The Minnesota Zoo is one of our absolute favorite places to go with our daughter. We have an annual pass, which has paid for itself several times over. We do the Household PLUS pass, which is $159/year, and includes my husband, myself, our daughter (free until 2, but the household pass allows kids under 21), and one guest for free, which is amazing because a lot of times we take grandparents along!
There’s a ton of stuff for older kids at the zoo, but since our daughter is younger, we try to cater our visits to her nap and attention schedule (lol). Here are my favorite things to do a the Minnesota Zoo with a toddler:
Hit the Splash Pad!
There’s an awesome splash pad at the Central Plaza, and we just took our daughter there to play in it for the first time. She was a little hesitant at first, but if you’ve seen some of my recent IG posts, she’s now OBSESSED with the splash pad by our house! There’s also an amazing playground right by the splash pad, but it’s best for kids that are a little bit older in my opinion.
See the Kangaroos
This is a summer exhibit only (summer 2017) but it was amazing to see Kangaroos so close up!!!! There’s no fence (say WHAT?!), which is pretty cool, and the kangaroos are literally right there to say hi! Kangaroo crossing is open through labor day!
Visit the Petting Zoo
The Wells Fargo Family Farm is a super neat location at the zoo that’s a little bit of a walk (or tractor ride!) off from the main zoo activities. My favorite thing here is the petting zoo (Bear was a little scared of the goats, but hey…they’ve got creepy eyes so I can’t blame her!), but there’s also some really neat educational info on farming, and there’s a bunch of cows, horses, pigs, chickens, goats, bunnies…basically everything you’d see at a real farm!
Take an Ice Cream Break
There’s an ice cream parlor at the Family Farm, but we couldn’t wait! We had to get an ice cream at one of the many food kiosks. Who doesn’t love ice cream as you’re walking around the zoo!?
Press a Penny
This is a great (and inexpensive) reminder of your awesome day! Plus, it’s intriguing for the little ones to watch as their penny gets made!
What to Pack?
I LOVE packing diaper bags for the zoo! It’s usually not that far off from my regular diaper bag, but I like to make sure to bring extra snacks and drinks, along with sunscreen! I love my JuJuBe Be Classy for big trips like this (note–I did receive this bag free to review, but I’d buy it…and I’ve spent probably $1,000 on JuJuBe items in the past. ALL of their bags are GREAT quality!!) It fits perfectly under the stroller, and literally can hold everything I need, while still being comfortable.
If you want to see how I usually pack this bag, check out my packing video below:
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