Picnic Sites

The Minnesota Zoo offers two beautiful, conveniently located picnic sites. These areas feature a pavilion or are tented, include restroom facilities, and can accommodate groups of 65 to several thousand.

Shady Oaks Picnic Pavilion
The largest of our picnic sites, Shady Oaks Picnic Pavilion will accommodate several thousand people and is close to the parking lots. This location includes two shelters, several mature trees shading additional seating, and a large recreation area for lawn games, inflatables, or carnival games.
Capacity: 400 sheltered to several thousand total

Crossroads Park Picnic Pavilion Green Acres picnic site is located on the northern Trail, close to close to the Endangered Species Carousel, Hanifl Wild Woods and the grain elevator.  Two frame tents provide shelter.
Capacity: 350 sheltered

Meeting Room

Education Event Center

As the Zoo’s first truly “green” building, the Center will provide a dynamic and elegant space for meetings, events, and education programs with direct connections to parking areas and to the amazing animal experiences of our new exhibit, Russia’s Grizzly Coast.

Capacity: 
Classroom…45
Theater… 60
Banquet…48
U-shape…24
Crescents…36

The Minnesota Zoo is proud to have built this room utilizing “green” sustainability initiatives:

  • Vegetative roof with native plantings over white roof membrane
  • Geothermal heat pump system utilizing earth temperatures for heating and cooling
  • Cast-in-place concrete structure with 25% recycled content admixtures
  • Operable low E, argon-gilled wood windows allowing natural ventilation
  • Natural and non-mechanical ventilation systems
  • Majority of products manufactured within 500 miles of project site
  • Carpet tiles made with recycled content
  • In-floor hydonic heating throughout, producing even thermal comfort at occupant level
  • High efficiency, low energy prismatic lighting
  • Forest Stewardship Council-certified agrifiber wainscot paneling
  • Certified wood doors with domestic hardwood veneers
  • High-efficiency hand dryers that eliminate towel waste
  • Resource efficient plumbing fixtures
  • Recycled glass wall tiles
  • Recycled content furniture and wall and floor porcelain tiles and countertops
  • Water based penetrating wood finishes
  • Paperless gypsum wall panels to resist mold/mildew growth
  • Bio-infiltration basin for collecting surface rainwater run-off

LEED certified- Gold