Parks & Zoos

Minneapolis is home to many excellent bike paths and walking/hiking paths, recreational lakes for swimming, boating, canoeing, or fishing, and more. And it doesn’t have to be warm out to enjoy our parks—there are options for outdoor ice-skating and winter hikes. Enjoy Minnesota’s wildlife at nature centers or view exotic animals at one of the city zoos.

Things to Do

Minnesota Zoo logo.

Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo provides a wide array of animal exhibits and activities that can be enjoyed in any weather. Located just south of the Mall of America

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory logo.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

We at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory hold everything we do against the expectations laid forth in our mission statement. Every animal exhibit, plant exhibit, education class and youth camp is driven by this statement and our commitment to the community in which we live.

Park path and lake.

Battle Creek Regional Park

Battle Creek Regional Park is accessible from several parking lots and trails. Park is open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Lighthouse.

Boom Island Park

Amenities include: Biking path, boat dock, grill area, picnic area, playground, walking path

Bde Maka Ska lake.

Bde Maka Ska Park

Amenities include archery, beach, biking path, boat dock, fishing pier, picnic area, soccer field, softball field, volleyball court, walking path, and a well.

Lake Harriet Park.

Lake Harriet Park

Amenities Include: Bandstand, beach, biking path, boat dock, fountains, fishing pier, garden, picnic area, playground, and walking path.

Lake dock.

Lake Minnetonka Regional Park

Scenic lake-shore area with a swimming pond, fishing pier & playground, plus hiking & biking trails.

Lake Nokomis beach.

Lake Nokomis Park

Popular park providing sailing, paddlesport rentals, concessions, a community center & playground.

Person running past a lake.

Lake of the Isles Park

Path-lined park offers areas for ice skating, canoeing & picnicking, plus an off-leash dog park.

Minneapolis skyline reflected in a lake.

Loring Park

Amenities include: Bandstand, basketball, bike path, fountians, fishing, garden, picnic area, playground, public art, tennis, wading pool, walking path.

Minnehaha falls.

Minnehaha Regional Park

Amenities include: Bandstand, bike path, fountains, disc golf, garden, picnic area, playground, public art, volleyball court, wading pool, walking path

Park bench near Mississippi River.

Mississippi Gorge Regional Park

Amenities include: Prairie area scattered with oak trees & offering biking & hiking trails, picnic shelters & fishing.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum logo.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

More than 1,200 acres of gardens and tree collections, prairie and woods and miles of trails. The Arboretum was borne out of the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and established in 1958, with the Men’s Garden Club of Minneapolis, Minnesota State Horticultural Society and other community supporters.

Flowers and trail path.

Northland Arboretum

A non-profit organization dedicated to getting the community involved in and aware of nature. Have a peaceful walk on our nature trails, or take your mountain bike for a ride. Winter time? We’ve got that covered too! You can cross country ski on our spectacular groomed snow covered trails.

Egret in the woods.

Westwood Hills Nature Center

Westwood Hills Nature Center is a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie. The preserve is beautiful throughout the seasons and provides homes for many animals including deer, fox, mink and owls.