Category - Zoos

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Family Fun: Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies
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Family Fun Ideas: MLK Monday Break
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Family Fun: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Spring Checklist

Family Fun: Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies

Springtime means Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies time whether Minnesota is ready to give them a warm welcome or not! minnesota zoo farm babies

I’m guessing most of the newly-born lambs, calves, piglets and the rest have been spending their time huddled around heat lamps in the barn instead of basking in the sun at the Wells Fargo Family Farm. However, as we move into April we’ll see sunnier days ahead.

The animals will be greeting guests from March 24 to April 30, 2017. In addition to getting hands-on with the babies, there are tons of other activities to enjoy out at the Wells Fargo Family Farm area of the zoo. Tram rides from the grain elevator (which, by the way, is a fun attraction in itself!) will run from 11:30am-1:30pm. The other offerings are as follows:

  • Hay maze in the Machine Shed 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Animal Enrichment – Weekends April 8-23

Saturdays:

9:00 a.m. – Snow monkey
10:00 a.m. – African penguin
10:00 a.m. – Brown bear
11:00 a.m. – Sea otter
1:00 p.m. – Amur tiger

Sundays:

10:00 a.m. – Brown bear
10:00 a.m. – African penguin
11:00 a.m. – Sea otters
1:00 p.m. – Amur tiger
  • Special Activities – April 14 & 15 – Including crafts and face-painting
  • A visit from Peter Rabbit on Easter, April 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Daily Cow Milkings:  11:00, 1:00 & 3:00

Admission to the Minnesota Zoo Farm Babies exhibit is included with your zoo tickets. You can find current ticket prices and parking rates here. Find ways to get discounts here.


Family Fun Ideas: MLK Monday Break

MLK Monday – So, what’s closed today? Or, perhaps more importantly, what’s open and where can I get the kids out of the house? We’ve got ideas both indoor and out plus a couple of fun family events to observe the day:

MLK Monday - Family Fun

OBSERVE

OUTDOOR FUN

INDOOR FUN

  • Tail Time | Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis, 10:30am • Arrive early if you want to get a decent spot. Stick around to see how many critters (yes, animal critters) you can spot slinking around the store!
  • PolarPalooza | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul, 10am-4pm • Educational games and activities.
  • Behind the Scenes: Research Labs | Science Museum of MN, 12-4pm • Included with museum admission, $12.95-$18.95.
  • Mill City Museum | Minneapolis, 10am-5pm • Special holiday hours – see our tips at 10 Things For Kids: Mill City Museum.
  • Bakken Museum | Minneapolis, 10am-4pm (special holiday hours), $5-$10/pp
  • Preschool Open Play | The Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan Community Center, 9:30-11am • A variety of equipment is available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground. $4/child ages 1-5.
  • Find MORE preschool open gym and open play times.
  • Trolls | Riverview Theater, Minneapolis, 1 & 5pm • $2/pp plus awesome popcorn!
  • Half-price Open Swim | Great River Water Park, St Paul, 10:30am-8:30pm (activity pool and waterslides open 10:30-noon)
  • Find drop-in crafting opportunities for kids of all ages in our Winter Survival Guide.

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Family Fun: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Spring Checklist

I forget every year how a trip to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory instantly lifts my spirits in those first few fickle weeks of spring in Minnesota. I’ve spent some time both indoors and out lately at Como and had my kiddos come up with the top ten things you should be sure to see at Como if you’re craving some spring. The pictures correspond to the bullets starting with the main photo and then moving clockwise:

  • The Spring Flower Show in the Conservatory’s Sunken Garden is a beautiful blast of color and the blooms instantly transport you to gardening season.
  • Sitting at the fishpond in the humid North Garden is almost like being up north at the lake cabin, right?
  • Springtime means babies! Como Zoo welcomed Kemala, a Sumatran orangutan, on January 7.
  • Como’s Lil Explorer Thursdays program, featuring free weekly themed hands-on activities for preschoolers, runs through April 30.
  • Storytime is offered for kids at noon every day in the Visitor Center.

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  • The children’s exhibit room is always a must-stop. The preschooler loves to play zookeeper and even the 9-year-old still likes to work the water cycle (but don’t tell him I told you).
  • The new(ish) Ordway Gardens wing lets kids design their own Japanese garden.
  • My techie insists on stopping to pot and trim his own virtual bonsai tree – also in the Ordway Gardens wing.
  • The wildlife is increasingly out and about in the spring! And if it’s a gusty day, the buildings are heated and have great viewing windows.
  • If you’re lucky, you might catch the fish feeding in the Tropical Encounters exhibit. We arrived around 11:15.

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