13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley, MN. 800-366-7811. www.mnzoo.com
Zoo only (IMAX additional): Free 0-2, $8 3-12, $14 13-64, $9 Seniors 65+. AZA membership reciprocity. Parking $5. Stroller accessible. Restrooms with changing tables. Cafe on-site.
If you go to the Minnesota Zoo, wear your walking shoes and bring your easiest-to-push stroller, because you’ll be putting on a lot of miles. The zoo is spread out in an effort to provide a more natural habitat for the animals. So while there are bison, takin, tigers, and camels in the outdoor areas, you won’t see elephants, zebras, or giraffes.
One of our favorite parts of the Minnesota Zoo is the Family Farm exhibit. Even though we live on a farm, the kids still like being able to feed the goats and see the cows and horses up close. Along the way to the family farm exhibit, there’s a playground, restrooms, and concessions, which makes a nice little break if needed.
The kids also love riding the monorail around the zoo. There is an additional charge for this, but it’s worth it for the narrated slow-speed tour of the zoo’s outdoor areas.
Even in the winter, there’s plenty to do at the zoo. Indoors, there’s an aquarium exhibit that’s popular with the younger kids, and a large tropics area where you can spot various birds and other animals.
Several shows, depending on the season, allow some time to sit down and learn something about the animals. This past summer, we were all excited to see a bald eagle at the bird show.
There is also an Imax theater on the premises, a cafe area, and a workshop area that sometimes offers special programs for kids.
We’ve been to the Minnesota Zoo several times and we always find something new to see or do.
It was like there were 152 animals. There were tons of them. I liked the monkeys.
I really liked the Minnesota Zoo because I liked the monorail.