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Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is one of the most popular attractions in the Twin Cities. Located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, it consists of a zoo, a conservatory, and a large park that is home to numerous attractions, including an amusement park, a pool, public artwork, gardens, a golf course, and beautiful Lake Como. If you’re visiting Minneapolis in warmer months, it’s a great place to spend an entire day enjoying nature and having fun.
HistoryComo Park was first founded in 1873, when the city of Saint Paul purchased 300 acres of land around Lake Como. Over the decades, it has gradually become one of the city’s most popular outdoor attractions, especially in the summertime. While it was once famous just for its natural beauty, it is now home to many other attractions, most notably the Como Zoo and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, as well as an amusement park, sports facilities, and a pool.
AttractionsThere’s plenty to do in Como Park, whether you want to learn about animals, play sports, view gardens, or simply enjoy a picnic by beautiful Lake Como.
Como ZooIf you love animals, then you won’t want to miss the free Como Zoo, which is home to dozens of fascinating species. Animals include penguins, polar bears, lions, seals, monkeys, tigers, zebras, flamingos, giraffes, and gorillas. The zoo also contains several impressive bronze and fiberglass sculptures of animals, including a few that depict popular zoo residents such as Sparky the Sea Lion.
Marjorie McNeely ConservatoryThe Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, which first opened in 1915, features numerous gardens that you can explore any time of the year. One of its most exciting attractions is Tropical Encounters, an immersive tropical rainforest exhibit featuring plants and trees from the Central and South American rainforests as well as animals like Giant River Turtles, a sloth, and freshwater stingrays. Other highlights include the Orchid House, which features an award-winning orchid collection, and the Enchanted Garden, which attracts butterflies with its many flowers.
Lake ComoYou can enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Como while exploring the park, fishing, or enjoying a meal at the Lakeside Pavilion. In the summertime, there are also concerts, plays, musicals, and other live performances that take place near the lake, as well as numerous picnic shelters where you can enjoy a meal in the sunshine.
Como TownEach year between April and September, Como Park is home to Como Town, a small, family-friendly amusement park with over a dozen rides and attractions. One of its most recent additions is The Soaring Eagle, a thrilling zip line attraction that allows visitors to fly over the park and zoo from 85 feet above the ground.
Cafesjian’s CarouselIf you’re visiting with children, you’ll want to take a ride on Cafesjian’s Carousel, a historic carousel known for its beautiful horses and paintings.
Leonard Wilkening Children’s GalleryAnother special attraction to visit with children is the Leonard Wilkening Children’s Gallery, which features educational, hands-on activities related to plants and animals. One of its most popular exhibits is Ribbit Zibit, which is dedicated to frog conservation. It displays a wide array of frog species and explains why frogs are such an important part of the natural world.
Como Regional Park PoolThis is the place to go if you’re wanting to escape the summer heat. The Como Regional Park Pool contains all kinds of fun attractions, including a lazy river, an aquatic zip line, diving platforms, an aquatic climbing wall, basketball hoops, a lap pool, and a children’s activity pool with a family water slide.
Putt’er ThereMiniature golf lovers will want to check out Putt’er There, a family-owned 18-hole miniature golf course that boasts special features like a windmill, fountains, water traps, a castle, and flower gardens.
Sports FacilitiesComo Park has many other sports facilities, including softball, baseball, and soccer fields and a challenging 18-hole golf course.
Practical InformationHere’s everything you need to know in order to plan a fun-filled visit to Como Park.
Public TransportationYou can easily reach Como Park by taking Metro Transit routes 3 and 83 or the METRO Green Line. Another option is the Nice Ride bike-sharing system, which has a station in front of the visitor center.
Address1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Opening HoursThe Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is open daily from 10:00 until 16:00 (October through March) or 18:00 (April through September).
PricesAdmission to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is free, but donations of $3 per adult and $2 per child are suggested in order to help support and maintain the attractions.
Similar LandmarksThere are several other prominent zoos and gardens in the Midwestern United States, including the Lincoln Park Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden in Chicago and Forest Park and the Saint Louis Zoo in St. Louis.
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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Jun 29, 2015