Are you looking for fun things to do for your next trip to Minnesota? Look no further! If you’re in the area, then you should definitely consider checking out some nearby zoos. After all, seeing and meeting new animals is an experience that never gets old!
This list names some of the best zoos in Minnesota. Each one has a unique set of exhibits and activities for you and your family to enjoy to make sure there are no dull moments in your trip. Read on to learn more about what these amazing zoos in Minnesota have to offer!
Cities that have a Zoo in Minnesota
Many cities have zoos in Minnesota. If you’re staying in a certain area, then you may want to check out a nearby zoo first before traveling further to explore the others. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of the best zoos in Minnesota based on which cities they’re in.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is known as one of Como Park’s main attractions. Although it only takes up a portion of the entire park’s space, the Zoo and Conservatory still have a lot to offer when it comes to their exhibits and wide selection of exotic animals. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is known for its diverse array of exotic species, including sea lions, tigers, orangutans, and polar bears. The animals are kept in natural-looking habitats and are free to roam around in their space. It allows visitors to get close enough to admire them without causing any discomfort to the animals.
Aside from their animals, visitors can also study and glimpse the many species of plants in the area. If you’ve finished exploring the zoo, then you can also head over to Como Park’s other attractions. They’ve recently been expanding their selection of rides at the Como Town Amusement Park, which can be an exciting change of pace after a relaxing stroll through the zoo. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory offers one of the best deals out of all zoos in Minnesota: entrance is completely free, so you won’t have to worry about tickets! However, donations are encouraged to keep the zoo and the overall park in good condition.
Hemker Park and Zoo
Hemker Park and Zoo is a hidden gem in Central Minnesota. Branded as one of Freeport’s “best-kept secrets”, it is one of the best zoos in Minnesota if you’re interested in all things related to wildlife. The selection of animals in Hemker Park and Zoo is mostly composed of Australian, North American, and African species. It is home to a total of 200 animals in total. However, they take great pride in being one of the safest and most hardworking facilities for rhino conservation.
When you visit Hemker Park and Zoo, you’ll be met with a set of exotic and unique species of animals. Some of their main attractions are their kangaroos, otters, puffins, and nyalas. The zoo also offers amenities such as a playground for your kids and a picnic area for when you get hungry while exploring the park. If you’re looking to get up close and personal with some of the animals, then you can try out their feeding attractions. For an additional fee, you can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feed the giraffes, rhinos, and otters! If you and your family ever find yourselves in Freeport, then you should definitely consider paying Hemker Park and Zoo a visit.
Lakeside Superior Zoo
The Lakeside Superior Zoo in Duluth gives you a glimpse at Minnesota and beyond with its diverse collection of species. The zoo is home to around 300 animals from over 140 species. The exhibits feature animals that originate from all over the world while still highlighting species that are found exclusively in Minnesota. Lakeside Superior Zoo offers both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Some of the species that can be found in the zoo are brown bears, angolan colobus monkeys, snow leopards, and more.
Lakeside Superior Zoo feels very homey and peaceful for the animals and the visitors alike. The zoo’s natural setting is beautiful and immersive; visitors are surrounded by an array of pine trees and hills as they stroll through the zoo’s attractions. If you’re staying in Minnesota for a while, then you may want to test out one of Lakeside Superior Zoo’s various educational programs. The zoo offers full-time and park-time schooling under their Lake Superior Zoo School, wherein children can get up close and personal with the animals as they learn. For longer holidays or vacations, you can also try out their summer camp for kids aged 12 – 17. Lakeside Superior Zoo is one of the best zoos in Minnesota, whether you’re looking for a quick day tour or a longer trip to remember.
Minnesota Zoo is a wildlife adventure that you shouldn’t miss out on during your trip to Minnesota. Its collection of species is one of the biggest among all zoos in Minnesota, with over 4,300 animals in total. The zoo is home to many types of animals, such as marine life, forest animals, insects, and more. Some of the main attractions in Minnesota Zoo include their penguins, American black bears, and llamas.
Aside from their animal exhibits, the Minnesota Zoo also offers different programs and events for visitors to enjoy. Many of them are only available for a limited time, so it’s best to check their website ahead of time to see what events are running during your visit. One of their popular attractions is their “Backstage pass: Llamas”, wherein visitors get to spend a day assisting the animal care staff in the Llama Trek habitat. Another fun activity for longer vacations is their educational summer camp.
Other amenities in the zoo include a picnic area for when you get hungry and a large banquet facility for anyone who wants to host large events, such as birthdays or other celebrations. Minnesota Zoo offers group discounts, so if you’re coming as a crowd, make sure to drop by!
