About this Vendor

Say "I Do" at the Minnesota Zoo!

The Minnesota Zoo's lush grounds and serene settings form an exotic backdrop for your special day. Weddings and events at the Zoo are offered each evening after the Zoo has closed to the public. We feature unique locations featuring exotic Zoo animals from the Tropics and Discovery Bay to create lasting memories. Indoor Tropics and outdoor Lakeside Terrace ceremonies can also be added to simplify your day!

Amenities + Details

  • Handicap Accessible

  • Liability Insurance

  • Indoor

  • Outdoor - Not Covered

  • Reception Area

  • Wireless Internet

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$ – Affordable

Ceremony Types

Civil Union, Commitment Ceremony, Interfaith Ceremony, Non-Religious Ceremony, Religious Ceremony, Same Sex Ceremony, Second Wedding , Vow Renewal Ceremony

Venue Capacity



Ballroom, Farm + Ranch, Barn, Garden, Park, Restaurant

Wedding Categories

Bar + Drinks, Cakes + Desserts, Food + Catering, Planning, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff


Contact Info

13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley, MN (952) 431-9298

Reviewed on 11/11/2017 Sarah U

The Minnesota Zoo was the perfect spot for our wedding! When looking for options for our ceremony and reception, we viewed a dozen places, but nothing could compare to the experience the zoo would provide for us and our guests. We rented the Lakeside Terrace for the ceremony,... Read More Tropics Trail for our back up ceremony site and receiving line, and then Discovery Bay for the reception. It ended up raining on our wedding day, but that was no problem for the zoo, we had the back up in place and everything went off perfectly. Having our receiving line through Tropics Trail was wonderful! The animals had just eaten, and so were really active for all of our guests to get their own, personal chance to discover the exciting animals around each turn! Having the reception in Discovery Bay was great, as our guests were able to see all of the ocean life and take awesome pictures with the sharks! We worked with Peter to coordinate everything related to the zoo, and he was awesome and really helped us as we brought ideas forward. We were so happy with the whole zoo experience and our decision, it was a great day!

2017-11-14T14:13:52 Response from the vendor

Wow, thank you for your wonderful review! It was a pleasure working with you and so happy you and your guests enjoyed the Minnesota Zoo and our hospitality.

Reviewed on 2/09/2017 Tayler S

The zoo was such an amazing place to have our wedding! We chose to have our ceremony in the Tropics Trail and the reception in Discovery Bay. Peter and Lindsay were so helpful and easy to work with. All of our guest thought it was so much fun. We had around 65 people with a wide... Read More range of ages and all of them loved it. I could not have asked for a better venue. We are so happy!

2017-02-10T16:32:05 Response from the vendor

Thanks for the 5 stars! Peter and Lindsay both enjoyed working with you to help make your day special. We are so glad that everyone of all ages enjoyed their time at the Zoo. Thank you for letting us be a part of your big... Read Less Read More

Discovery Bay

Reviewed on 9/26/2015 Jill M

Our reception was amazing. The only thing we had to provide was centerpieces for the tables. The colors and lights from the tanks looked so beautiful. It was better than I could have dreamed. So many people came up to us and told them it as the best wedding they'd ever been... Read More to.

Reviewed on 10/25/2017 Anne O

We got married in June '17 at the Lakeside Terrance with the reception in Discovery Bay. The settings are absolutely gorgeous, which is why we picked the zoo in the first place. With such a gorgeous backdrop, we didn't have to decorate much at all, just some simple centerpieces.... Read More We got a ton of compliments on the venue...people telling us it was such a memorable location/wedding. Peter (sales rep) and Lindsay (catering and event manager) were amazing to work with. They worked hard to make our day absolutely magical. After a few issues with some discrepancies due to a change in management, Lindsay went out of her way to ensure we were completely satisfied with our experience.

2017-10-31T09:10:32 Response from the vendor

Wow, thank you for your wonderful review! We love working with couples who appreciate the unique and memorable spaces offered at the Minnesota Zoo.

Lakeside Terrace

Reviewed on 9/26/2015 Jill M

We used Lakeside Terrace for our ceremony. I absolutely loved it. The natural ambiance required no extra decoration. It was so beautiful. My only downside was my cathedral veil getting caught on the sidewalk during my processional. So my advice is to go for a shorter veil if you... Read More book this spot.

