ST. LOUIS – Popular no matter the season, Creve Coeur Park in Maryland Heights was hopping Tuesday as temperatures surged toward 70°. Temps warmed all the way to 72°, besting the previous record of 68° set in 1939.

“I thought I’d take advantage of it and go out walking with my good walking friend,” Jody Doran said.

By bike or on foot, on two legs or four paws, the sun and warm southerly winds coaxed people to the lakeside path.

“It’s perfect. It’s the way we all should be able to spend at least part of our day, I think,” Merry Keller said.

In Forest Park, crowds packed the Saint Louis Zoo. Families were taking in the sunshine and animals, free from the burden of heavy coats. Even the hard-working crew dis-assembling the Wild Lights holiday display was able to enjoy the weather, some working in t-shirts.

“It definitely makes it easier to get things down in the warmer weather. You are not bundled up. It is easier to move. It does make it a little more difficult to move around the zoo since we are so busy today, which is great,” Michael Jordan, the zoo’s director of special events, said.

After the excitement of Boo at the Zoo followed by Wild Lights, staffers say taking down all the decor is bittersweet, but they are ready for the change.

“This is really helpful in getting things down, so we can get back to normal and have the zoo back to its normal, beautiful self,” Jordan said.

The Saint Louis Zoo says they welcomed more than 80,000 visitors for Wild Lights this year. And they remind you that many of their animals also love the cold, so be sure to come visit even when it feels a bit more like winter.