Pine Grove Zoo
Pine Grove Zoo offers some of the most interactive programs and attractions among all zoos in Minnesota. Located in Little Falls, Pine Grove Zoo serves as a beautiful home for its animals. All animals are housed comfortably in their spacious habitats, which visitors can admire up close as they explore the zoo’s paved paths. The wildlife inside the zoo contains Zebras, Arctic and Gray Wolves, Bobcats, and Siberian Tigers, just to name a few. Pine Grove Zoo also added a new Australian exhibit area for their Red Australian Kangaroos, so be sure to drop by if you want to see them hopping around in the new habitat.
Pine Grove Zoo is well known for its interactive animal programs. One of their most popular offerings is the “Adopt an Animal” program, wherein visitors and members can adopt their favorite animal and become their “parent.” Other attractions include their animal training demos, wherein visitors can watch the trainers in action as they interact with the animals. They also offer exciting animal encounters that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the animals, spending a total of 20 minutes getting to know them. The experience is supervised by one of their training staff, who gives out fun facts and information about the animals during the encounter.
Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo
The Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo may be slightly different than other zoos in Minnesota, but it offers a great experience with the animals nonetheless. The zoo was recently moved to the Outlet Mall in Medford City in January of 2020. If you’re interested in learning more about reptiles and amphibians, then this zoo offers the premium experience that you’re looking for! With many different species of frogs, crocodiles, snakes, lizards, and turtles, the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo has them all.
If you or your children want to celebrate your special day in a unique way, then you can also rent out the birthday party area to host your celebration. The Amphibian and Reptile Discovery Zoo can also come to you if you want to see the animals out of their habitats. They offer programs wherein the trained animal care staff bring the animals to you instead. This is a great addition to any celebration or event, whether it is a birthday, a family reunion, or if you simply want to see the animals up close from the comfort of your own home! The zoo also offers a wide array of souvenirs in their gift shop, so don’t forget to get some little trinkets to commemorate your trip!
Safari North Wildlife Park
Get the Safari Wildlife experience that you’ve been craving for when you visit the Safari North Wildlife Park in Brainerd, Minnesota. The zoo was founded in 2014 and has since been named the #1 Best Summer Family Fun attraction in the Brainerd Lakes area by Brainerd Dispatch. Owned by a couple that has been working with animals for over 50 years, the Safari North Wildlife Park offers high-quality treatment to both animals and visitors in the park. The zoo is home to some of the most exotic and beautiful animals that you will rarely find anywhere else. Some of the animals that you can meet during your visit are various species of lemurs, porcupines, sloth bears, lynxes, and more!
Some fun and interactive attractions include a giraffe feeding area, camel rides, parakeet encounters, and a barn yard where visitors can pet and play with different farm animals. If you want to spice up your exploration of the park, then you and your family can hop on the safari train expedition, which takes you through several animal exhibitions as you sit comfortably on the zoo’s special train. Other amenities found in the park include an amusement ride area, which features rides like the giant slide, carousel, and more.
Trowbridge Creek Zoo
Trowbridge Creek Zoo is as natural and fun as it gets in Minnesota. Family-owned by a couple who grew up raising animals in Vergas, the Trowbridge Creek Zoo offers one of the most enriching and enjoyable adventures for your family to explore during your visit to Minnesota. The zoo is composed of spacious habitats and natural walking trails, allowing visitors to stay in tune with nature as they explore the zoo’s various exhibits and facilities. The zoo features over 40 different species and around 100 animals in total, including camels, otters, porcupines, and more!
The Trowbridge Creek Zoo is a homey and comfortable space for all visitors. The staff is friendly and accommodating, educating visitors with fun facts about the animals and even letting them interact with them up close under their supervision. If you want to take your adventure up a notch, then try out their camel riding attraction! It’s a popular activity in the zoo that you simply cannot miss out on. There are also special areas where visitors can pet and feed the animals. If your kids are looking for a change of pace, they can also play among themselves and other children in the zoo’s playground.
Zoos have always been a favorite among all family activities and events because they can be both educational and enjoyable for those who visit them. They are incredibly fun and enriching. Seeing the exotic animals in these zoos is a special experience that you will surely remember long after the trip.
So, there you have it! Those are some of the best zoos in Minnesota. If you’re in the area, these zoos and conservatories should definitely be on your itinerary. For more guides like this one, feel free to check out our website.
Looking to explore Minnesota? Here are some other great things to do in the state: