Discover the Magic of Minnesota Zoo: A Comprehensive Guide to MN Zoo Hours of Operation and Working Hours

Are you ready to embark on an adventure that’s both wild and tame, exhilarating and soothing, entertaining and educational? Look no further than the Minnesota Zoo! With its world-class exhibits, diverse animal collection, and commitment to conservation, the MN Zoo offers an experience unlike any other. But before you pack your sunscreen and camera, it’s essential to know the MN Zoo hours of operation. In this article, we’ll give you all the details you need to plan your visit and make the most of your time at this gem of a destination.

The Lowdown on MN Zoo Hours

First things first: what are the MN Zoo hours? The zoo is open every day of the year, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Summer Hours (April 1 – October 31): 9 am – 6 pm
  • Winter Hours (November 1 – March 31): 10 am – 4 pm

Now that you know the MN Zoo hours of operation let’s dive into what makes this place so special.

A World of Wildlife Awaits

The MN Zoo is home to over 5,000 animals representing more than 500 species, from majestic lions and towering giraffes to colorful birds and slippery fish. The zoo is organized into several themed areas, each offering a unique glimpse into the natural world.

Tropics Trail

Step into the Tropics Trail and be transported to a lush, tropical rainforest. Here, you’ll encounter exotic creatures like clouded leopards, orangutans, and pygmy hippos, all living in a simulated environment that mimics their natural habitat.

Russia’s Grizzly Coast

Get up close and personal with some of Russia’s most magnificent animals, including brown bears, wolves, and Amur tigers. This exhibit also features a stunning underwater viewing area for a unique look at sea otters and harbor seals.

Discovery Bay

Discovery Bay is a hands-on experience that lets you touch and interact with marine life like stingrays, sharks, and invertebrates. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn about ocean conservation and the importance of protecting our planet’s most fragile ecosystems.

Minnesota Trail

Celebrate the Land of 10,000 Lakes with the Minnesota Trail, featuring native animals like black bears, otters, and timber wolves. This exhibit is a testament to the beauty and diversity of Minnesota’s natural landscapes.

Special Experiences

Beyond its incredible animal exhibits, the MN Zoo offers several special experiences that will make your visit even more memorable. Here are a few highlights:

  • ZooCAM Live! – Watch the zoo’s animals up close and personal with this live-streaming camera system. You can even control the cameras yourself and get a closer look at the animals’ fascinating behaviors.
  • Animal Encounters – Join zookeepers for daily presentations and feedings, where you’ll learn about the zoo’s animals and the critical conservation work being done to protect them.
  • IMAX Theatre – Immerse yourself in the world of giant-screen films at the MN Zoo’s IMAX Theatre. With crystal-clear images and immersive sound, you’ll feel like you’re part of the action.
  • Dinosaurs & Fossils – Travel back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth in this interactive exhibit. See life-size dinosaur models, dig for fossils, and learn about the fascinating history of these prehistoric creatures.

Tips for Visiting the MN Zoo

Now that you know the MN Zoo hours of operation and what to expect during your visit, here are some tips to make the most of your time:

  • Arrive early: The zoo can get busy, especially during summer months. Arrive when the gates open to beat the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: The MN Zoo is massive, covering over 500 acres. Be prepared to do a lot of walking and wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring water and snacks: While there are plenty of food options at the zoo, they can be pricey. Save money by bringing your water and snacks.
  • Take advantage of the shuttle: The zoo offers a free shuttle service that can take you to various points of interest. Use it to save your energy for exploring the exhibits.


1. What are the MN Zoo hours of operation?

The MN Zoo is open every day of the year, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Summer hours are 9 am – 6 pm (April 1 – October 31), and winter hours are 10 am – 4 pm (November 1 – March 31).

2. How much does it cost to visit the MN Zoo?

General admission is $20 for adults, $16 for seniors (age 65 and over), and $16 for children (ages 3-12). Children under 3 are free. Additional fees may apply for special exhibits and experiences.

3. Can I bring my own food and drinks to the MN Zoo?

Yes, visitors are welcome to bring their own water and snacks to the zoo. However, outside food and drink are not allowed in the IMAX Theatre or any of the zoo’s restaurants.

4. Are there any dining options at the MN Zoo?

Yes, there are several dining options at the zoo, including fast-food restaurants, cafes, and snack stands. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

5. Is the MN Zoo accessible to visitors with disabilities?

Yes, the MN Zoo is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities. Wheelchairs and strollers are available for rent, and accessible parking is available near the entrance.

6. Can I bring my pet to the MN Zoo?

No, pets are not allowed in the zoo. Service animals are welcome.

7. How long should I plan to spend at the MN Zoo?

The MN Zoo is a large destination, covering over 500 acres. Plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the exhibits, but a full day is ideal.

8. Are there any hotels near the MN Zoo?

Yes, there are several hotels near the MN Zoo, including the Radisson Hotel Apple Valley and the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Apple Valley, MN.

9. Can I host a birthday party or event at the MN Zoo?

Yes, the MN Zoo offers several options for birthday parties and events, including private rentals and group packages. Visit the zoo’s website for more information.

10. How can I support conservation efforts at the MN Zoo?

The MN Zoo is committed to conservation efforts and offers several ways for visitors to support their work. You can adopt an animal, become a zoo member, or make a donation to the zoo’s conservation fund.

With its diverse animal collection, world-class exhibits, and commitment to conservation, the MN Zoo is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a wildly fun and educational experience. By knowing the MN Zoo hours of operation and following our tips for visiting, you’ll be well on your way to an unforgettable adventure. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to unleash your wild side!

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