Reviewed on 7/13/2015 Ashley R

Great amount of options for pictures. Beautiful ceremony at Lakeside Terrace! They are professional and responsive and come off very flexible. Be careful though I was super easy going and welcome to suggestion. Each time small changes were made but by the end they made so many... Read More changes and while I was running around taking pictures on the day they were making more small changes. The reception was beautiful too as well as the staff but the room is pretty warm. They say its controlled air but by the end it was quite warm. We had about 125 and any more would have made that room hot. GREAT location for a wedding just stand firm on what you want and hold them accountable. Combine the Lakeside Terrace with the Call of the Wild to cut down on cost. AMAZING Cupcakes! OKAY food, we had wraps and pretzels. We tried the snack attack it looks cheap They offer golf carts for elderly and then say they don't have anyone to drive them but they have a back entrance to bring the elderly but you have to pass the golf carts.

Good place for a reception!

Reviewed on 8/06/2013 Daria S

Overall our experience was good with the MN Zoo! Jessica was the representative we worked with at the zoo and she was wonderful. The zoo itself is very willing to help with decorations and setting up your room so you can enjoy yourselves (since there is a time crunch between the... Read More zoo closing and the start of the reception). We had our wedding planner set the decorations and Jessica had staff there to help out. They really want to make your day special. We had our wedding in June, The zoo closed at 6 and our guests could start coming in at 6:30. We began with a cocktail hour in the Tropics Trail (while they were prepping the dining room) The cocktail hour was 6:30 to around 7:45. We had our receiving line right in front of the reef which provided a great backdrop for pictures! Dinner began at 8:00, it was in "Call of the Wild" which is their cafeteria. They close off the café fronts and it looks just like a ballroom, especially with the head table in front of the giant picture windows. We had around 250 guests, we were originally told we could have up to 280. I would NOT recommend over 250, as the space was quite crowded and our guests were kind of packed in. Our main frustration with the Zoo was that the AC didn't work. We came in earlier the week and my husband mentioned that it felt warm in the zoo, we were told it was because so many patrons were coming in and out but for our wedding it would be fine, it was not fine. The room was incredibly warm. My mother in law asked the facility manager if there was anything he could do and we remarked that he didn't bring any tools to fix it. They finally opened the doors and it cooled down. The dance floor is tucked around the corner, not in front of or any where near the head table, that was frustrating as our DJ was unaware and wasn't able to set up his microphone receiver for us to easily make speeches from the head table. Since dinner starts so late we didn't get to actually dance until 10pm, if you skipped the cocktail hour you would definitely have more time, but the guests loved the cocktail hour! We did have a few issues with the caterer. The Lancer representative we were working with changed 3 times in the year we were planning which was frustrating. Lancer also did not follow the communication we gave them with the beverage options we wanted served and when they were served, but I will write another review about that. All in all our guests couldn't stop talking about how great the venue was and how much fun they had! The venue and food combination was costly, but for any animal lovers or anyone looking to do something out of the ordinary, you will love it!

Great Experience Overall!

Reviewed on 11/27/2011 Sam S

From the first meeting to the end of the wedding day, the staff of the Minnesota Zoo were absolutely professional, fun, and very accommodating. We and our guests had a wonderful time!

Beautiful location, somewhat lacking staff

Reviewed on 11/02/2011 Adora R

The contact at the zoo was wonderful, the location perfect, the food servers amazing, that being said here comes the negative. The catering representative failed to mention that my guest would have no way of knowing beverages were provided, my DJ should have been told to make an... Read More announcement but I had no warning, my alter and other decorations were not set up correctly and they discourage you from having someone you trust set it up, and they take detailed notes (so they say), and finally the staff broke a family heirloom and didn't even find the heart to say sorry. Overall I think my guest had a good time but I was overall pretty disappointed with the service at the zoo.

Great Place!!

Reviewed on 9/06/2011 Alana K

This place was very unique and consistent w/my husbands and I's expectations!

fun place to get married

Reviewed on 8/25/2011 Kristin M

It was a lot of fun getting married on the trail among the animals. The manager on duty did a great job keeping everything running on time. We took both our wedding pictures and our engagement pictures there and we were able to walk around the zoo taking pictures, it was really... Read More a lot of fun.

MN Zoo is the best

Reviewed on 10/27/2010 Chauntae N

My husband and I got married on the terrace at the MN Zoo and had our reception in the dolphin Lagoon. The staff at the zoo were easy to work with and very professional. Everything was top notch and well rehearsed. I strongly recommend the MN Zoo

Meet The Coordinator

Peter Wright

With over 20 years industry experience and commitment to the highest quality experience I look forward to making your big day stress free and truly amazing! I love working with couples (GLBT welcomed) who appreciate the ability to enjoy exotic animals and environments within there wedding day and support the Zoo's efforts to save wildlife. At the Zoo we celebrate couples who are looking for something unique. Hosting your event at the Minnesota Zoo helps connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. Say "I do at the Zoo" and party with a purpose at the Minnesota Zoo!