provide an immersive experience for visitors. Its size allows for a diverse range of aquatic environments to be showcased, each with its unique charm and inhabitants.

As you explore the aquarium, you’ll find that its spacious layout not only offers room for marine life to thrive but also provides visitors with ample space to move comfortably and fully appreciate the exhibits.

What Kind of Animals Can Be Found at the Aquarium?

The St. Louis Aquarium is home to a diverse array of aquatic animals, each contributing to the tapestry of life within the various exhibits. Some of the remarkable creatures you can encounter during your visit include:

  • Sharks and Rays: From the majesty of Sandbar Sharks to the elegance of stingrays, the shark exhibit is a captivating highlight.
  • River Otters: These playful and inquisitive mammals are a joy to watch as they swim and frolic in their aquatic habitat.
  • Devil Rays: With their distinctive flat bodies and graceful movements, devil rays are a fascinating addition to the aquarium’s collection.
  • Sea Life: From colorful fish and jellyfish to exotic creatures like octopuses, you’ll encounter a vibrant array of sea life throughout the exhibits.
  • Interactive Touch Tanks: Get up close and personal with marine life in the touch pools, where you can gently interact with animals like stingrays and other fascinating aquatic species.

As you explore the aquarium, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of these species and their roles within the world’s aquatic ecosystems.

What Are Some of the Special Events and Programs That Are Offered at the Aquarium?

To enhance your visit and provide unique opportunities for engagement, the St. Louis Aquarium frequently hosts special events and programs. These events cater to a variety of interests, from education to entertainment. Some of the programs and events you may encounter include:

  • Animal Encounters: Participate in special sessions that allow you to get closer to the animals and learn about their behaviors, habitats, and conservation efforts.
  • Educational Workshops: Engage in hands-on learning experiences and gain valuable insights into marine life and conservation.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Explore areas of the aquarium that are typically off-limits to the general public and gain a deeper understanding of the care and conservation efforts that take place behind the scenes.
  • Special Exhibits: From temporary exhibits highlighting specific species to seasonal displays, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at the St. Louis Aquarium.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Throughout the year, the aquarium offers interactive exhibits and displays that allow you to engage with marine life and explore their habitats in depth.

These special events and programs add an extra layer of excitement to your visit, making it an opportunity not just to observe but to actively participate in the world of marine conservation.


The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is a hidden gem within the heart of our beloved city. With its diverse collection of sea creatures, interactive exhibits, and educational programs, it offers a captivating and enriching experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a local resident or a traveler passing through, make sure to include a visit to this remarkable aquarium in your St. Louis itinerary. It’s an opportunity to connect with the wonders of the ocean and gain a deeper appreciation for the aquatic world that surrounds us.

Are there any similarities between the San Diego Zoo and the St. Louis Aquarium?

The san diego zoo aquarium and the St. Louis Aquarium differ in unique ways. While both offer captivating aquatic exhibits, the San Diego Zoo Aquarium stands out with its impressive range of marine species and immersive underwater tunnels. On the other hand, the St. Louis Aquarium enthralls visitors with its innovative architectural design, incorporating historic elements into its displays. Exploring these two remarkable institutions reveals that each has its own distinct charm.


Q1: Are there any age restrictions for visiting the St. Louis Aquarium? A1: Not at all! The St. Louis Aquarium welcomes visitors of all ages, making it a perfect destination for families, friends, and solo explorers alike.

Q2: Can I purchase tickets online in advance? A2: Absolutely! Purchasing tickets online in advance is a convenient way to secure your spot and avoid waiting in line on the day of your visit. Check the official St. Louis Aquarium website for ticket options and availability.

Q3: Is photography allowed inside the aquarium? A3: Yes, photography is allowed and encouraged! Capture your favorite moments and share the beauty of marine life with others. However, please note that flash photography and tripods are typically not permitted to ensure the comfort of the animals and other visitors.

Q4: What is the best time to visit to avoid crowds? A4: If you prefer a quieter experience, weekdays, especially during the morning or late afternoon, tend to be less crowded than weekends. Additionally, consider visiting during non-peak seasons for a more relaxed atmosphere.

Q5: Is there parking available at Union Station? A5: Yes, Union Station provides parking options, including West Parking and 5 Parking, to accommodate visitors. These parking facilities are conveniently located, making your visit hassle-free.

Q6: Can I visit other attractions at Union Station, like the St. Louis Wheel, on the same day? A6: Absolutely! Union Station offers a wealth of attractions, including the St. Louis Wheel, the Soda Fountain, the Ropes Course, and the Mirror Maze. You can enjoy a full day of exploration and entertainment within the historic Union Station complex.

Q7: Are there any discounts available for students, seniors, or military personnel? A7: The St. Louis Aquarium often provides special discounts and promotions. To stay informed about these offers and take advantage of any available discounts, visit the official website or inquire at the aquarium’s guest services.

Q8: Can I host special events or birthday parties at the St. Louis Aquarium? A8: Yes, the aquarium offers event spaces and packages for special occasions, including birthday parties and corporate events. For detailed information and assistance with planning, reach out to the aquarium’s event planning team.

With these FAQs, you’re now well-prepared to embark on your adventure to the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. Get ready to explore the wonders of the deep and create lasting memories as you connect with marine life and the beauty of our planet’s aquatic realms.

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