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Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo opens a window to the wonders of wildlife, offering an immersive experience that brings visitors face-to-face with animals from around the globe. As a leader in conservation and education, the Minnesota Zoo is committed to connecting people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. It’s a place where fun meets learning, and where every visit contributes to a greater understanding of our planet’s diverse ecosystems.


Established in 1978, the Minnesota Zoo was created with the vision of revolutionizing the traditional zoo experience. It was one of the first zoos to organize its animals by their living environment as opposed to their species. This innovative approach allowed visitors to appreciate the animals in settings that closely mirror their natural habitats. Over the years, the zoo has expanded its exhibits, conservation efforts, and educational programs, staying true to its mission of inspiring a greater appreciation for wildlife.


  • Year Opened: 1978
  • Size: Over 485 acres, making it one of the largest zoos in the United States.
  • Animals: The Minnesota Zoo is home to over 4,700 animals representing over 500 species.
  • Conservation: The zoo participates in over 40 conservation projects spanning multiple continents.
  • Innovation: It features state-of-the-art exhibits, such as the Tropics Trail and the Russia’s Grizzly Coast.


The Minnesota Zoo is located at 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124. Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of the Minnesota River Valley, just a short drive from downtown Minneapolis, the zoo’s location combines convenience with a scenic backdrop.


For the most up-to-date information on exhibits, events, and educational programs, visit the Minnesota Zoo’s official website: Minnesota Zoo Website.

Opening Hours

The Minnesota Zoo is typically open 363 days a year, with closures on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Opening hours are usually from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, but they can vary seasonally and during special events. Always check the zoo’s website or contact the zoo directly for current hours before planning your visit.

Things to Do

  • Explore the Trails: Venture along the Tropics Trail, Northern Trail, Minnesota Trail, and Russia’s Grizzly Coast to discover animals from different corners of the world.
  • Family Farm: Experience farm life by visiting the Wells Fargo Family Farm, particularly popular during the spring with baby farm animals.
  • Discovery Bay: Get up close with marine life, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles.
  • Wings Financial World of Birds Show: Watch as birds of prey and other species showcase their flying skills.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Book a special tour to see what happens behind the scenes and learn about animal care and conservation.
  • Zoomobile: Take a narrated tram ride for an overview of the zoo and its residents.
  • Seasonal Events: From the summer concert series to the winter light displays, the zoo hosts several seasonal events throughout the year.

Tips For Visiting

  1. Plan Ahead: Check the zoo’s website for daily schedules, special events, and exhibit closures.
  2. Wear Comfortable Shoes: With expansive grounds, there’s a lot of walking involved, so come prepared.
  3. Weather Appropriate Clothing: Some exhibits are outdoors, so dress accordingly to the season.
  4. Hydration and Snacks: Bring water bottles and snacks, or purchase them at one of the zoo’s restaurants or kiosks.
  5. Stroller and Wheelchair Accessibility: The zoo is accessible, and rentals are available.
  6. Membership Options: If you plan on visiting multiple times, consider a zoo membership for added benefits and savings.
  7. Educational Programs: Look into the zoo’s educational offerings for a more in-depth experience.
  8. Photography: Bring your camera for memorable wildlife photos, but respect the animals by not using flash.
  9. Conservation Support: Consider contributing to the zoo’s conservation efforts through donations or by participating in special programs.


The Minnesota Zoo is more than just a place to see animals; it’s a living classroom and a conservation center that fosters an appreciation for the natural world. With its expansive exhibits, engaging educational programs, and commitment to wildlife preservation, the zoo offers an enriching experience for all ages. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a regular patron, the Minnesota Zoo promises a journey filled with discovery, wonder, and inspiration.

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