Minnesota Zoological Gardens



Run by

The State of Minnesota

Date Established

Date Established


1/2 acre under glass


Entrance fee

Peak Season


Peak season (notes)

Year-round (The Tropics Trail is especially nice in winter.)



Garden Type

Glass House and Conservatory


  • Food available on premises 
  • Picnicking 
  • Accessible 
  • XC Skiing 
  • Hiking 
  • Bird watching – indoors and out 
  • Zoo – 500 acres to explore


The section of the Minnesota Zoo called the Tropics Trail houses not only southeast Asian animals from tropical regions of the world, but many plants from these areas as well. This glassed-in portion of the zoo contains full-sized trees and sprawling vines which contribute to a leafy canopy of vegetation. Many plants along the trail are familiar to visitors: ficus benjamina, pothos, sheffleras and philodendrons. In Minnesota these are common house plants. However, at the Tropics Trail at the Minnesota Zoo they are growing in the ground rather than in pots and grow to their full-sized potential. More exotic plants such as bananas, bamboo, screw pines, bird’s nest and staghorn ferns also grow along these paths. Sprinkled in amongst the greenery are orchids. The Minnesota Zoo is, in fact, the designated rescue center for all orchids confiscated by custom’s agents and has received over 60 orchids due to this designation. There is some plant signage scattered within the tropics area

Garden photos
path through the tropics room
water feature in the tropics room
water feature in the tropics room
close up of leaves in the tropics room