Top 5 educational zoos in Minnesota you must visit

Terry Davis
Daiga Ellaby/Unsplash

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Feed an otter, ride a camel, and take a selfie with a llama! However you want to explore, the creatures and things you can experience will surprise and thrill your whole family at these Minnesota zoos. Here are five enjoyable and educational zoos for your next family vacation – from the massive zoos in the twin towns to smaller offers in larger Minnesota.

Como Park Zoo, St. Paul

The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is one of the few free zoos in the United States and a must-see site for families visiting the Twin Cities. Indeed, it's St. Paul's most visited destination! You may easily spend the whole day touring this zoo, conservatory, and amusement park combination.

Como Zoo has a vast range of exhibits both inside and outdoor, showcasing animals like rhinestones, lions, bison, and more. Cold winter habitat is especially appreciated for its lovely arctic foxes, snow leopards, and twin polar bears, Buzz and Neil.

Hemker Zoo, Freeport

Founded by Mark and Joan Hemker as a small game farm near St. Cloud in 1977, Hemker Park and Zoo today is home to 50 species and 200 animals worldwide.

Besides its typical visit, Hemker also offers a choice of engaging "close meetings" for an extra cost. You may feed the giraffe, the otter, or Rhino; snuggle the boa constrictor with Cookie; meet an American alligator of 2 feet, or even pet the penguin with ruby!

Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth

Northeast Minnesota has some of the state's most famous wilderness areas, but the Lake Superior Zoo may be the wildest. The zoo's 400 animals and 200 species include North American gray wolves, Flemish giant rabbits, and brown bears.

Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley

A zoo with approximately 5,000 animals and over 500 kinds, Minnesota Zoo, is the state's largest. The zoo's nine unique walking pathways and indoor displays make touring the 485-acre complex a breeze. Each trail/exhibit features a unique environment, habitat, and creature collection.

Zollman Zoo, Byron

Even though Zollman Zoo is one of the state's smallest zoos, what it lacks in size is more than makes up for in heart: nearly all zoo's animals cannot be released back into the wild due to injuries. But, Zollman provides them with a loving home to heal while also providing educational opportunities to visitors.

For additional information on each zoo, please visit

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