Nearly every hour of the day, visitors are invited to go deeper into Como’s collections this summer.
No matter when you arrive at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, you can be sure there’s a teachable moment about conservation just around the corner. In fact, nearly every hour of the day, visitors will find an interpretive program, keeper and gardener talk or other public program designed to bring children and adults a little closer to Como’s animals and plants. Listen to the loudspeaker announcements to hear about the day’s great programs, or follow these tips for making the most of every moment of your next Como visit.
For close-up encounters with animal ambassadors like Penelope the giraffe, or Como’s darling cougar cubs Ruby and Jasper, get to Como Zoo just after the doors are open when animals are on the prowl. As the day heats up, you may find animals like Virgil the gorilla resting in the shade.
10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the wild cousins of Buzz and Neil, Como Zoo’s twin polar bears, and watch them take part in operant conditioning training sessions that help keep them healthy and curious in Como Zoo’s daily Bear Program.
Como Zoo’s most gregarious giraffe, Skeeter makes new friends every day at the giraffe feeding station where more than 10,000 visitors come to feed him by hand throughout the summer. For $5, you can experience an amazing meet-and-greet with this gentle giant, feeding him a treat of crunchy romaine lettuce at the day’s public feeding event at the African Hoofstock building. (On weekends and holidays, there’s a second giraffe feeding every day at 2:30 p.m.). Remember, Como Friends members get $1 off when they show their membership card.
Bring all of your animal questions to Como Zoo’s daily keeper talk, which features a new animal ambassador every day of the week. Many of Como’s keepers can also tell visitors about their first-hand experiences helping endangered species as part of “Conservation Champions,” a Como Friends-funded conservation program that has sent keepers everywhere from the Kyrgyzstan mountains to track snow leopards to the shores of South Africa to save threatened penguins.
11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Stop by the Gorilla Forest hut to meet the amphibian, reptile, or mammal chosen to be the day’s new “Spotlight Animal”–a program that gives star treatment to Como Zoo’s edifying team of education animals.
Flutter over to “Pollinators: All the Buzz,” a beautiful new interpretive garden that celebrates the tiny but mighty work of bees, butterflies, birds and other pollinators. Learn more about how plants, pollinators and people intersect, and what you can do to promote a healthy environment for everything to work together. (There’s a second 3 p.m. pollinator program on weekends and holidays.)
Take time to smell the flowers at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s daily Gardener Talk, full of tips, tricks and horticultural history about the state’s greatest greenhouse. Como’s talented horticultural staff love to take questions from the public, so don’t be shy!
2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Meet Virgil, Jabir and Samson, the three handsome bachelors who live in Gorilla Forest. Como’s keepers train and enrich Como Zoo’s primates and answer questions from the public every day at 2 p.m., while interpretive guides are on hand to answer all of your great ape questions every day at 3:30 p.m.
Chicago Peace Roses, Oriental Lilies and Copacabana Calla Lilies are just some of the flowers featured in this year’s Summer Flower Show, the largest and longest-running seasonal display in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s Sunken Garden. Stroll through and experience the sensory delight of the season’s most fragrant blooms.
The new Cleveland Court is a convenient meeting place for friends, and the latest new landscape to complement Como’s front door. Right next to the Minnesota Garden of native plants, it’s a great place to regroup at the end of the day.
Como has extended hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until October 1, and even more action on Wednesday nights this summer with the return of Groovin’ in the Garden. This free concert series features some of the Twin Cities’ favorite solo artists and ensemble groups, with fun activities for everyone in the family. Check out the full list of concerts and special events here: Special Events
See you again soon!