Summer is an extremely popular time to visit Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Yes, you might have to fight a few crowds — especially on the weekends — but the attractions are, in our opinion, worth it. This season, Como is at its best with carousel rides, live music, lawn games, summer blooms and more. That’s why we made this Como Park Summer Checklist Here are ten things to put on your checklist to make a day of it when visiting the animals:
Como Park Summer Checklist:
- A FREE Como shuttle runs daily June 8-Aug 4, 2019 and weekends through September 29th (with the exception of State Fair time). Skip the challenge of finding a spot in one of the Zoo lots and instead park at the State Fair lot south of Como Avenue. The accessible shuttle runs 9:30am-6:30pm and drops off a short walk from the visitor center entrance.
- Como Lil Explorer Thursdays have again been extended into the Summer in 2019. This preschool program brings weekly themed activities to the 4-and-under set. Think sand tables, sponge painting, worm digs and interactive storytimes. Weekly, 10am-noon. FREE.
- The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory bursts with color during the annual Summer Flower Show.
- Groovin in the Garden brings live bands to the grounds in front of the Conservatory Wednesday evenings, June 5-July 24, 2019, 6-8pm. Food, treats and drinks are available for purchase or pack a picnic and bring a blanket along for a summer dinner with music. Kids are entertained with a bounce house, lawn games and a climbing wall. FREE.
- Take advantage of the warm weather and meander through the Ordway Japanese Gardens. Its peaceful paths, plants and rock bridges may even chill out your kids! Open daily with Conservatory hours.
- Como Town Amuseument Park next door offers a great mix of rides and attractions that will appeal mainly to kids ages 2-12. They range from the extra-gentle choo-choo train to the Tiger Trax junior roller coaster (and we even know a few adults who really enjoyed the Soaring Eagle zip line). It’s also possible to purchase admission ($5 per child) to play in Hodge-Podge park with its flashy splash pad. Summer special events this year include Monday Funday packages and discount Dress-Up Wednesdays.
- Take a spin on the antique Cafesjian’s Carousel – $2 per rider over 1 year, Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, 11am-4pm weekdays and 11am-6pm weekends. Find FREE dates here.
- Play a round at Putt’er There Mini Golf open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Mon-Sat: 10am-10pm and Sun: 11am-9pm. Choose to play either 9 holes ($3/pp) or all 18 ($6/pp).
- Como Regional Park Pool – The pool is a bit of a distance from the zoo, but could be worth the walk (or drive) for a little swim time fun!
- The annual Como Park Japanese Obon Festival brings a collection of Japanese music, dancing, drumming, martial arts and other aspects of the culture to Como. At dusk, lanterns are lit throughout the garden as a symbol of peace. The festival takes place Aug 18, 2019, 3-9pm. Admission is $3-5/pp.
Sparky the Sea Lion performs daily at his pool inside Como Zoo. Catch his antics 11:30am weekdays and both 11:30am & 3pm weekends.Sparky will be taking a break from shows in 2018 while his new habitat is under construction. He’ll be back in 2020.