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Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley

4.2
#3 of 12 in Zoos & Aquariums in Minnesota
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
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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611 reviews
Google
4.5
  • Being members we go several times a year - first time this year we loved the temporary summer only Australia exhibit I was surprised the 35 kangaroos and wallaby roamed free It was fun to see the litt...  more »
  • We've gone annually since it opened. We went to San Diego Zoo a few years ago and it wasn't better and we paid 3x the admission rate. TIP: this is a "natural environment" enclosure zoo. BINOCULARS are...  more »
  • I would recommend the Minnesota Zoo to anyone looking for something fun to do on a hot and boring day. I personally go to SES which is a school connected with the MN Zoo, so I have been to the zoo man...  more »
Google
  • I love the zoo. It has good mix of animals and fun playground structure for kids. Along with kid focused exhibits and the opportunity for interactive experiences for kids. In addition our family has loved the summer zoo camps, our kids always had a blast with those. It's not a huge zoo, but it doesn't have to be. Love the new Australia exhibit with wallabies and kangaroos.
  • I enjoy bringing my young ones to see the animals and take the long walk out to the Farm area. They can spend as much time as they want at each exhibit and not feel rushed by anything other than their hunger. There is a lot to see and I feel lucky that we live so close and can split up our adventure as we choose. We do bring snacks along and use reusable water containers. There is a little splash pad there for the kids to run through so come prepared or if you don't mind spending a little bit more they have suits and flip flop kiosk.
  • I enjoyed going to the zoo. Plenty of exhibits to enjoy. The kangaroo exhibit was awesome! You can walk right next to a kangaroo. Definitely a place you need to visit when you come to the Twin Cities area.
  • Our family loves visiting the MN Zoo. Getting a membership is a great option for families with children because they have exhibits you can visit year round. It is a nice place to just hang out for a few hours. They currently have a kangaroo exhibit running through Labor Day that is really neat.
  • Just went today for the first time. First off, the staff is AWESOME. Super friendly and great with kids. They were always smiling when I saw them. Even if they were asking someone to move or scoot back from something, they were so kind. This is a big deal to me! Yes, the prices are a little high. But the fact that they allow outside food and drinks takes a little bit of the sting out of the high admission price. The zoo itself is very clean. Cleanest zoo I've been to. There is a LOT to see. It sits on many acres of land which made me happy because the animals all had more than enough room to roam it seemed. So yes, a lot of walking but it's so the animals can be comfortable so I'm okay with it. I'd rather have to walk a bit more than see 2 tigers crammed in a 30*30 ft space. They are missing some of the traditional zoo animals (lions, gorillas, rinos, giraffes) but wow; they have so many animals I didn't even know existed until today! The tropical path was a favorite for sure. I like how most attractions or paths are set up in a circle making foot traffic run smoothly. My ONLY complaint (and this is minor) is the maps they give you are hard to read. I had to ask many staff members for help (which they were happy to help me). Once you get the layout of the zoo, you're good. Pack a lunch, bring in your own bottles of water and good shoes. The Minnesota zoo does not disappoint!