Low cost family fun
What's not to love about the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory? The cost is negligible (they ask for a $3 donation for adults and $2 for kids, but this is optional); you can practically reach out and touch the animals, especially off-season when they are housed indoors; and the conservatory, filled with an array of tropical plants and flowers, is a welcome site in winter.
Animals up close and personal
The zoo is home to gray wolves, a Siberian tiger, a lion and lioness, spider monkeys that provide hours of entertainment, a giant gorilla, giraffes, zebras, snow leopards, a sloth, and reindeer to name a few. There is a separate building for polar bears, and one for penguins, seals and other aquatic animals.
When the temperatures are below freezing outside, it’s comforting and exhilarating to step into a steamy tropical environment with ferns of every size and shape, exotic palm trees, orchids, and beautiful blooming flowers in the Sunken Garden.
This family-friendly venue has an 18-ride amusement park open May through September, with free entertainment and activities for kids. During the summer, there are also free concerts at the scenic Como Lakeside Pavilion, a perfect setting for a picnic. And in case you didn’t have enough choices, there is a golf course, a mini-golf course, and an outdoor aquatic facility with water slides and splash pool for the kids, and a lap pool for adults.
Close to downtown
There is truly something for everyone at Como Park and Conservatory, and it’s only 11 minutes from downtown St. Paul by car. So whether you want to bring the family for a picnic and paddle boating, or walk, jog or bike through this beautiful park, it is a destination that shouldn’t be missed.