Nick and I spent a day at the zoo this weekend. It had been at least 10 years since I’d been there and it’s always interesting to compare an experience in the present to what you remember from long ago. The zoo just opened a 1.5 million dollar exhibit called Russia’s Grizzly Coast earlier this summer. I thought it was time for me to evaluate it. I must begin with this caveat- I’m not a huge animal lover- so my comments are coming through that lens. That being said, I did enjoy the variety of animals in the new exhibit. There were some truly bizarre things that I had never seen before. The most impressive part of the exhibit for me were the grizzly bears- they were captivating to watch. The zoo did a great job constructing the animal habitats and making creative places for kids to explore along the way.
Here’s my overall take on the zoo: As a person without children, I probably only need to come to the MN zoo about every 5 years to see the latest update. I find that Como Park Zoo, with it’s free admittance, satisfies my urge to go to the zoo, without the $11 cost. Perhaps I’m just being cheap, but the MN zoo only feels like a good upgrade every so often.
Something I WOULD rave about is seeing a feature-length film at the zoo’s IMAX theater. We saw the latest Batman flick and boy was it spectacular! The cost is around $15 a person, but I felt like that was more than offset by the coolness factor of seeing the film on an 8-story high screen. The theater is designed to encompass all of your peripheral vision, so that you feel completely immersed in the movie. It worked! I was totally engrossed in the action. I have to say that I think certain movies would be more impactful in IMAX than others- so choose carefully if you’re going to upgrade to IMAX! One more thing, this IMAX was a little different than the Science Museum’s. That one is rounded, which in my experience leads to a bit more of the motion sickness. This was just a giant flat screen, which worked well for the movie. I’ve seen quite a few IMAX movies and this had a different feel than the ones I’ve seen at the Science Museum- often when I’m in that one, 45 minutes feels like plenty, but with Batman the 2 1/2 hours evaporated in an instant. Last tip- arrive early, as the best seats in the house are towards the top and middle and people start lining up 45 minutes to a half hour before!