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Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley

Categories: Zoos & Aquariums, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 550+ reviews on the web
Covering 196 hectares (485 acres) of land, Minnesota Zoo serves as home for animals like bison, tigers, camels, bears, wolves, caribou, tree kangaroos, stingrays, and monkeys. Opened in 1978, the zoo was one of the first to organize the animals by their habitat rather than by species. The animals are housed in six different environments: Minnesota native animals, animals of the north, tropical animals, marine wildlife, animals from Russia's far-east, and farm animals. Several of the zones are accessible by short trails that connect the many exhibits. You'll learn more about the native Minnesota environment in that section of the zoo, where you can wander past a beaver pond and a northern forest glade. Plan to visit Minnesota Zoo and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Apple Valley attractions using our Apple Valley trip generator.
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  • On a recent trip to MN, we decided to spend a day at the zoo. Overall, it was a great visit. The weather had already started to turn cool, but it was very nice for walking outside. I love that they ha...  read more »
  • I have been going to this zoo for many many years, I have not been to it for at least 4 or 5 however. I was sad to see that the monorail no longer is in use. Some of the exhibits are no longer there e...  read more »
  • We live a few miles from the zoo and have had an annual membership for 3 years now. Any weekend when we need to get out of the house and let the kids run we head over for a quick visit. The outdoor pl...  read more »
  • Very impressing zoo, lots of space and variety of exhibits. I would have liked to see better beverage containers (no lids or straws). Very messy to drink and really no way to stroll and drink coffee as you walk in the zoo. Great Butterfly garden, loved that exhibit. Also the tigers need more 'tiger time' something to stimulate them intellectually. They seem very bored and desperate to have something to do. Overall I am very proud to have this zoo in my state!
  • MN Zoo is a favorite day trip for our family. It is a very nice, large, well-designed zoo with plenty for everyone. There is ample parking an it is not far from the highway (I-35). Among some of our family's favorite attractions at the zoo are the Grizzly Coast, Discovery Bay (aquarium), the butterfly house, and the MN Trail (indoors). If you are planning a visit, show times we'd recommend trying to target are the Monk Seal feeding, the Grizzly Bear feeding and the Bird Show at the amphitheater. There are a couple of great playgrounds for your kids: Woodland Adventure (smaller and better for younger children) and the Wild Woods play area which is larger and better for older kids with much more climbing. In the central plaza there is a great water fountain exhibit which you will nearly always find kids playing in if the weather is good. Keep this in mind because your kids will see it and want to play in the fountain as well. If you are planning ahead, bring a swimsuit and towels (or else a change of dry clothes). There is a nice set of bathrooms just off the Central Plaza where your kids can change into a swimsuit if you want them to. There's also a large Imax theater there which is always running a combination of educational films as well as some current movies as well. We'd highly recommend the Zoo for a day trip or as a side trip on your next visit to the Twin Cities. If you are local and could see yourself going more than once in a calendar year, consider a membership. With a family, you'll find that a membership is cheaper than paying to enter the zoo twice and then you can take advantage of it as often as you'd like.
  • This was one of the better zoos I've been to. This is definately a larger zoo - by the time you bring the kiddos through the whole thing YOU'RE going to be ready for a nap! I also understand that they host concerts there. Supposedly Marc Cohen was supposed to perform the weekend I was there. That would have been awesome to see!
  • Good zoo with lovely paths, well made habitats, and a great variety of animals. My favorite part is the tropical / jungle indoor biome that is definitely the most elaborate exhibit I've seen of it's kind. Fun for everyone.
  • We love the MN Zoo! We've been members for a few years now and enjoy each visit immensely. We recently went to an Adults Only Night and were delighted to find that they had zoo employees out conducting demonstrations with the animals. My toddler son also did a couple zoo camps this summer and they were awesome! They were the perfect blend of animal interaction, play, song and dance, and education. Ms. Erikka was a wonderful instructor!
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