Family Fun Directory: Things To Do with Kids

Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with KidsIn Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page because you are looking for a new Twin Cities-area park, playground or nature center to explore, hundreds of entries can be found through our Parks & Playgrounds Search feature. Or, continue searching hundreds more ideas of things to do with kids in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory, including family outings, services, classes, camps, birthday parties and more.

Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with Kids:

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Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul, 55103
Admission: $0.00
(Donations Welcome)
Concessions Available
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Tue. 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Wed. 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Thu. 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Fri. 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Sat. 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Sun. 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Showing October-March hours; April-September, the zoo closes at 6pm; Como Park Zoo is open 365 day/year

Como Park Zoo is a nice choice for an inexpensive outing with out-of-town guests. Como Park has many picnic areas and playgrounds to add to the fun or visit Como Town Amusement Park. If you pick the right time in the summer, there is often live music and other activities. Check our Family Fun Calendar for special events. Parking lots fill up fast in the warmer months. It is smart to park at the fairgrounds and ride the Zoo Bus shuttle between May and August.

Como Zoo

Checking Out the Big Cats at Como Zoo

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. The 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.

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 -- Park and Ride.

Save the hassle and makes the kids happy - Park and Ride.

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 map to help you find your way to a specific habitat, download the visitor guide here or grab one at the entrance.

  • Anaconda
  • Arctic Fox
  • Bison
  • Cougars
  • Dall’s Sheep
  • Emperor Tamarin
  • Flamingo
  • Galapagos Tortoise
  • Giraffe
  • Golden-Headed Lion Tamarins
  • Gorilla
  • Kudu
  • Lemur
  • Lion
  • Orangutan
  • Ostrich
  • Patas Monkey
  • Penguin
  • Polar Bear
  • Puffin
  • Reindeer
  • Saki Monkey
  • Sea Lion
  • Seahorse
  • Sloth
  • Snow Leopard
  • Spider Monkey
  • Tiger
  • Wolf
  • Zebra

Visit the Western Lowland Gorillas

Image courtesy Como Park Zoo

Image courtesy Como Park Zoo

Alice, the female gorilla who lost her first baby in 2014, has given birth to another baby on October 18, 2017. The baby girl was four pounds at birth and is only the third gorilla to be born at Como.  John Dee, curator at Como Zoo, says "With this birth, everything is tracking as it should. Alice has shown herself to be very attentive, very nurturing, and very protective of her new baby, just as we hoped she would”. Gorilla babies are born nearly helpless except to cling to their mother's hair and to nurse. They stay with their mothers, who are very protective, for several years after birth. Mother and baby will remain off exhibit until they have bonded. Watch for them when they return to the Gorilla habitat.

Visit The Snow Leopards

Moutig is a new snow leopard at Como Park Zoo

Moutig. Photo credit: Como Friends

Como Zoo welcomed a mating pair of European-born snow leopards in March 2016. Even before they have kits, zoo keepers expect the cats to be fun to watch. The are a young and playful couple, particularly Moutig, the male (pictured below).

Ongoing Exhibits at Como Park Zoo

In the Sunken Garden

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.

A place to get up close to the small amphibians of the zoo.

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 ZooBirthday 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.

Coming in 2020 -- Como Harbor

Como Harbor will be the reinvention of Como Zoo’s seals and sea lions habitat, While still a couple years off, work is continuing on budget and on schedule.  You'll notice Como’s campus has been dug up and dismantled to make room for this year-round aquatic habitat. Como believes the new habitat will dramatically improve the care they can provide to seals and sea lions and also offer visitors better views and face-to-face experiences.

If you have visited Como Park Zoo and Conservatory this past summer, you will have noticed a whole new exhibit of dirt, mud, and construction equipment. “Guests, especially the kids, have had their nose to the fence watching the heavy equipment and trucks all summer and they have been so interested in what’s been going on”, shares Michelle Furrer, Como Campus Director.

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 ZooSea Life Minnesota at the Mall of America, and the new Seaquest at  Rosedale Center.

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This is the most extensive collection of companies, organizations, activities and places to find things to do with kids in the Twin Cities. Find things to do this weekend, things to do today, things to do with toddlers, things to do with teens. We have it all. Sort by indoor things to do with kids or outdoor things to do with kids. Find theater, music, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, seasonal fun.

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