Come in and discover “Where Amazing Lives. Every Day.” All it takes is a curiosity and willingness to explore. We are committed to serving ALL Minnesotans and ensuring that economic circumstances are not obstacles to experiencing everything that the Minnesota Zoo has to offer.

How does it work?
Free to Explore tickets must be reserved ahead of time and are first come, first served. Reservations for Free to Explore can only be made by clicking here to fill out a reservation form  one week in advance of your planned visit. Parking is required for your visit and be can purchased online parking tickets here. Please be prepared to show your approved documentation and Minnesota photo identification upon arrival for your visit. If you need assistance completing a form, please call 952.431.9200.

Do you qualify for FREE Minnesota Zoo admission?
Free to Explore provides free admission during regular Zoo hours for a qualifying guest and their dependents. Parking and fees for any special programs, events, or exhibits are not included. EBT cards are not accepted as payment for parking or fees at the Minnesota Zoo.

To qualify for Free to Explore, you must be enrolled in one of the programs listed below. Simply show the approved documentation along with photo identification and proof of Minnesota residency.  All adults will need to show proof that they live at the same address as the benefit recipient by showing a photo ID with the same address. Anyone unable to provide required documentation will not be allowed free entry

Program Approved Documentation
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 MN EBT Card
MN Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare MN MHCP Card
MN WIC (Women, Infants & Children Program) MN eWIC Card(1/1/20-WIC Folders no longer accepted)
MN HeadStart MN HeadStart Acceptance Letter


Free to Explore admission cannot be used with other discounts, special offers, or group programs and is valid only during regular Zoo hours. Proof of Minnesota residency and current enrollment in a qualifying program are required. Without verification the Minnesota Zoo reserves the right to decline free admission. Free to Explore is valid only for qualified individuals and their immediate family who live at the same address and while visiting the zoo with the qualified individual. This program and its benefits are not transferable, redeemable for cash, or exchangeable for any other products or service. The Minnesota Zoo may change, modify, or eliminate the Free to Explore program without notice.

How does it work?
Do I have to show a photo identification?
Can other people use my approved documentation?
What is the age of dependent children?
If my child has a Medical Assistance card, can the parent or other children on the card visit for free?
I am on WIC and need supervised visitation with my children. Can the officer/supervisor get into the Zoo for free?
How can I bring the children of my daycare or class that are on assistance?