Como Zoo Now Open - Reservations Required
After being closed due to Covid-19 for several months, the zoo and conservatory have reopened with slightly modified hours - Monday-Thursday from 10am-4pm; Friday- Sunday 10am-6pm. For now, advanced reservations are required.
Virtual Zookeeper Talks:
You can also check in with the zookeepers every Monday and Thursday afternoon at 1:30pm on the zoo's Facebook page. Watch these LIVE zookeeper and gardener talks as they are released or watch on your own schedule here.
Como Zoo Hours and Prices
Como Zoo is open every 365 days a year and has two sets of hours from April through September, it is open from 10am to 6pm; and from October through March it closes two hours earlier, 10am to 4pm.
Como Zoo is FREE and open to anyone regardless of ability to pay, but a donation of $3/adult and $2/child to helps pay for care and feeding of the plants and animals.
Bringing and Buying Food at Como Zoo
You can bring a picnic or other food to Como Zoo. There are picnic benches and grassy spaces around the zoo and nearby in the larger park. You can also purchase food from their vendors. However, they do not want you bringing food and beverages into the zoo buildings.
Como Zoo Directions and Parking
Find directions to the zoo here or use the mapping feature on our calendar below. There are parking lots throughout Como Park, including right next to the zoo. However, in the summer months, you'll save a great deal of hassle and frustration if you park at the State Fair Grounds and take the shuttle to the zoo and back to your car.
Como Zoo Events
If you pick the right time in the summer, there is often live music and other activities. The Conservatory also offers Music Under Glass on Winter Sundays. This is a good opportunity to check out their ongoing flower shows, too.
Throughout the year, the zoo will dedicate a weekend to explore specific topics related to their mission. Check our Family Fun Calendar for special events.
In particular, families love these events:
Halloween and Pumpkins at Como Park & Zoo
The zoo used to offer the Como Zoo Boo as an annual fundraising event. They discontinued after 2017 with a promise that they would be bringing new Halloween programming in the future. In 2019, they offered Creepy Crawly Awareness Weekend in October.
There is also usually a pumpkin patch at Como Park. While it did not happen in 2019, Wheel Fun ( who runs it) has indicated it will go forward in 2020. If you are looking for the Jack-o-Lantern Trail, that is held at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.
Noon Year's Parties
Como traditionally greets the new year with two parties -- one on the 31st and one on the 1st -- where they have a ball drop at noon, dancing, games, and special animal enrichment.
Mother's Day Bonsai Exhibit
A favorite of ours is the Mother's Day Bonsai Exhibit. Not that we need an excuse to get to the zoo in May, but who can resist tiny trees?
Anytime Family Fun Ideas at Como Park Zoo
Como Zoo Animal Visit Checklist
You can use the following checklist when visiting the zoo to see how many of these animals you can find while exploring. If you want to learn more about any of the residents of the zoo, click on their images at the como website; and if you would like a como zoo map to help you find your way to a specific habitat, download the visitor guide here or grab one at the entrance.
Como Harbor is the reinvention of Como Zoo’s seals and sea lions habitat. Como built the new habitat to dramatically improve the care they can provide to seals and sea lions and also offer visitors better views and face-to-face experiences. In fact, zookeepers believe Como Harbor exceeds all best practices for care of seals and sea lions. Seals and sea lions are part of the pinniped family (learn more about that here), and Como has three pinniped species: two gray seals, two harbor seals, and four sea lions, including Sparky. The habitat features a large outdoor salt-water pool that the seals and sea lions will use all year and a private state-of-the-art indoor facility for the care of the animals.
Other updated amenities include a shaded amphitheater, an underwater viewing discovery zone, modern bathrooms, a new outdoor café' named Pier 56.
The Sparky Show
The “Sparky Show” is a sea lion show that began in 1956 and featuring Como's sea lion ambassador, Sparky (now Sparky the VI). It has evolved through the years into an educational show where visitors learn about nature, conservation, and animal care.
Visit the Western Lowland Gorillas
Alice, the female gorilla who lost her first baby in 2014, gave birth to another baby in October of 2017. The baby girl was four pounds at birth and is only the third gorilla to be born at Como.
Visit The Snow Leopards
Como Zoo welcomed a mating pair of European-born snow leopards in March 2016. Zoo keepers tell us these cats are fun to watch. The are young and playful.
Giraffe Feeding Station (May-September)
Pay $5 to feed a giraffe some lettuce at 10:45 a.m. daily and also 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There is also another observatory deck for free viewing. Giraffe feeding closes for the season in October and reopens.
This indoor space, nestled between the zoo entrance and the conservatory, is designed for small children to learn about plants and animals in a hands-on manner.
Birthday Parties At Como Park Zoo
The zoo offers birthday bash packages featuring six unique party themes – each with live animal visitors, plants, or a personal tour of a featured animal exhibit (public area). For an added fee, Como will provide pizza and cake. Packages starting at $250.
Find more birthday party ideas at FFT's Ultimate Guide to Birthday Parties in the Twin Cities
Classes and Camps at Como Park Zoo
Como offers seasonal classes for all ages and abilities. Classes usually start at $15/child and are often a parent/child activity. Learn more about camps at FFTC's Guide to Twin Cities Summer Camps.
Where to find Sharks at Como Zoo
Just kidding, Como doesn't have a sea aquarium, just the small fish aquariums with mainly Minnesota native species. If you want to see sharks in the Twin Cities, you have three choices, the Minnesota Zoo, Sea Life Minnesota at the Mall of America, and the new Seaquest at Rosedale Center.