We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Just Zoo It,because of the Muzic”
Review of Minnesota Zoo

Minnesota Zoo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 25, 2013

One of the best small outdoor music venues in the country. You get free entry to the Zoo at 4pm with a concert ticket purchase.Great food and beer selections before the concert. Bring a small pillow if you can not sit on a bench for a couple hours. This is a rain or shine event and no umbrellas are allowed. Your purse will be searched.They have massage chairs set up near the venue if you need a neck or back massage and still can here the music. Great backdrop of a small lake and cliff. No mosquitos!! Lyle Lovett and his Large Band also get a 5 star.

Thank swainer1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (677)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

437 - 441 of 677 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

We planned a trip to the Minnesota Zoo as a special treat for our visiting great-granddaughter from Wisconsin. We have never been so disappointed in a family event as we were with the Minnesota Zoo! First, it was terribly crowded even though we planned our arrival shortly after noon. The price to enter was quite extreme and we also had to pay to park there which seems a bit odd when we were paying customers. Shouldn't the Zoo provide parking for their customers? I would think so. Anyway, we entered the aquarium area where it was so full of baby strollers and people that our little four year old couldn't even get up to the tanks to see the fish. We waited and waited but the crowd just got bigger so we finally moved on. Because it was a hot day, the majority of the animals were hiding in the shade and again, the strollers and crowds were so prohibitive that we couldn't have seen them anyway. The animals that were separated from us by glass were a little closer but the glass was so full of fingerprints and grime that it ruined the few pictures I was able to take. The walk from one area to the other was exhausting and the distance between animal exhibits was way too long for adults, much less children. Whoever planned the layout of this zoo did not take short, tired little legs into consideration. That said, I will say that the vendors and their exorbitant, inflated prices were EVERYWHERE! $2.50 for a small bottle of water, $139.00 for a zoo sweatshirt, you name it, they offered it at horribly expensive prices. In short, I will never go there again and I will tell everyone I know not to go there. Six miles of walking and unable to see anything was a real letdown for our little one. Thankfully we took our stroller because the zoo also rented strollers which had a price tag larger than what it cost to buy your own! Stay away!

Thank Cindy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

The Minnesota Zoo offers visitors a nice view of nature – with a close-up take on Minnesota’s wildlife.
The zoo has a nice collection of animals from around the world, but its native exhibits are what I found most interesting. From wolves to wolverines, Minnesota has a lot to offer with its native animals.
But , first, an editorial on the zoo’s entrance and parking policies. The entrance fee for non-members is $18 per adult. In addition, it costs $7 for the privilege of parking in the zoo parking lot. Fortunately, our Omaha zoo membership offers a reciprocal discount, so we received 50 percent off the entrance fee. Otherwise, I cannot honestly say the Minnesota Zoo is worth $18 per adult, along with the $7 parking fee.
Now, on to the fun part – touring the zoo.
The first thing you see as you pass the entrance is the grizzly bear exhibit. They’re not just any grizzly bears. Nope. These grizzlies are from Russia (I wonder if they could see Alaska from their homes?).
The grizzly exhibit is nice. The viewing area inside its main building is a bit small. People stood 10-12 deep in rows trying to watch the bears swim in a small pool.
Outside, a few grizzlies were catching a nap in the warm temps.
One thing we found interesting was the display of volcanoes in the grizzly area. The display explained the region and the volcanic activity. There was mud bubbling because of the hot temperatures. In addition, steam shot out of a volcano’s opening.
Moving along from the grizzly bear area, we came up to my favorite area – the Minnesota animals. Wolves, wolverines, moose and birds highlighted the Minnesota trail.
A couple of wolves met us as we approached their area. They checked out the visitors and then moved on, into the trees, so it was difficult to see them more
The Northern Trail (the official name of the Minnesota trail) offered a glimpse of beavers at work. They have a decent sized pond for the beavers to swim and work in. The lighting was decent, so we could actually see them. We’ve been to some zoos where the beavers are in dark areas with little lighting, so you don’t get a get decent look at them.
The moose was hidden behind a couple of trees. I think he was shy. We saw his head and rack.
The Lodge houses wolverines, fish and birds native to the area.
Two wolverines walked around their exhibit area. They encountered each other once and looked to engage in a fight. I’m pretty sure it was playful jousting. They each moved along.
We saw a soft shell turtle in the aquarium area. We’d never seen one before. It was funky looking. It looked like a cross between a snake or lizard head and a weirdly shaped turtle shell.

