Some things you learn about your home state after you have kids — like the existence of Snake Discovery, a nationally renowned reptile supply shop and educational zoo in Maplewood.
Though new to us, Snake Discovery has quite the cult following: more than 2.8 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram. Videos with titles such as “Adorable Baby Bullsnakes Hatching!” and “What It’s Like to Have a Pet Alligator” have racked up more than 400 million views. The channel is also popular for how-to instructionals on everything from caring for snake eggs to giving fluid injections to lizards. Videos even answer questions you never thought to ask like “Do reptiles smell different after rhinoplasty?”
Fans drive hours from out of state to meet husband-and-wife owners Ed and Emily Roberts and see Snake Discovery’s 75-plus exhibits of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and creepy-crawly insects. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she studied fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology, Emily is a former naturalist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Running Snake Discovery, however, is her dream job and her passion for all things reptilian shines through in every display, which identify not only the creature within but details of its habitat, diet, and level of endangerment.
Snake Discovery takes surrenders (no questions asked) and runs a respected adoption program. Though our family enjoyed learning about green tree pythons, legless lizards, walking sticks bugs, tarantulas, and more, we’re relieved that Julian is too young to ask for a pet alligator. 😅
Snake Discovery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (the zoo opens at noon); adult admission is $10; kids ages 3 to 12 and seniors 65 and up cost $8; and children two and under are free. If you want to touch a tegu and other scaly, slithery regulars, free guided tours with zookeepers are available Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1, 3, and 5:30 p.m. Those hoping to meet Emily and Ed should time their visit to weekends between 2 and 5 p.m. but always double check the company’s Facebook page before setting out.
831 Century Ave. N., Maplewood, MN; 612-642-2960.