We took advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to explore “around town”. We started with a quick stop at Black Coffee and Waffle Bar on Como Ave. They serve specialty waffles, coffee and tea for a reasonable price. It has a very laid back atmosphere, you bus your own table & grab your own condiments. It seemed quite popular with the younger crowd, I was easily 15-20 years older than the oldest person there. But don’t let your age stop you from visiting Black Coffee and Waffle Bar, it really was a fun stop on our way to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
I was hopeful the crowds would be down due to the Minnesota State Fair being so close to the zoo and conservatory, boy was I wrong! Labor Day weekend was the last weekend for the Butterfly garden & the Sparky the Seal show, and it felt like everyone wanted to fit in one last day at the zoo! Despite some of their exhibits closing for the fall/winter, there is still plenty to see and do at Como Park, so don’t let that stop you from visiting. The Conservatory is always a treat with its array of beautiful flowers and plants. We especially enjoy the Conservatory when it is cold out, it feels like a tropical getaway! Como Town Amusement park has plenty of rides for the little ones, make sure to check Groupon for ride wristband discounts. There is also a mini-golf course, zip line and carousel! Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is a free zoo, although donations of $3/adult and $2/child is appreciated. They also offer free shuttle service which will alleviate the headache of trying to park at the zoo. Como Regional Park holds a special place in my heart. It is the first zoo I remember visiting and then in later years while we were living in Minneapolis, we would escape to the park to feel as if we had left the city! Besides the zoo & conservatory, Como Regional Park has an 18 hole golf course, a park pool, athletic fields, a lake with watercraft rentals, a fishing pier, plenty of walking trails, a playground, and fitness & music in the park. I feel Como Regional Park is often over looked, but really is a gem in the heart of the city! If you are looking for something to do with your little trick-o-treater, look into Zoo Boo for something fun to do!
One place that is not often overlooked is Valleyfair. I brought my kids to Valleyfair for the very first time on Labor Day weekend several years ago and it was as if we had the place to ourselves. Unfortunately, that was not the case this past weekend. I don’t know if it was the recent cold snap, but everywhere we went was met with tons of people enjoying the last official weekend of summer! I can’t predict what the crowds will be like at Valleyfair on future weekends, but I do know they pick up significantly during Valleyscare. Currently, Groupon is offering discounted Valleyfair tickets that are good up until October 8th. With next weekend looking nice, you might want to take advantage of this deal if you haven’t been to Valleyfair yet this year!