“Groovin’ In The Garden” Free Concerts Begin June 7th!
Voted by City Pages as the “Best Place to See a Concert with Kids”, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory’s free concert series, “Groovin’ In The Garden”, returns featuring some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians, rain or shine!*
Pack a picnic and dancing shoes, spread out a blanket & join us for these FREE outdoor concerts & activities in front of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory every Wednesday, June 7 – July 26 from 6pm–8pm. Hotdogs, ice cream treats, beer and wine will be available to purchase.
*If it rains, we’ll move inside the Visitor Center Porch next to the Water Gardens!
June 7 Innocent Reggae Band
June 14 13 Arrows
June 21 Ty Pow & The Holy North
June 28 Red Eye Ruby
July 5 FLOWTUS
July 12 Mubbla Buggs
July 19 Eleganza!
July 26 The Flamin’ Oh’s
Please note: The Zoo and Conservatory close at 6pm.
Eleganza! photo credit: First Ave.
Red Eye Ruby band, photo credit Chelsea Oxborough
This program was funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage.
Snow Leopard Born At Como Zoo
Como Zoo has a new resident – a snow leopard cub. A single female snow leopard cub was born May 6th to parents Alya (9) and Moutig (10). This is the pair’s second successful offspring as part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation. Veterinary and zookeeper staff have observed that Alya. has been an excellent, protective mother displaying positive maternal behaviors at this stage and is exhibiting exceptional care of her cub. The cub is growing rapidly and has started to explore her environment. Alya and her cub will remain off exhibit until later this summer when the cub would be routinely leaving the nest area and coordinated enough to navigate the habitat.
Alya and her cub are being housed in an off-exhibit maternity den where they can bond and allows for proper nursing and care in a quiet space. Newborn cubs are entirely dependent on their mothers and in the wild do not leave the protection of their dens until about three months of age. Como Zoo will continue to provide updates on the progress of the zoo’s newest resident.
The snow leopard pair, Moutig from France, and Alya from Germany, came to Como Zoo in 2017. With genetic lines not well represented outside of Europe, the pair was selected for placement in North America through a rigorous selection process that attracted applications from zoos around the country. Como Zoo was eventually chosen to receive the breeding pair. Minnesota’s cold climate played a part in the selection, as did Como Zoo’s 60+ year history of raising and breeding these acutely threatened big cats.
This breeding was carefully planned and recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). Como Zoo is a longtime participant in the Snow Leopard SSP, which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the AZA. SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild.
Snow leopards are no longer classified as an endangered species, but its population in the wild is still at risk (classified as “vulnerable”) due to poaching, loss of prey, and the fragmentation of habitat. Como Zoo is committed to the preservation of this species, and is a longstanding member of the Snow Leopard Trust contributing funds to support research and programs aimed at protecting snow leopards and their natural habitat.
With their thick, cream-colored coats and gray-black spots, snow leopards camouflage so well within their rocky habitat high in the Himalayas that they are known as the “ghosts of the mountains.” With the ability to leap down heights of 60 feet, snow leopards are said to be the most agile of the “big cats.”
The naming rights for the snow leopard cub will be auctioned off as part of Como Friends annual Sunset Affair Gala in July. All proceeds support continued improvements and operations of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, and its education and conservation programs.
The Big Cat Habitat, home to Como’s Snow Leopards, Tigers, Lions and Cougars will continue to be Como Park Zoo & Conservatory’s bonding priority at the State Capital to ensure that Como and its guests can continue to care for these ambassadors now and for generations to come.
*NEW AT COMO* Mission Safari Maze!
Climb, Leap, Soar and Swing on the wild side in Mission Safari at Como Zoo
Sunset Affair: Stargazing, July 20, 2023, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
From the north pole to the south, and every compass point in between, the beauty and diversity of our planet is as boundless as the stars above. Join Como Friends as we gather again under the night sky for Sunset Affair: Stargazing, a benefit to celebrate the animals, plants and people that make Como Park Zoo & Conservatory a natural wonder.
Polar bears, penguins and puffins will be the star players at Sunset Affair, the summer gala that supports the extraordinary access, educational programs and natural encounters that make Como Minnesota’s most visited cultural destination.
Gather your friends, reserve your preferred ticket option, and get ready to go “Stargazing” at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory on July 20!
Under the stars, you’ll see Como Park Zoo & Conservatory as few people do, with up-close encounters with animal ambassadors, fascinating talks from Como Zoo’s keepers and horticulturists, and the chance to bid on the amazing, only-at-Como Silent Auction items that have made our summer gala a can’t-miss moment for so many.
Click HERE for more information & tickets.
Individual Ticket: $250
Enjoy this stellar party celebrating all the animals and plants you love at Como!
Patron Ticket: $350
Become a Sunset Affair patron and increase your support of Como to ensure it thrives for generations to come. Includes recognition in the event print program.
Patron Table: $2,800
Gather your family, friends, or colleagues for this premier event. Patron tables seat 8 and include recognition in the print program.
Choice Seating: $4,250
Experience the close-up encounters and intimate corners that Como is known for with choice seating in Gorilla Forest or Underwater Viewing in Como Harbor. A Choice Seating table for 8 includes private seating, host bar, plated dinner, a custom experience with a zookeeper before dinner and recognition in the print program.
