Join us over MEA weekend, October 20-23, as we celebrate the return of all 21 Sparky statues to Como!
- See all 21 hand painted, highly Instagrammable, Sparky statues
- Meet & Greet the area artists who painted the statues
- Education, activity, & craft stations
- Sponsor demos, giveaways, games, and prizes
- SPIRE Sparky Show at 11:30 and 2:30 daily
- And much more!
Sparky Trivia Station (Como Commons): How many pounds of fish do our Sea Lions eat in a day? Can a seal or a sea lion hold their breath longer? Which is bigger, a gray seal or a harbor seal? Learn some of these fun facts and more when you take the Sparky Trivia Challenge! Spin the Como Pinniped Wheel to find out what your trivia question will be. Take your best guess at the answer and receive a special Sparky prize!
Ice Hop Recycle Challenge Station (Donor Plaza): Do you have one it takes to help clean up the world’s oceans? It’s estimated that there are over 5.25 TRILLION pieces of trash in the ocean! This includes oceans in the arctic that some pinnipeds like Harbor Seals call home. Help clean up the garbage in the cold arctic water by jumping from ice piece to ice piece collecting plastic bottles. BUT BE CAREFUL! The ice gets smaller as you go!
Pinniped Biofact Station (Outside Aquatics Building by Nancy Nelson Memorial Cove): Pinniped means “Fin-Footed” and includes animals like seals, sea lions, and walruses. But how can you tell them apart? It might be easier than you think! Come chat with an Como Educator about the differences and similarities these animals have. You’ll also get to see some amazing biofacts, like skulls, flippers, and tusks, up close and personal!
Sensory Tub Beach Clean Up Station: Not only do we need to help our oceans, but our beaches are in trouble as well! Washed up debris or garbage left behind from beachgoers can cause many issues for the wildlife call sandy beaches home. From tiny microorganisms living between sand grains to nesting birds and turtles these animals can be serious affected by plastic and other marine debris. And it can even changing the physical properties of the beach itself by causing the sand to warm more slowly, or contain harmful contaminants. Help us clean up our “Sparky Beach” by finding small pieces of trash and collecting them in your bucket. Bring your bucket of plastic trash up and receive a special Sparky prize!
Create your own Sparky Statue and Ocean Mission! The Summer of Sparky campaign was created to bring awareness to ocean conservation. Each of the 21 Sparky statues are painted to convey a different conservation message. From images of puffins and otters all the way to creatures of the deep, the artists each created a unique design that highlights a part of ocean conservation that is meaningful to them. NOW IT IS YOUR TURN! Color your own Sparky Statue and write your own ocean conservation message. Color your statue at the zoo or take it home with you. Once your finished, share your Sparky statue and mission using #summerofsparky!
On Saturday, October 22 only, our community partners, Xcel Energy and SPIRE Credit Union will add to the fun!
Visit the Xcel Energy Tiny House to learn about the small steps you can make at home to help conserve energy and make a big difference for the plants and animals we all love. Get a free LED light bulb, while supplies last!
Get your picture taken with SPIRE Credit Union’s famed 1952 Ford pickup truck Archie and take home some swag like a SPIRE Sparky Show frisbee or sling backpack (while supplies last).