You can visit wolves,porcupines, bobcats, raccoons, gray foxes, black bears, and raptors, such as a red-tailed hawk,New Guinea Highlands wild dogs and an assortment of owls. They are located about 20 miles north of the Twin Cities near Forest Lake. Check their website for ongoing events.
Bunker Lake Park is an amazing area to explore. My family and I have lived just 10-15 minutes away for the past 5 years, yet we just discovered the fun to be had there. There is Bunker Beach which is a water park that has a wonderful kiddie play pool, the largest wave pool in MN, and a handful of slides for the older crowd. They also have a sand play area for the little ones--keeps my 3 year old busy for at least an hour.
There are a couple of playground areas, a Veteran's Memorial, several picnic pavillions, hiking/biking trails, horse trail rides, camping, golfing, etc. There is so much to see and do there.
There is a $5.00 entrance fee (or you can pay $25 for a year's pass to all of the Anoka County Parks) for the park itself. Bunker Beach charges additional fees--they offer a hefty discount after 4 pm closing at 7 pm. I don't know what the fee is to camp there.
To get there, take 35 W North to Hwy 10. Go West on Hwy 10, exit on Main St (Cty Hwy 242). Go right on Main St.. It's just a mile or so past Hanson Blvd on your left. If you reach Hwy 65 (Central Ave), then you've gone too far.
Lake George is a wonderful recreational area North of the Twin Cities in Anoka County. They have a beautiful sandy beach with plenty of little fish for the kids to chase around. They have two separate swimming areas roped off, a general swimming area and one specifically for babies and toddlers. Rembmer to bring sand toys for the kids! They have several picnic paviliions w/grills and a nice playground for the kids. There are quite a few biking/hiking trails in the area. This is a perfect place for a day out--and it's away from the crowds that tend to congregate around the Harriet and Minnetonka lakes.
To get there, take 35W North to Hwy 10--go West. Take Round Lake Blvd North. It's about a 15 minute drive from here. There is a $5 parking fee--or you can opt for a $25 Anoka County Parks sticker which will give you free entry to all parks in Anoka county--good for 1 year.
Near the Walker Art Center, the sculpture garden is known best for "Spoonbridge and Cherry", but there are plenty of other sculptures to ebjoy. On the left is one by Louise Nevelson. On the right one by Mark di Suervo -- obviously being put to good use as a place to read on a sunny day.
This conservatory is part of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden that was built on land acquired by the city between 1903 and 1935. The area took its current form in 1988. The conservatory contains displays of seasonal flowers, greenery arches and Frank Gehry's Standing Glass Fish, which is installed in the Palm Room. The conservatory is a populat place for weddings and other events.
From the St. Croix River on the East to Lake Minnetonka on the West the metropolitan twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and their close suburbs, encompass the largest national wildlife reservation near a major city in America.
Near the Walker Art Center is the Sculpture Garden. It features large and unique sculptures in a garden setting. It is the best sculpture garden of the maybe ten I've seen. It wonderfully relaxing and often quite calm. It is beautiful in the winter if you can bear the cold.
Como Park is often missed in the travel books but there are several things here that are worth seeing and can give you a nice relaxing afternoon.
Como Park has a little bit of everything. I normally would head towards the zoo, a free attraction with a daily seal show. You can probably get thru it within an hour but its especially fun for kids and just the right price.
As you are exiting the zoo you will probably spy the small amusement park that is set up outside, classic fair rides mostly geared towards kids. The best attraction here though is an old fashioned carosaul. Definately give this a ride!
Next head over to the Arboretum, open both in summer and winter, half of the year it is a one of the only escapes in town from the snow-packed world outside. They ask for a small donation for entrance. In the summertime the land behind the Arboretum are transformed into a gorgeous Japanese Garden, complete with a pond and fish. One of the most relaxing areas in town.
Como Park and Zoo. This free zoo has Giraffes, Monkeys, Apes and Big Cats. The park has walking and biking trails and a beautiful lake. There is a waterfall in the summer. The park is on Como Avenue, just east of Snelling Avenue
Visit Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. This park is a popular place for people to picnic, go for walks and to see Minnehaha Falls. It is a popular place for weddings in the warmer months, so if you are down there on a Saturday afternoon, you may see a new bride and groom. One of the other popular sites in the park besides the falls is this statue inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 'Song of Hiawatha'.