Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo is in Apple Valley only minutes from the famous Mall of America and 20 miles south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. The zoo in Minnesota is a big attraction that draws thousands of families each year. The incredible array of wildlife spans 447 species of native and exotic animals. Comprising five major trails running through the Minnesota State Zoo visitors are able to see a myriad of habitats, participate in educational programs and watch fun live shows.

Inside the Minnesota State Zoo there is a host of things to do and see for all ages. Along the Minnesota Trail exciting exhibits highlight wildlife such as gray wolves, pumas, coyotes and otters. Smaller creatures such as salamanders, turtles and frogs are featured at the "trailhead" a cozy lodge found along the path. Native Minnesota landscapes come to life along the Minnesota Trail where north forest glades, beaver ponds and treetop bird-watching stops are found.

Along the Tropics Trail discover the exotic beauty of the rainforest inside the zoo in Minnesota. Stunning orchids and other lush foliage blanket the sides of the trail. Along the trail the fast-paced antics of the gibbons are favorites. Watch them swing from tree to tree calling out to their mates while whizzing through the air.

Tree kangaroos produce a sight most people haven't seen. Their agility is unsurpassed as they climb branches searching for food. Diverse biology is showcased in the "hotspots" along the trail where many of the species are at high risk around the world. The Minnesota State Zoo continuously strives to protect endangered species and educate all ages about the dangers in the natural world.

The 800-seat Dolphin Stadium at Discovery Bay affords guests more in depth knowledge about the natural behavior of river and ocean dolphins. This marine education center at the Minnesota Zoo focuses on species such as the ominous shark, stingrays and a variety of other sea creatures.

With a bit of added bravery visitors can actually touch sharks and other species in the interactive fjord and the tide pool at Discovery Bay. The best part is the exciting show that is put on by the well-loved bottle nose dolphins as they dive, swim and jump through the water.

The Wells Fargo Family Farm at the Minnesota Zoo is the beautifully updated version of the older children's petting zoo. The farm at the Minnesota State Zoo takes the opportunity to educate visitors in the methods of farm food transportation to the family dinner table.

There are many hotels near the Minnesota Zoo to choose from. Within a few miles' visitors will find a large assortment of well-known hotel chains to choose from. Some of the hotels near the Minnesota Zoo include the Hilton Garden Inn, the Fairfield Inn and the Hampton Inn. There are also many Minneapolis hotels to choose from. If you prefer the quieter side of the Twin Cities, St Paul hotels are less than half and hour from the zoo. Hotels near the Minnesota Zoo are also close to other attractions such as the Science Center of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Zoo operates each and every day with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The zoo opens every day at 9:00 am and close at either 4:00pm or 6:00pm depending on the time of year. Admission costs are between $13.00 and $19.00. When visiting the Minnesota State Zoo be sure to pick up a pamphlet illustrating exciting special events you won't want to miss will commence.

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