Minnesota, Discovering, Twin Cities Area

6 Reasons to Visit Como Park Conservatory

We wanted to check out The Holiday Flower Show at Como Park Conservatory. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is a Minnesota treasure and we found out that we knew little about it. We’d both visited during family or school trips as kids but that was many moons ago. We had a great time rediscovering but found there is more to Como Park Conservatory than the Holiday Flower Show.

6 reasons to visit Como Park Conservatory!

We mentioned the Holiday Flower Show so here is one photo to entice you to read to the bottom of this post for more photos! But first, here are 6 reasons to plan a trip to Como Park Conservatory.


1 – Admission is free

After walking through Como Park Conservatory, it’s hard to believe they don’t charge admission. While they do welcome a $3 donation per adult and $2 per child, it’s completely at-will. The donations help go toward the care and maintenance of the plants and animals.

A person could easily spend 3 leisure hours meandering through and looking at all the plants in all of the garden rooms.  An amazing return on a $3 investment.

Here are some exterior photos of the Conservatory.

exterior of como park conservatory como park conservatory

2 –  Flower & Plant Education

No matter which garden room you’re in (there are 14, total)  you will find names for all of the plants and flowers posted near the plant.

Pro Tip- if you want to recall the name of a plant to research when you get home, snap a photo of the plant and nameplate!

Below is a gorgeous Japanese Boxwood, just one of the stunning displays in the Bonsai Collection.

japanese boxwood

It was great to read about all the spices that were growing and learn about its history. To the left of the tamarind, the sign is another example of a nameplate for that particular plant. We especially loved learning about the Tamarind, as we have a slight  obsession with Pad Thai.

tamarind historical facts

Again, everywhere you look there is something growing and a sign telling you what it is.


3 –  Sculpture & Art Displays

Here are just three of the 10 donated sculptures that we encountered during our visit.

This bronze “Play Days” sculpture can be found in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory Sunken Garden

5 reasons to warm up at the Como Park Conservatory holiday flower show

“Crest of the Wave” is located in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory Palm Dome.

Crest of Wave Sculpture

“Saint Francis” resides in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory North Garden.

St. Francis Statue

 4- Japanese Garden

A visit to Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, IL piqued our interest in seeking out more Japanese Gardens.  Honestly, we were surprised to know there was a Japanese Garden at Como Park Conservatory. We will definitely be back during summer to take this in. Leading up to the Garden entrance are gorgeous Bonsai Tree’s. Como Park Conservatory also offers Bonsai classes that you can register for.

There are a number of Japanese Garden events throughout the year.  These events include an annual Obon Festival and Tea Ceremonies. We’re told the Tea Ceremonies sell out quick. A tea ceremony is definitely an event we plan to attend.


Bonsai Tree Bonsai

5- Water features everywhere

If you’re like us and love the sound of a stream or waterfall you’re going to love it here. The water features vary from small waterfalls, streams, water fountains and even turtle ponds.


Water feature & Koi Pond

6 – There’s always something going on

How about a tea event in the sunken garden? There’s a giant gift shop, a restaurant, food carts, a carousel, 14 different gardens, flower shows, an outdoor Japanese Garden, a zoo, meet the gardeners, learn about polar bears? Seriously, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory has it all. We’re going to keep the events calendar top of mind because we know we want to go back and explore more of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is great for kids and adults alike. Here is an experience Kelly had feeding a Giraffe on a previous visit.

There’s always a different flower show. Here’s the schedule.

We promised more photos of the Holiday Display of Poinsettias. Thanks for reading down this far to view them.

Como Park Conservatory Holiday Display

For us, this was the main attraction. The Flower Show is an annual tradition that began in 1925.  This year the Holiday Show featured mostly pink Poinsettias with traces of white throughout the garden. They were magnificent!

Here’s a photo of one of the outside gardens and water lily pond during summer. Rain, snow or shine, Como Park is stunning!

outside garden & lily pond

We’d love to hear about your favorite feature at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.

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Como Park Conservatory

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Open every day of the year. Including Thanksgiving!

Summer hours (April – September) 10 am – 6 pm
Winter hours (October – March) 10 am – 4 pm

Getting To Como Park Zoo & Conservatory


  1. confettiandbliss

    January 9, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Wow! What a stunning conservatory. It’s hard to believe that admission is free. If I lived in Minnesota and near Como Park, I’d take relaxing walks through all of that beauty to help me relax and unwind. What a treasure you have in your state.

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      January 21, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      It’s a true treasure! We think you would really enjoy and it would totally help you relax and unwind. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  2. moondreams

    January 9, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    We love the Como Zoo! We go almost every year, I think the only year we missed was last year because we had a baby and didn’t think she would get much out of it, so it wasn’t worth the hassle, haha! Hopefully we’ll make a trip this year!

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      January 21, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      Makes sense to miss a visit because of the baby! We enjoyed it so much, we’re headed back in a few days to see the new flower display for the impending spring.

  3. jen

    January 2, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Love this place! Haven’t been there in a while, need to go check it out again! Thanks!

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      January 5, 2018 at 11:31 am

      We love that they’re always changing things up- makes it the perfect attraction to put on repeat!

  4. Melissa Schwartz

    December 31, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Beautiful! Conservatories are perfect for winter. We are heading to one tomorrow to start the New Year!

    1. Kelly & Dusty Ratcliff

      January 2, 2018 at 10:56 am

      You’re so right, it’s a great winter activity. Which Conservatory did you visit?

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