You’re invited to explore the natural wonder of the Minnesota Zoo! We welcome every guest to learn about the world of wildlife. The Minnesota Zoo offers the Free to Explore program to help ensure that financial circumstances are not a barrier to your visit. Follow the two-step process and come make family memories on the trails of the Minnesota Zoo!
Step 1) Read below to verify if you qualify.
To qualify for Free to Explore, an individual must be currently enrolled in one of the programs listed below and show the approved documentation, photo ID, and proof of Minnesota residency. Please show your documentation when your tickets are scanned at the Zoo entry doors.
Family members are welcome to join them on their visit if the adults can provide photo ID that shows they live at the same address or their own qualifying document. Anyone unable to provide that required documentation will be asked to pay admission at the gate.
Free to Explore does not cover Zoo parking ($8) or fees for any special programs, events, or exhibits. EBT cards are not accepted as payment for parking, fees, at the Minnesota Zoo.
Please see the FAQ section below to answer additional questions or call 952-431-9200
|TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)||MN EBT Card|
|MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program)||MN EBT Card|
|SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)||MN EBT Card|
|MFAP (Minnesota Food Assistance Program)||MN EBT Card|
|General Assistance (GA)||MN EBT Card|
|MSA (Minnesota Supplemental Aid)||MN EBT Card|
|MN Medical Assistance (MA) or MinnesotaCare||MHCP or MA on Card|
|MN WIC (Women, Infants & Children Program)||MN WIC Card|
|MN HeadStart||MN HeadStart Acceptance Letter|
|FDPIR (Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations)||Notice of Decision|
|Housing Support (formerly known as Group Residential Housing)||Acceptance Letter|
|Resident Disabled Veterans||VHIC or Summary of Benefits Letter|
Step 2) Click “Get your Tickets below to log in or set up an account for tickets.
Free to Explore admission cannot be used with other discounts, special offers, or group programs and is valid only during regular daytime Zoo hours. This program and its benefits are not transferable, redeemable for cash, or exchangeable for any other product or service. The Minnesota Zoo does not share data about individuals or organizations that is deemed private by the Data Practices Act. The Minnesota Zoo may change, modify, or suspend the Free to Explore program without notice.
Yes. You must show that you are a Minnesota resident, and the approved documentation belongs to you. If your photo ID does not include an address or has a non-Minnesota address, bring a current bill which shows your name and Minnesota address. If you are unable to provide the required documentation, you will not be allowed free entry. All adults must prove they live at the same address as the benefit recipient.
No. You must present photo ID showing that the documentation belongs to you and that all adults live at the same address.
For our purposes, dependent children are under the age of 18 and live in your household. Anyone over the age of 18 who is receiving benefits should show their own documentation and ID.
If a child has a Medical Assistance card, can the parent or other children on the card visit for free?
I qualify for Free to Explore and need supervised visitation with my children. Can the child visitation supervisor receive free Zoo admission too?
If the supervisor can provide identification that shows they are working, they will also be allowed free admission.
The Free to Explore program is not designed for use by daycare or school groups. To qualify for free admission, children must be accompanied to the Zoo by their parent/guardian.
We understand there are various public assistance programs not listed. These programs were selected in collaboration with state organizations to provide the best possible access base on use case.
No, state insurance providers do not qualify for free to explore. Qualifying insurance must have MA or MHCP to show additional public assistance insurance.