RSVP BY July 1, 2023
Please call the Como Friends’ office at 651.487.8229 if you have further questions & follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Live GardenCam – A Live Look at the Summer Flower Show
Summer Flower Show
May 6 through October 1, 2023
Angelonia, torenia, impatiens, petunia, verbena and pentas will be on display all summer long. Blue Siberian iris drifts border the edge of the pool and splashes of bright chartreuse hosta and heuchera foliage the accent the purple and blue flowers in the summer show.
Sponsoring a garden is a unique way to keep the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory growing strong. Your donations help to plant thriving gardens, grow new programs, and preserve the Conservatory’s historic character for generations to come. Find out more by clicking HERE.
Como Quest ~an interactive scavenger hunt~ June 3 & 4 – Register Today!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JUNE 3RD & 4TH, 2023
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Choose your day and dive into a global treasure hunt in the heart of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory and discover more to learn—and love—about the extraordinary animals and plants at Como.
No Prom Photos During Business Hours
We know and appreciate that the gardens at Como are a popular destination for Prom photos. But, in order to allow free-flowing foot traffic and provide an enjoyable experience for all our guests, any and all types of posed photography and/or group photography are not allowed during our public hours, which are 10am – 6pm everyday.
We invite you to rent the gardens before or after public hours for all photography needs. Contact us at (651) 487-8250 or email@example.com for more information and pricing. We do require at least two-weeks-notice for us to book a photo shoot.
The Photo Policy has been established for the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Ordway Gardens, and Tropical Encounters in order to allow free-flowing foot traffic and provide an enjoyable experience for all our guests. We invite you to take photos and videos at many of the other outdoor beautiful locations where a permit is not required.
Definition of Posed Photography
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory defines posed photos as any photographer (amateur or professional) who places up to two people in a posed position for a photo. Examples of this would be prom, quinceañera, engagement, family, or wedding photos.
Definition of Group Photos
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory defines group photos as any photographer (amateur or professional) who gathers more than two people together. Examples of this would be prom, quinceañera, engagement, family, or wedding photos.
Mother’s Day Weekend Bonsai Show
Instead of buying a bouquet for Mom, make memories with Mom at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory!
You may have noticed Como’s 4-year-old male cougar, Jasper, eyes are shut. There’s a reason for that, but first, let’s get to know Jasper. Jasper was orphaned after his mother, which was reportedly killing sheep, was shot and killed under a California legal depredation permit. In the state of California, a person who suffers property damage by mountain lions is entitled to obtain a depredation permit to protect their property. Jasper (and his habitat companion Ruby, who was also orphaned under different circumstances) arrived from California to Como in 2018 after being cared for by Oakland Zoo wildlife specialists.
Jasper’s ocular problems were first noted in June 2020 when cloudiness was noted in his corneas (the clear part of his eyes). Treatment for this consisted of surgical implants around his eyes which required immobilization and replacement at 12 to 18 month intervals.
Over the last year, we noticed Jasper was having problems navigating his environment. Follow-up examination by our veterinary ophthalmologist revealed he had progressive retinal atrophy – a disease that is not treatable and eventually resulted in his complete blindness. More recently we noticed he had inflamed, red eyelids likely as a result of reduced blinking/tear production that was being treated, but not improving. All of these issues made us come to the conclusion his comfort and overall health would be best addressed by removal of his eyes.
On Sunday, April 16, Jasper underwent a bilateral enucleation (eye removal) surgery. The decision to perform the surgery was based on thorough evaluation of Jasper by a veterinary ophthalmologist and lengthy discussions with zookeepers, animal management and zoo veterinary staff. Jasper had been receiving ongoing treatments for eye problems and his comfort level was a main concern (especially as a young animal). Removal of the nonfunctional eyes eliminated this discomfort and the potential for future problems.
The surgery went extremely well, Jasper recovered uneventfully and is back on exhibit with Ruby. He may be more cautious at this point moving around exhibit, but his activity will likely appear normal since he was unseeing prior to the surgery and was accustomed to his habitat.
When you now see him on exhibit you’ll notice his eyelids are permanently closed. He may or may not be sleeping when you see this – although cats do appreciate spending quite a bit of time resting.
A huge thank you to everyone involved with this procedure, advocating for Jasper’s wellbeing and to Minnesota Public Radio for sharing his remarkable story. You can read that piece HERE.
Below is an episode of Como Live featuring Jasper and Ruby.
Photo Credit: Steve Solmonson
Party For The Planet sponsored by Xcel Energy! April 22 & 23, 10AM – 4PM
Sponsored by our friends at Xcel Energy, Como’s annual Earth Day and conservation celebration is a full weekend of family activities, crafts and interpretive opportunities to learn more about the earth’s amazing animals and plants, and what we can do to protect them.
Como Quest: Wild Conservation (21+ Event) May 4th, 2023
An after-hours event for the 21+ flock in support of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.
See a 4K time-lapse of the Spring Flower Show change-over!
Spring Flower Show runs March 25 through April 30, 2023.
Spring is here! – The 2023 Spring Flower Show will have formal topiaries, along with thousands of tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, foxglove, acorus, hydrangea, hyacinth, and pansies in a color pallet of chartreuse green, purple, pink, and yellow which is sure to provide some color therapy to Minnesotans weary of winter.
The Sunken Garden offers beautiful floral shows, updated seasonally. This ever-changing display is as artful as it is fragrant. Perfect for a romantic walk or a curious exploration.
Enjoy amazing azaleas and festive poinsettias in winter, multicolored tulips in spring, prized roses and geraniums in summer and cheery chrysanthemums in autumn.
Visit our current exhibit today.