Tropical Beach Party

Tropical Beach Party - February 15 – March 8

Shovel sand and not snow! The Minnesota Zoo invites you to our annual Tropical Beach Party. From a tropical trail teeming with wildlife to an underwater world and two large indoor sandboxes, it’s the perfect cure for cabin fever.
Members Bring a Friend for Half Price!

Day Time Zoo Tickets >

Two Large Indoor Sandboxes

Tropical Beach Party is home to Minnesota’s largest indoor sandboxes, using a total of 34 tons of sand to fill both sandboxes. Located on our Tropics Trail and in Discovery Bay, both sandboxes are open daily and will provide family fun for everyone. Bring your pail or favorite sandbox toy for maximum beach fun!

MN Zoo Sandbox
MN Zoo Volunteer

Weekend Activities

  • Large indoor sandbox – Tropics Plaza and Discovery Bay
  • Education, Conservation, and Recycling activity – Discovery Bay 11 am – 2 pm
  • Sea turtle story time – Bee Hive 10:00 am & 1:00 pm
  • Incredible Island Animals – Discovery Bay Stadium 10:30 am
  • Tropical Reef Dive Show – Tropics Trail 10:30 am
  • Hawaiian Monk Seal Demo – Discovery Bay Stadium at 12:00 & 2:00 pm
  • Free reusable Tropical Beach Party tote bags (While supplies last)
  • Live music on 2/22 and 3/7 – Top of the Tropics 11 am – 2 pm

Help Us Save Turtles

Visit Tropical Beach Party and learn how you can help save wildlife by reducing single-use plastics!

  • Select plush animals made from recycled plastic will be on sale throughout the event.
  • Help us be eco-friendly by bringing your own reusable beach toys.
  • Everyday household items, such as measuring cups, make great sand toys.
  • In an effort to reduce waste, we will be recycling broken sand toys and will reuse and donate toys left behind in good condition.

Sea turtle
Reduce Plastic

Reduce Single Use

Plastics are the most common form of litter in our lakes, rivers, and oceans.

  • It is estimated that in 30 years plastic debris will outweigh all fish in our oceans.
  • Over 1 million marine animals die every year from plastic debris in our world’s oceans.
  • You can help! Save wildlife by pledging (link to the plastic bag pledge) to “Reduce Single Use!”

Tropical Beach Party - FAQs

Do I have to purchase a ticket?
Your general admission, or Minnesota Zoo Membership if applicable, is all you need to participate.

Where are the sandboxes located?
There are two sandboxes; one is located in Tropics and the other is in Discovery Bay.

What are the hours that we can access the sandboxes?
Sandboxes are open daily; 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Do you have sensory-friendly events?
We are committed to making the Minnesota Zoo a fun and inviting place for everyone. For information on upcoming sensory-friendly events and activities, please contact [email protected]

What weekend activities are available specifically for Tropical Beach Party? -Large indoor sandbox – Tropics Plaza and Discovery Bay
-Family activity – Discovery Bay 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
-Sea turtle story time – Bee Hive 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
-Incredible Creatures – Discovery Bay Stadium 10:30 a.m.
-Tropical Reef Dive Show – Tropics Trail 10:30 a.m.
-Hawaiian Monk Seal Demo – Discovery Bay Stadium at 12:00 & 2:00 p.m.
-Sea turtle tote bags (While supplies last)

Can I bring food and beverages into the sandboxes?
No food or beverages are allowed in the sandboxes.

What can I wear in the sandboxes?
Wear what you would to the beach; children must be wearing clothing over the diapers when in sandbox.

What toys we can bring?
You can bring any appropriate beach toy to Tropical Beach Party.

Is there accessible parking?
Yes. If the spots are not available, drivers may drive up to the Zoo entrance and drop off passengers.

Is there an ATM?
Yes, there are ATMs inside the Zoo.

I am a Minnesota Zoo member. Do I receive any special offers?
Zoo Members are invited to Bring a Friend to Tropical Beach Party for half price discounts on daily admission. Special offer is valid in person during the event. Event runs from February 15-March 8, 2020.

Can I buy a Minnesota Zoo membership during the event?
Yes. You can apply your General Admission, plus parking, purchase towards a Minnesota Zoo membership. You can do this either in-person, at the Guest Services desk, or on the phone at 952.431.9478.

More to Explore.

Did you know the Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination with acres of indoor exhibits and interactive experiences for children and families? Meet hundreds of animals along our Tropics Trail and learn how our conservation efforts are supporting endangered species like the Red Panda. Or get up close and personal with sharks and rays inside the tide pool at Discovery Bay. Come in from the cold and warm up at the Zoo this winter!

Plan Your Visit >

Event Spotlight:

Farm Babies

March 27 - April 30

Come out and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring at the Wells Fargo Family Farm. Cuteness abounds with baby chicks, piglets, lambs, calves, goat kids, and bunnies.

Adult Night Out

Februaryl 20 and March 19

Explore a grown-up, kid-free version of the Minnesota Zoo after hours and enjoy cocktails and keeper talks during our April event. Food and beverage will be available for purchase.

Daily Activities:

10:00 am-10:30 am
10:30 am-3:30 pm