This article is presented in partnership with St. Louis Aquarium.

Still in its first year, the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is already focused on providing new experiences for its guests. 

This season at Shark Canyon, a 250,000-gallon shark habitat and the largest exhibit at the aquarium, a new twenty-minute dive show features divers who wear a special communications mask that allows guests to ask questions and divers answer while they are in the Shark Canyon habitat.

In addition to the new show at Shark Canyon, the aquarium has also welcomed some new animals during the temporary closure this spring: zebra sharks and bonnet head sharks. Zebra sharks have stripes when they are juvenile and as they grow older, the stripes turn into spots. They can grow to be nearly eight feet long and their tails can be about half of that length. They are one of the few species of sharks that can breathe without swimming, so when you visit you’ll sometimes see them hanging out on the habitat floor or even on top of one of the windows. Bonnet head sharks are one of the smaller hammerheads and are easily distinguished by their shovel-shaped heads. You can usually find them in small schools of about fifteen. They live for sixteen to eighteen years and eat crabs, shrimp, mollusks, and small fish. You’ll find both of these species in Shark Canyon along with a variety of other marine life including sandbar sharks, lesser devil rays, silver Pilchards, pork fish, and Goliath grouper, among others.

Shark Canyon is but a part of the 120,000-square-foot aquarium, the first full-scale aquarium in St. Louis. In addition to the shark habitat, the aquarium provides an immersive experience that offers unique perspectives of the underwater world with more than thirteen thousand animals across forty-four exhibits. Exhibits explore the Missouri and Mississippi waterways, global rivers, and the world’s oceans.

At St. Louis Union Station, one of the best ways to make the most of your visit to the aquarium is to grab a combo ticket that includes all six of the destination’s attractions at a 35 percent discount, or purchase an annual pass, which not only comes with a savings but allows guests the flexibility to visit several times a year and take their time exploring everything the destination has to offer. 

Currently, all guests, including annual pass holders, will be required to reserve timed tickets in advance to keep within City of St. Louis regulations for reduced capacity in the aquarium. Advance reservations guarantee guests’ admission on the day of their visit. No tickets will be available for same-day visits at the ticket counter, and no guests will be admitted to the aquarium prior to their reservation time. Guests who are feeling unwell on the day of their visit can contact the aquarium and have their tickets exchanged for another date.

As part of enhanced health safety guidelines, all team members will be wearing masks, and guests over the age of nine will be required to wear masks at the direction of the St. Louis City Department of Health. One-way flow has been established throughout the aquarium and floor decals have been added throughout the queue lines and inside the aquarium to help guests maintain six feet of separation from others. Guests will also be required to walk through an infrared scanner at the entrance to verify their temperatures and will take a survey to confirm their health. Those with temperatures of more than 100 degrees will be asked to return on another day.

The St. Louis Wheel at Union Station, the Mini-Golf Course, and the St. Louis Carousel, along with Union Station restaurants and retail are all open as well, while Wheel Park playground is still closed. Limited hours and guest capacity may apply. Also of note, cash payments are not allowed currently at any of the attractions; however, all major credit cards are accepted.