ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting North America»
  • United States

St Paul Como Park, the Best Free Park in America

Updated on February 13, 2018

Como Park

There is a beautiful park built in 1873. The park is located on the west side of St Paul, Como Park, almost on the border of Minneapolis that is one of the best places to visit and spend a day with your family or even by yourself.

Como park includes a great conservatory, a very good zoo, Como town kids rides, a Japanese garden, a golf course, several picnic areas, a beautiful lake, meeting rooms and party rooms for weddings and birthday parties, and it's all free except the golf, party rooms and the rides.

They have a donation box when you go into the Como park conservatory and zoo area, but if you don't have the money, you don't have to pay. When they changed it to donation instead of charging, their revenue more that doubled.

Cost to use

Years ago they charged $2 to get into the conservatory and the zoo. They changed the charge and went to free. It was an amazing decision. They put in a big steel and glass box where you could donate instead of paying. When they did this the money they were taking in increased over three times as when they were charging.

Many people, myself included have no problem tossing in a $5 bill to get in and enjoy the zoo and conservatory.

The picnic areas are all free to use. The tennis courts are free. The lake is free to fish in and there a couple miles of walking trails throughout the area.


Como lake
Como lake
Conservatory
Conservatory
Conservatory
Conservatory

The Como Park Conservatory

This is without a doubt one of my favorite places. I love to take pictures and have taken over 400,000 picture over the past 20 years. Many of them have been at this park. The conservatory changes its flowers in the sunken garden room four times per year. All the pictures in this article are pictures I have taken over the years.

There are seven rooms in the conservatory and an outside Japanese garden open in the summer. The other rooms in the building are the palm room, the fern room, the sunken garden, the bonsai room, the orchid room, the north garden room, and the enchanted garden room.

The palm room is the main central room of the building. It is tropical and contains the bronze statue of the lady with her right arm pointing up, in the middle of the dome. She is in the middle of huge palms and other tropical plants and flowers.

The fern room is a nice place to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet. There is a small waterfall and flagstone with areas of ferns. It is a great place to relax.

The sunken garden is the most popular place in the building. Like I said they change the flower show 4 times per year. The have a couple of green houses in the back of the building where they raise the plants for the shows. Be there when they open the doors if you want to have any chance of getting pictures with no people in the way. I have photos here of several flower shows to see. This is one of the most sought after places in the state to have wedding photos taken.

The Bonsai room contains 20 -- 25 bonsai plants they take care of at the park. Some of them are over 50 years old.

The orchid room is orchids and other plants and trees. They maintain an assortment of many types of orchids. My wife is a huge fan of orchids and there are many in the building she has seen nowhere else.

The North garden is a room with a koi pond, banana trees and many other tropical plants. The statue of the monk in the pictures is in the North garden.

The Enchanted garden is a garden area with a waterfall and benches to sit on and enjoy the spot. There are ferns and other plants in the garden.

Sunken gardens
Sunken gardens
sunken gardens
sunken gardens
sunken gardens
sunken gardens
sunken gardens
sunken gardens
sunken gardens
sunken gardens

Statues and Sculptures

Inside the conservatory and around Como park, there are many unique sculptures and statues that add to the enjoyment of the park.

stone sculpture
stone sculpture
Bronze gorilla
Bronze gorilla
bronze foundain
bronze foundain
bronze statue
bronze statue
stone statue
stone statue
mermaid fountain
mermaid fountain
monk statue
monk statue

The Como Park Zoo

In the zoo there are several animal exhibits.

There is an Amazon rainforest walk that takes you through an area with real birds flying around. There are several areas where you can see into the water feature and see the different fish from the Amazon. There are sloths and other animals living in the open areas.

Outside, of that area there is a water wheel as part of a creek and a pond where there are many types of birds. Flamingos and many types of ducks and geese. There is also a large bronze tortoise that kids love to sit on in the area by this pond. When I was a kid many years ago, they had 2 giant tortoises that were alive and you could ride on them.

There is also an aquarium area with minnesota fish, penguins and seals. They have a seal show with trained seals you can enjoy in the summer. The seal show has been going since I was a kid. Next to the aquarium building is a polar bear exhibit where they have a pair of polar bears, fun to watch. The have a large area to roam and a big pool to swim in.

There is a gorilla house that has an inside and outside viewing areas. The zoo is open year round so many places have indoor and outdoor view areas. The next area is an outdoor circular pool with an island in the middle where there are seals and sea lions.

There is giraffe and zebras building that also have an indoor and outdoor viewing.

There is another building with tigers on one side and lions on the other. There are indoor and outdoor viewing for them. There are also snow leopards and lynx in this building.

There is a fenced area on the end where they have two timber wolves. On a good day they are close enough to see. The wolf picture I have in the article are about 60 yards away. With a long lens and a steady hand I have gotten great shots.


timber wolf
timber wolf
timber wolf
timber wolf
cute monkey
cute monkey
snow leopard
snow leopard
Wolves
Wolves
Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger
Lowland Gorilla
Lowland Gorilla
Polar Bear
Polar Bear
Zebra
Zebra
Orangutan
Orangutan
Tiger
Tiger
Gorilla
Gorilla
Giraffe
Giraffe
Polar Bear
Polar Bear

Other things to do

  • There are paddle boats you can rent on the lake in the summer.

  • You can rent rooms for birthday parties and wedding parties.

  • The conservatory is one of the top places in all the Twin Cities to take wedding pictures.

  • The Golf course is about 6,000 yard par 70. Not a long course but well kept and fun to play.

  • The mini golf course has been updated several times and is alway crowded in the summer.

  • There are soccer field and softball fields in the park.

  • The pool is a complex of pools. There is a lap pool. A diving pool. A splash pool for the kids and a lazy river tubing area for those boiling days.

  • There is an old restored carousel that is always crowded in the summer.

  • Como town amusement park for the kids has over 18 rides and attractions that kids car have fun on before or after visiting the zoo.

If you have time to get to the Twin Cities, come and check out the best free park in the country. Check out the website and learn more about the park.

Carousel horses
Carousel horses
carousel horses
carousel horses

Have you ever been there?

If you have been there, was it a great place to visit?

See results
golf course
golf course
Como Lake
Como Lake
Golf Course
Golf Course
Golf Course
Golf Course

Japanese Garden

The Japanese garden in on the north end of the conservatory and is only open in the summer months but it is very well done and worth seeing.  It was designed by a Japanese designer from Nagasaki Japan, which is the sister city of St Paul.

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • CJamesIII profile image

      CJamesIII 7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Great hub for all the travelers who have never been there. Great photos!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)