A Trip to the Minneapolis, Minnesota Zoo (KMSP)

The pilot and I made the trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota (KMSP) for our second annual SCRAPFEST. Last year the pilot flew my mom, Micah (our cousin) and me up there and it was quite a long trip…it took about 6 hours to to get there and the pilot was exhausted. As a result, this year we used our points and flew up commercially. It has been quite a while since I have had to pack and plan a commercial flight; I did not enjoy the process…having to be there 2 hours before, pay for every bag I packed, and go through the body scanĀ  was enough to encourage me to have the pilot fly me more often. The two hour flight was a nice surprise…I took a little nap and we were there. Even better was the fact that it was early in the day and the pilot was well rested and we were able to hit the zoo before checking into our hotel.

Other than school field trips when I was a little girl I have never been to a zoo on a weekday before and it was wonderful to be there with so few other visitors. I absolutely love the zoo…the pilot is really wonderful about taking me to visit the nice zoos when we travel and the Minneapolis Zoo was beautiful and had some of the largest animal enclosures that I have ever seen.


There were a few animals that were highlights for us. One of the first enclosures we came to had these adorable monkeys. The pilot and I love to “monkey” on another…the monkeys were cleaning each other the same way that we do. There was also an adorable baby that jumped on its dad’s back and then hung on it’s mom’s leg; it was so much fun to watch.

Not far from these cuties were a number of other monkey families, but 2 of them were obviously used to the camera and really knew how to ham for the camera. The black and white monkey came right down by the glass when we got out the camera and did a number of really adorable poses.

The other, little monkey remind me of those bug eyed little stuffed animals. He also came down to the glass so that he could get as good of a look at us as we got of him.

The pilot and I strolled through the park. Most of the animals were up and recently fed so we got the opportunity to see the majority of the animals. Although the pronghorns did not come down the hill the pilot made sure to remind me that I still owe him a prong horn hunt for a bet I lost a few years back.

We spent the longest amount of time on some of the smallest animals. The prairie dogs provided an enormousĀ  amount of entertainment. Running in and out of the ground, eating their fruits and vegetables, and chasing each other around…the pilot and I watched for like 20 minutes. There are tons of them in the colony and they are truly entertaining.

You can tell that the zoo is built for the cold weather, we spent most of the time looking at animal enclosures from indoors, a big change from our warm climate…without sunscreen I did not even need sunscreen although we were there for hours. The Penguins really liked the pilot. For 10 minutes this penguin followed the pilot back and forth at the glass.

There was a bunch of publicity for a brand new exhibit for 3 rescued bears. The official opening was a few days away but we got a sneak peak at them. The 2 females slept the whole time we were there, but the male woke up on our last trip by their enclosure and worked it for the crowd.

Before we headed to the underwater exhibits we rode the tram around the park. I was amazed by the amount of undeveloped land that the zoo owns. Someday that zoo is going to be enormous. Our tour guide gave us our very own car so that we could scoot back and forth and have a great view of the animals on both sides of the car. We saw a number of the animals that we had seen on the ground but overhead we got a much better view of a number of the animals. From the tram our favorite animals were the camels that had waded into the middle of their green pond and were covered in the green stuff. It was a little warm, so I guess they were keeping themselves cool…it was also interesting to learn that the humps are not water they are fat. The little one on the edge was a baby, the babies weighs more than 100 pounds when they are born.

After the tram we made one last stop before heading to the hotel to check in at the underwater exhibit. My favorite part about the tanks is that there were a number of species living together. The large tank had more species than I could count…but I tried. There were some large puffer fish and some pretty big sharks that I enjoyed watching…but I was surprised that they did not eat any of the fish in the tank with them. The zoo must keep them well fed.

I love to touch and feed the animals so we had to adventure by the tide pools before we could leave. There were 2 separate tanks full of animals that I got to touch, so I did. Although it was a rush to touch the sting rays and sharks I think I actually enjoyed the aneminies and starfish a little more…there were many more textures in that tank. The sting rays were a a little slimy to the touch and the sharks were a little rough, but the reef creatures were plentiful. Even the variety of starfish all felt a little different.

The pilot is not much for touching the creatures but he did get in on the underwater fun.

On the scale of zoos that we have visited I would put the Minneapolis Zoo close to the top. It was a very relaxing peaceful day. On a 1-10 I would give it a 9.


  1. Leah Palmer says:

    I went there as a kid, and remember vividly a baby gorilla and a baby orangutan playing together. Precious and hilarious!

    • The little monkeys climbing on their parents and the others picking the bugs off each other was one of my favorite things to watch…they are so people like.

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