Native dancers, bonsai show and more coming to Gibbs Farm, Como Park Zoo and Bell Museum

By Janet Wight

With summer on the way many fun and free or inexpensive events are on the calendar at Gibbs Farm, the Bell Museum and the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Here is a rundown of some of the highlights over the next few months at the three educational and recreational venues in Bugle land:

Gibbs Farm

Director Sammy Nelson provided a breakdown of the scheduled activities at Gibbs Farm, which is a branch of the Ramsey County Historical Society:

Opening day will be held May 27 with an emphasis on family friendly entertainment. Farm animals will be on hand and assorted activities will be offered including crafts and guided tours.

Friday orchard chores, scheduled from 10 a.m. until noon on May 19 and June 16, are suitable for all ages and skill levels. Participants will perform tasks in the heritage apple orchard.

Themed summer day camps will be held beginning in June, featuring half-day options for children ages 4 through 13.

Bell Museum

Interim Director Holly Menninger described the upcoming events at University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum, including several programs scheduled for Saturday, May 20.

Sensory Friendly Saturday will be held between 8 and 10 a.m. Guests with sensory sensibilities will enjoy special programming including a planetarium show (pre-registration required).

Guided bird walks, led by members of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union, will take visitors through the museum’s outdoor learning landscape and adjacent natural areas between 8:30 and 10 a.m. Binoculars will be available.

Spotlight Science, the regularly scheduled series held during the academic year, will highlight plant biodiversity. This program, held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., will allow visitors to connect with faculty, researchers and graduate students from the University of Minnesota.

Ojibwe and D(L)akota Indigenous astronomy will be the focus of the Native Skywatchers Kapemni Dance performance. This motion media dance experience will feature storytelling and interactive animation at 2 and 3 p.m.

The Bell Museum will celebrate Pride Month on June 3 with another Spotlight Science presentation. The scientific contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals from the University of Minnesota will be featured from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

St. Paul’s Como Park Zoo & Conservatory has several exhibits and programs on tap during the next few months, according to Marketing and Public Relations Manager Matt Reinartz.

The colorful summer flower show, this season displaying lavender, purple, blue and white flowers, will be on display from May 6 through Oct. 1.

Mothers and other interested visitors are invited to attend the Mother’s Day Bonsai Show on May 13 and 14. Members of the Minnesota Bonsai Society will be available to answer questions.

The Jack Brass Band will provide crowd pleasing musical entertainment throughout the zoo grounds every Monday from 10 a.m. until
1 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Groovin’ in the Garden, the popular weekly music series, returns to the Conservatory this year. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy games, refreshments and picnicking while listening to live music outdoors. 

Janet Wight lives in the Como neighborhood and is a regular freelance writer for the Bugle.

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