As for the zoo, oh my! What a beauty. It reminded me a lot of our local zoo in Madison, Henry Vilas Zoo, which is also free. But with just a bit more oomph -- kind of like Minneapolis / St. Paul has just a bit more oomph than Madison. Como Park Zoo & Conservancy has been around for over 100 years, offering a tropical garden, big cats, African animals, aquatic life, and much more. Highlights for our kids included two sloths and a snow leopard. We also met the two young polar bears who will be moving to our hometown zoo later this year.
Warning, we went in late March, before a lot of the money making attractions open. For example, this lovely site will likely drain any frugal budget. If you plan a visit, I recommend going during the "off" season. Our day was filled with good exercise (we climbed into the Honda for our 4.5 hour drive back home immediately after exiting the zoo), up close time with great animals, and lots of laughter. We never made it to the conservancy section, but hope to return again in the future.
From the analytics here on Frugal Upside, I can tell you that "Free Zoos in the United States" is the most popular post I have ever written. With two young kids and a bit of wonder lust in all of us, we plan to visit more of the zoos listed in that original post. I will leave you with some of my favorite images taken on our visit to Como Park Zoo - enjoy!
One of the young polar bears who will relocate to Madison, Wisconsin later this year.
One of the two adult polar bears that will remain at Como Park Zoo -- shaking off winter!
African animal representation.
Up close on the Wolf Walk.
Frugalistas beware -- this is where you'd end up blowing your budget.
Visit while this place is closed!