MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s instant relief walking through the doors of the Como Zoo Conservatory in St. Paul. You’re entering a climate that matches South and Central America.

Bonnie Ward visited the conservatory Sunday afternoon.

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“This is like being transported and actually kind of traveling, even though it’s only from Minneapolis to St. Paul, it is kind of like traveling,” Ward said.

When you walk inside, you’ll be peeling off all the winter layers you needed outside. Matt Reinartz, marketing director of Como Zoo, says it’s clear people need the heat right now because they’ve been selling out at the conservatory.

“I’d say the temperature in here right now is probably around 90 degrees, so it’s about 100-degree difference between outside then inside,” Reinartz said.

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(credit: CBS)

While it’s free to go to the Como Zoo, during COVID-19 restrictions they need to limit the number of people who visit at a given time. It used to be capped at 125 people, but as of Saturday, restrictions were loosened to 250 people. You still have to make a reservation before going.

If you want to get your swing ready for spring, you can start warming up now at Bunker Hills virtual golf in Coon Rapids. Mike Harris came to play 18 holes Sunday with friends he’s known since high school.

“I think it’s a decent escape for us,” Harris said.

A perk of playing virtually is you can pick any course in the world, taking the players to much warmer places. In this outing, the guys were playing a course in Sheshan, China. Harris’ friend Randy Downing says it’s hard to put the clubs away at the end of the round.

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“We have a good time, until we have to start the car,” Downing said.

Marielle Mohs