Back in September, Chris and I spent the first day of our Anniversary Trip visiting the Como Zoo & Conservatory, as many of you know, Chris and I love educational activities, Zoos, Aquariums, Museums, Historical Landmarks, and of course hiking National Parks. So when we took a long weekend to celebrate, we took advantage and planned a full weekend of fun throughout Minnesota.
Como Zoo & Conservatory is free and open to the public all year long, but does accept donations and requires a reservation before your visit. Hosting over 2 million visitors annually, the focus is on conservation, the staff is dedicated to ther well being of the many plants and animals that live in there. The Zoo hosts many special events and experiences throughout the year, including Sensory Friendly mornings, Senior Strolls, and Lil' Explorers Thursdays!
The zoo is home to many animals including monkeys, lemurs, lions, giraffes and so much more.
Some of my favorite animals to visit were the snow leopard, my favorite large cat, the giraffes, the flamingos, and of course the sloth.
After spending most of the day visiting the animals, we headed over to the Plant Conservatory where they have a Bonsai Exhibit, that also featured a look at a traditional Japanese matcha tea ceremony set up. Following the bonsai exhibit, we took a walk in the Japanese Friendshop Garden where the garden included a koi pond filled with many koi fish, and a waterfall.
After our walk through the garden we headed inside to the indoor gardens inside Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, where there are multiple gardens, including The Sunken Garden, North Garden, and The Fern Room. My favorite being the Fern Room.
As we were leaving the Zoo & Conservatory, we walked along Centennial Garden's beautiful pond filled with lillypads and lotus flowers, and out to the Historic Cafesijan's Carousel in Como Park.
Cafesijan's Carousel was originally built in 1914 by the Philidelphia Tobbagan Company. The Carousel is known as PTC 33, because it was the 33rd machine constructed by the Philidelphia Tobaggan Company.
The Carousel is 50 feet across the platform, and 54 feet among the upper rim. It is suspended from a center pole and weighs 30 tons. This Carousel is also one of the only three operating carousels still in original paint.
The Carousel was named for the Gerard L. Cafesijan who contributed the major share needed to rescue it from auction for restoration, and build it's pavillion in Como Park.
You can read more about the history of the Carousel here.
You can continue reading about the next part of our anniversary trip here.