With Summer behind us, October at Como means smaller crowds and close encounters with the plants and animals.
October begins Como’s Fall/Winter hours. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is open 365 days a year, October – March 10am – 4pm, and April – September 10am – 6pm.
While many Minnesota gardens are winding down for the winter season, the Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory will be in full bloom! Opening Saturday, October 7 is the popular, 108th Annual Fall Flower Show. The first half of the Fall Show’s inspiration this year is drawn from an underwater environment. Usual ‘spider’ and anemone mums in pink and white pastel colors will be accompanied by large and small succulents plants. There will be green sting ray colcassia, pink, purple and white scabiosa plants, and blue echinops.
On October 30th, the Sunken Garden will close, and then reopen on November 4th for the second half of the Fall Flower Show which will run through November 26. The second half of the Fall Show will be a celebration of the Dia de los Muertos. Orange and yellow mums will be accented by bright magenta celosia as well as orange marigolds and multicolored osteospermum.
Our No-School-Day Camps are jam packed with exciting educational opportunities available for kids in 1st-2nd grade and 3rd-4th grade on October 19 as well as November 3.
October 19 – It’s our wildly popular “Sensational Senses” Camp just for those in 1st and 2nd grade. Join us on a vivid visual adventure! In this one-day camp, we’ll be focusing on the sense of sight! Campers will make ocular observations to learn about Como’s favorite residents and discover how animals, and humans, use different types of vision to explore the world. It’s going to be see-rious fun!
Camps are from 9:30-3:30, with drop off 9:00-9:30 & pickup 3:30-4:00.
Camps are $75 per camper
Slither in over MEA break, October 20 – 22, and get eyeball-to-eyeball with some of our resident creepy crawly bugs and spiders. Use your creativity to make a spider craft, and learn more about creepy carnivorous plants. Get up close to interesting bio-facts, and learn about Como’s anaconda and hissing cockroaches at the Zookeeper talks. Xcel Energy will be bringing their 110sq foot Tiny House. Find out how easy it is to make energy efficiency improvements in homes both large and small.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is an energetic, colorful place full of sensory stimuli, and we know this environment can be overwhelming for some guests. Join us from 9-10 a.m. on select dates for an inclusive experience at Como created in collaboration with the Autism Society of Minnesota. Spend time exploring exhibits, and activities designed for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Use the “social narrative” and the “create your own visual schedule” to help prepare you for your Autism Friendly Early Entry day. Advanced reservations appreciated.
Little Explorers is a FREE program from 10:00AM-noon in the Visitor Center i. Perfect for the 1-3 year old (but every age is welcome) to meet animal and plant visitors, see story time, play games and many other fun activities. Different theme each week! An ASL interpreter will be here most Thursdays interpreting the 10:30 story time, 11am zookeeper talk, and the 11:30am SPIRE Sparky Show.
This is a special time set aside just for our 55-and-up aged friends. This is an opportunity to visit the Zoo and Conservatory for a leisurely walk before the crowds, as well as special activities and guests. This event is a great opportunity for Seniors to enjoy a free event that encourages being active and social with some adult learning to spice it up. Advanced registration appreciated.
For the first time since Covid, group tours of the Zoo and Conservatory are now being offered. These tours provide behind-the-scenes access. This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about everything that goes on at Como! Create a unique activity for our polar bears, have an encounter with a giraffe, or do behind-the-scenes and travel through the many gardens of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory as you explore the Jewel of Como and learn about our rich history.
Whether you choose the lush greenery of the North Garden or the flowers in the Sunken Garden, this is an exclusive time to bring tripods, cameras, paint sets, and easels inside the gardens of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Advanced, online registration required. $5 per person. Please enter through the Historic Entrance of the Conservatory.