Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is not a secret attraction. With animals like lions, giraffes and zebras, a more than 20 ride amusement park and nearly a dozen gardens, groups of people flock here year-round. What may be somewhat of a secret, however, are just how many (free!) events the zoo offers.
This week the zoo kicked off its summertime event Groovin’ in the Gardens. Taking place each Wednesday evening through Sept. 11, the series features performances by local musicians, family activities such as a climbing wall, bouncy house and lawn games, as well as food, treats and drinks (available for purchase). This year’s lineup includes Steven Sullivan & The Factory (Aug. 14), Chastity Brown Trio (Aug. 21), i like you (Aug. 28), Barbara Jean Band (Sept. 4) and The Melvilles (Sept. 11).
If you want to head over to the zoo early (or any other day), there are a number of additional events you can take part in. Visit the new gorilla exhibit during the Gorilla Program (11 a.m., 2:30 p.m.), seeing and learning how keepers interact with the apes, or get up close to the world’s largest species of bears during the Polar Bear Program (10:30 a.m.). Get a firsthand look at how seals and sea lions are trained at Seal Island (1:30 p.m.), or find out what the latter dream about at “Sparky’s Dream World” show. At the conservatory, get tips from the staff regarding growing techniques, harvesting and preparing garden food, natural pest control and creative edible landscape design (noon, 3 p.m.).
For a complete list of the zoo’s events, click here.
Photos by Todd Buchanan