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I don’t know about you, but I love things that are FREE, and the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory fit the bill perfectly! It is one of the unique experiences in St. Paul, Minnesota, and worth adding to your Twin Cities agenda.
Not only does the zoo have exhibits of many exotic animals, but it also has twenty-one custom Sea Lion statues scattered throughout the twin cities.
Insider tip: You NEED to register online first for your FREE tickets. This is how they are keeping the crowd flow under control since Covid hit. Register for your FREE tickets HERE.
While admission to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is always free, you will see boxes asking for a suggested donation of $4 for adults and $2 for children. This is pretty common for the tenor so free zoos in the United States that had charters set up that they could never charge admission.
The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory offers classes and programs for all ages and is even a winning wedding venue. The best part is that COMO Park Zoo & Conservatory is open 365 days a year from 10 am-6 pm April 1-September 30, and 10 am-4 pm October 1-March 31.
COMO ZOO is one of the last free zoos in the United States and is great fun for visitors of all ages. Located right next to Como Town Amusement Park, Cafesjian’s historic carousel, and Como Park, the zoo welcomes visitors 365 days a year. The mission of COMO ZOO is “To inspire our public to value the presence of living things in our lives.” — a mission that the zoo takes seriously and is evident in the care given to all the animals.
For instance, the zoo features over 13,000 square feet (12.08 a) of outdoor habitat. It also hosts a wide array of animals, including polar bears, orangutans, birds, gorillas, wolves, primates, hoof stock, and large cats.
In 2010, the Polar Bear Odyssey exhibit opened to the public. The exhibition is world-class and is home to the zoo’s twin polar bears, Buzz and Neil. In addition to land animals, the zoo is also home to several other aquatic animals, including sea lions and seals. So, if you’re searching for a fun and educational experience, Como Zoo is the perfect place for you!
Insider tip: When you buy concessions, you will NOT get a lid or straw for your drink. Bring your own “sippy cup” or “reusable bottle” for making things easier with the kids.
COMO TOWN AMUSEMENT PARK
If you want family fun, head to Como Town Amusement Park! It’s situated in Saint Paul next to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, west of Lexington Parkway and Horton Avenue, north of I-94.
Como amusement park is perfect for kids ages 2 to 12 and their families with more than 18 rides and attractions, such as Tilt-A-Whirl, Splash Zone, and the NEW Soaring Eagle Zip Ride.
Other features include Traffic Jam: Tornado and Como Town Swing, Bumper Cars, Frog Hopper, and much more! Visitors may enjoy activities, face painting, caricatures, food, sweets, and rides.
Insider tip: Buy wristbands to save on ride costs.
You can buy wristbands online or at any Como Town ticket office. Also, they open from 10 am to 7 pm from Monday to Thursday and from 10 am to 8 pm every Friday and Saturday until Labor Day. After Labor Day, it’s only open on weekends only.
MARJORIE MCNEELY CONSERVATORY
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park is one of the few remaining glass-domed Victorian-style gardens. The St. Paul Parks and Recreation are in charge of the conservatory, which spans a sizable half-acre under glass.
The tropical encounters exhibit allows visitors to walk through a South American rainforest without ever leaving Minnesota.
In addition, it is also home to a world-renowned Japanese Garden, a bonsai display, and an orchid collection. Did you know some bonsai trees are over 200 years old?
The Palm dome I see as being incredibly therapeutic in winter (when needing a tropical retreat in the upper Midwest). Still, the conservatory is a year-round destination due to its peak season being summer and winter. I could sit for hours around the sunken garden – which holds up colorful seasonal flower displays every five years. This garden is a popular wedding venue, hosting about 275 weddings yearly.
Do you homeschool? The North garden is home to plants that man can use for food and medicine—making it a unique learning experience.
Visit Como Park Zoo & Conservative Today
The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is a special place that offers many events and services throughout the year. If you’re searching for a small wedding venue, this is an excellent option with its beautiful gardens. Whether you want to escape the cold in winter, a unique event venue, or enjoy the flowers in summer, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is worth a visit!