2019 At a Glance*
Fast Facts
  • Opened to the public in May 1978
  • Located on 485 acres in Apple Valley, Minnesota
  • Home to more than 4,990 animals and 533 species in award-winning exhibits
  • Annual attendance of nearly 1.3 million
  • Approximately 45,700 Zoo Households
  • 28 million operating budget with more than 60% of revenue from earned and contributed income
  • $227.7 million Gross economic output
  • 200,000 Zoo members and donors
  • Over 1,285 volunteers contributing more than 114,800 hours annually more than 3 million hours of donated time
Conservation
  • The Minnesota Zoo has collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to successfully return cattle gene-free bison to Minnesota state parks.
  • In partnership with many agencies and groups, the Minnesota Zoo’s Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program is saving endangered butterflies from extinction by pioneering the world’s first rearing and breeding programs for Poweshiek skipperling
    and Dakota skipper butterflies.
  • The Zoo partners with the DNR to restore native mussel populations to Minnesota rivers and streams by developing effective mussel rearing techniques and rearing and releasing thousands of mussels into Minnesota waters.
  • In partnership with MNDOT and the DNR, the Zoo saves endangered turtles by researching ways to reduce road mortality and nest predation to ensure the stability and health of turtle populations across the state.
  • Coordinate tiger and Asian wild horse conservation breeding programs and campaigns to protect these endangered species in the wild.
  • Supported more than 120 conservation projects in 47 countries through the Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant Program
  • Incorporate green practices throughout the Zoo, from large-scale recycling and composting initiatives to environmentally sustainable buildings
Education
  • The state’s largest environmental learning center, with more than 400,000 participants in educational programming last year; including, 92,000 school program participants
  • Free admission for field trips, including transportation and lunch for more than 10,000 students
  • 6,629 students attending summer Zoo Camp
  • More than 244,000 participants in zoo interpretive programs such as Close Encounters and Wings Financial World of Bird Show
  • Presented live animal programs to more than 52,000 people in 42 Minnesota counties
  • Over 9,700 students participating in STEM programs through ZOOMS Design Challenge
Free and Reduced Admissions
  • 90,000 free admissions provided to residents from more than 80 counties via the Free to Explore program, which makes the Minnesota Zoo free to those who need it to be free
  • Total % of admissions that are free or reduced: 29%

*July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

GUEST INFORMATION
Location
Highway 77 South (Cedar) and 38 (McAndrews) in Apple Valley, Minnesota
Located only minutes south of the Mall of America

Hours
The Minnesota Zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving & December 25.
Memorial Weekend–Labor Day 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily
September 9 a.m.–4 p.m. weekdays (to 6 p.m. weekends)
October–April 30 9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily
May 9 a.m.–4 p.m. weekdays (to 6 p.m. weekends)

Services
Stroller and wheelchair rental, birthday parties, baby changing and nursing areas, locker rentals, bus service, lost and found, food service, First Aid, ATM, and Zoo maps

Contact
Zoo Information Line 952.431.9500 or 800.366.7811