Soar, Splash, and Swing at Como Town

One of my favorite elementary school field trips was going to Como Zoo in St. Paul, where we saw Sparky the Sea Lion perform and oohed and ahhed over the massive size of Casey the Gorilla (400 pounds). Como Zoo is where, at my cousin’s birthday party, I remember throwing oranges to the polar bears and hoping I wouldn’t somehow fall over the railing mid-throw (back when you could feed the animals). One of my first dates in high school was a trip to Como Zoo. My boyfriend reminded me that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the zoo; you just have to be a kid at heart.

I had different priorities in college and going to the zoo sort of fell off my radar, but trips ramped right back up about 10 years ago, as soon as my friends started having kids.

And now a trip to Como is one of the highlights of summer/fall for my own kids, especially when it includes a trip to Como Town Amusement Park, a four-acre amusement park adjacent to the zoo. We just went last weekend and everyone had a great time.

Have you ever been? No? You have no idea the fun you’re missing.

Como Town opened in 2005 and consists of 18 rides, an interactive play area, a large climbing structure, carnival-style games, Dippin’ Dots ice cream and other “fair” type foods, a new Soaring Eagle Zip Ride (up 85 feet in the air!), and face-painting, storytelling, and puppet shows. It’s not as big as Valley Fair, but it’s less crowded and less expensive (and if you live in the eastern ‘burbs, it’s a heck of a lot closer). And when your kids are young, they don’t care if the rides are super steep or super fast, they’re just happy to have the chance to go on rides. There’s a mini golf course, too, which also proved to be a big hit.

Unlimited wrist bands are $21.95 for kids and $7.95 for adults. Discounted prices are available after 4 p.m.

The park is located at 1301 Midway Parkway, half a mile west of Lexington Parkway and Horton Avenue in St. Paul. The 2014 season will continue on weekends through Sunday, September 28.

Season passes are available, either by calling 651-487-2121 or at the ticket booth. (Season passes are a great gift idea for the hard-to-buy-for kids—or adults—in your life, because it’s not how old you are, but how you are old, and a trip to Como Town is a sure-fire way to make you feel young at heart.)