Sparky Returns For The 58th Year!

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This is a share from my email.  Another sign of Summer is that Sparky the Sea Lion will be back outside starting Saturday.  I’m assuming Sparky isn’t actually 58 years old.  Does anyone know how many Sparky incarnations there have been?  I’d like to know.

Como Zoo’s most treasured tradition will return on Saturday, May 24, when Sparky the Sea Lion dives into her season debut at 11:30 a.m. This year, Sparky’s taking her inspiration from classic fairy tales, putting her own environmental spin on familiar stories designed to teach our youngest visitors the value of stewardship. Sparky will add her famous flare to tales such as: Sparkylocks and the Three Seals, Sparky and the Frog Prince, Sparky and the Bean Stalk, Sparky and the Seven Recyclables, and The Princess and the Fish. These treasured tales will educate guests about ocean life, rainforest adventures, frogs, and much more.

The Sparky Show runs daily throughout the Summer beginning Saturday, May 24th at 11:30am with an additional show at 3:00pm on weekends and holidays.

Visit Sparky on her Facebook page

Check out this roster of engaging programs offered free of charge every day for field trip groups, families and friends. 

10:30 a.m. Zoo Keeper Talk, various locations

From tiny amphibians to 15-foot-tall giraffes, Como Zoo’s keepers help keep all of our animals healthy and curious. Every day, our keepers take turns talking about their favorite species, sharing expert insights, and answering your questions.

11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m.Gorilla Program, Gorilla Forest

See how operant conditioning training builds trust between animals and keepers, encouraging primates to take part in their own health care. Education specialists interpret these daily training sessions, explaining what it takes to work closely with our western lowland gorillas.

11:30 a.m. daily and 3 p.m. weekends and holidays, The Sparky the Sea Lion Show, Sparky amphitheater  

Grab a seat in the splash zone to learn more about marine mammals, underwater life, and what we can all do to keep the oceans healthy.

12:00 p.m., Story Time, Visitor Center 

Noon in the Visitor Center is known as “Story Time,” with read-along programs about plants, animals, and occasional visits from costumed characters.

1:00 p.m., Gardener Talk, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

Horticulturists take turns highlighting the special plant collections, behind-the-scenes secrets, and growing tips they use to keep the collections of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory growing strong.

2:30 p.m., Polar Bear Program, Polar Bear Odyssey

Banter about bears in this daily interpretive program featuring special enrichment, training, and a Q & A session to answer all of your questions about polar bears.

Courtesy of:

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Matt Reinartz Marketing & Public Relations Manager
1225 Estabrook Drive, St Paul MN 55103

Visit the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory website for more information

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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