The bird area was cool. Cardinals, bluejays and other song birds were in the aviary. My favorite though was not a bird. It was a squirrel. He was going to town eating food on the ground.
On to more of the zoo.
An African dog called the Dhole was being trained by zoo keepers during our visit. It wasn’t being taught tricks, but rather how to interact with the zookeepers. The Dhole resembles an American fox.
The zoo is sponsoring a special exhibit called "Africa!" It is hosting several animals common to Africa, including giraffes, ostriches, bongos, addax, and wildebeest. The animals have plenty of room to roam in an open area of the zoo. It has an observation deck, where you can get a better look at the animals. We liked that.
We checked out three Asian wild horses. They were a bit active. One decided to roll around on the ground. I haven’t seen domestic horses do that before.
Ok, so this may seem weird, being Midwesterners and all, but we had a really nice time at the Family Farm section of the zoo. It’s set up to resemble a farmstead.
The farm elevator is sponsored by Land O Lakes. There is a display showing prices of crops throughout the years.
There was the Hormel silo. Actually, the silo was sponsored by Hormel, maker of that wonderful “meat” – SPAM. Who here has not had a bite of the deliciousness that is not SPAM?
You can pet a cow in the barn. Nearby, pigs do what pigs do well, sleep.
Speaking of horses, a couple of them walked up to a group of people and basically posed for pictures. Nice!
While exploring the zoo, we stopped at the prairie dog area. We must have spent at least 15 minutes watching these little buggers. I’ve seen them in the “wild” before. Ok, there was a town of them near a hotel in Denver, but still… I got a kick out of them standing guard. One prairie dog stands upright and keeps that head moving in every direction possible, looking for signs of danger. They bark out warnings if they sense something getting too close to the community.
One dog stood on a rock, while 2-3 smaller dogs were standing at the bottom of it. It looked like he was training the younger ones. A few feet away, a baby prairie dog was climbing all over its parent’s back.
Elsewhere at the zoo, we checked out the tropical rainforest area and watched monkeys and lemurs move about. There was an animal that resembled a mix of rabbit and rat. I can’t recall its name. But, it was funky looking.
A group of otters were napping – all bundled together.

While walking past a lake, we watched a family of swans. My wife and I have noticed that a lot of zoos we visit tend to have large lakes.
We did appreciate that the Minnesota Zoo has a monorail that goes around the zoo’s boundary. It gives people a chance to see some of the animals that may be away from the viewing area.
While the Minnesota Zoo does seem to be a bit small, it does have a lot to offer visitors. You can likely find an exhibit that intrigues you. Mine seemed to be the Minnesota animals.

2  Thank Mustangdad1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

Great zoo with a lot of up close views of the animals even got to feed the giraffes the lay out is a little confusing but had a great time I would eat before going to the zoo like many zoos food is over priced

1  Thank tonycuevas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We went to the zoo this past weekend. I was shocked by the price of admission $60 for 2 adults and 1 child (4 year old) with the dinosaur attraction add on. The zoo itself is fabulous and a must see. However, the dinosaur exhibit...not so much. All it is is a dozen or so poorly crafted animatronics that you walk through, a couple of which spit water at you. I don't recommend for children under 6. My 4 year old was scared of them. Other than that...such a great time!!

Thank Christopher K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Minnesota Zoo also viewed

 

Been to Minnesota Zoo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing