With 125 acres of animal exploration and fun, Detroit Zoo features a range of real-life diverse habitats. Detroit zoo is also the first zoo in the U.S. to exhibit animals using bar-less cages. Your zoo experience is enhanced by intimate encounters with over 2,400 animals that live in moated habitats that mimic their natural environment.
Experience the American Grasslands, the Australian Outback, and the Cotton Family Wolf enclosure. Gasp in wonder at the butterfly garden, or get within touching distance of over 20 species of birds in the free flight aviary. Tigers lurk behind bushes and adorable red pandas leap through the trees at the Asian Forest. Get up close and personal with lions in the African savannah and or quake in fear at the alligators, caiman, snakes, and lizards at the reptile center.
The zoo is a fantastic family day out, playgrounds pepper the park, a 4D cinema gives you the chance to experience being underwater with sharks, a carousel gives the kids and adults an old fashioned thrill and there are food and beverage outlets throughout to ensure there is plenty of time to put your feet up and relax.
Detroit Zoo guarantees a fun and educational day out like no other.
Detroit Zoo’s Main Attractions
Tauber Family Railroad
The Tauber Family railroad is a classic favorite for visitors of Detroit Zoo. A miniature railroad locomotive that takes you on a train ride throughout the zoo.
Take the Tauber Railroad at the start of your visit and make a note of which exhibits look the most exciting. This is the best way to plan where you would most like to visit.
Polk Penguin Conservation Center
The crowning glory of Detroit Zoo would be its award-winning Polk Penguin Conservation Centre. This area is home to 4 different breeds of penguins, housed in an arctic environment similar to their natural habitat. The conservation center also features a 25ft deep pool.
Visitors can enjoy watching these delightful aquatic birds dive, splash, waddle and even fish. Built to mimic an iceberg; the crashing waterfall and frozen crevices are accompanied by blasts of icy air and freezing sea mist to give you the feeling of being transported from Detroit Zoo to the Arctic.
Visit the Giraffe Encounter for a chance to hand-feed the tallest land mammal in the world. Detroit Zoo has 3 reticulated giraffe and visitors can get face to face with these gentle giants through an 18-foot platform. The sight of their blue tongues curling out to grab your snacks is an unforgettable and unmissable experience.
Detroit Zoo’s Must-See Animals
Suka and Nuka
The Arctic Ring of life is one of America’s largest polar bear habitats. A 4-acre playground of packed ice, freshwater pools, and grassy tundra. Suka and Nuka are a mated pair of polar bears that can be seen swimming gracefully beneath the water or sunbathing on the rocks in their enclosure.
View gorillas and chimpanzees at the Great Apes of Harambee exhibit. 3 gigantic Silverback gorillas stare menacingly at you as a troop of 11 chimps leap and frolic off ropes and swings. A rare chance to see these endangered species of gorillas that live in the remote highlands of Africa.
Great White Rhinos
Marvel at the sheer size and brute strength of Detroit’s two Great White Rhinos at the African Grasslands enclosure. They may look placid, but they are titanic beasts of absolute power. Increasingly endangered as poachers hunt them for their horns, getting this close to a rhino is a rare and special treat.
F&B Options at Detroit Zoo
The zoo offers a range of places to eat from casual snacks to restaurant dining.
Start with a coffee at The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. Then, grab a quick lunch at the Safari Grill, a healthy vegan meal at Pure Greens or pizza at Buddy’s Pizza. Linger a little longer with dinner at the Arctic Café the countries first eco-restaurant.
What’s a trip to the zoo without some treats! Detroit popcorn, Sweet Treats, Dippin Dots, and Prairie Farms Ice cream are all within the zoo to tempt you.
How to Get to Detroit Zoo
Detroit Zoo is located at 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at the northwest corner of the intersection of Woodward Avenue and 10 Mile Road (I-696).
From east or west: Take I-696 Exit 16 for Woodward Avenue, Main Street, and Detroit Zoo.
From I-75 north or south: Take I-75 Exit 61 for I-696 west and then I-696 Exit 16 for Woodward Avenue, Main Street, and Detroit Zoo.
Detroit Zoo Opening Hours
April to August: 9 am to 5 pm daily
October to March: 10 am to 4 pm daily
September: 10 am to 5 pm daily
Closed on: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
Detroit Zoo is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily during the spring and summer months. During the fall and winter seasons, opening hours are shorter from 10 am to 4 pm, 7 days a week. While Detroit Zoo is open to the public daily, it is closed 3 days a year on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Detroit Zoo Tickets and Packages
Adult (19-64) (Purchase from website): $13
Children (2-18) / Seniors (65+) (Purchase from website): $10
Adult (19-64): $18
Children (2-18) / Seniors (65+): $15
If you are planning to visit Detroit Zoo, we strongly advise that you purchase tickets from the zoo’s official website for a better deal. You can buy a child and adult ticket for $10 and $13 each respectively. Obtaining tickets from Detroit Zoo’s main gate will set you back $15 and $18 for a child and adult ticket respectively.
Additionally, full-day parking costs $8.
Hotels near Detroit Zoo
Detroit Zoo has a number of preferred hotels as seen below:
Hyatt Place Detroit and Hotel Royal Oak: Located on Royal Oak’s charming Main Street, these hotels are just a stone’s throw away from Detroit Zoo.
Hilton Garden Inn Detroit-Southfield: Just 15 minutes away from Detroit Zoo with easy access to Detroit’s city center.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Detroit – Dearborn: An affordable option for budget travelers.
Other Tourist Attractions near Detroit Zoo
In Detroit for a few days? This is a city jam-packed with stuff to do. Head to Belle Island Aquarium, the oldest aquarium in the country, it has more than 1,000 fishes and 118 different species of aquatic creatures.
If the weather is good, hit the Belle Island beaches afterward for some sandcastle fun or a spot of kayaking or paddle boarding.
Indulge yourself at the Eastern Market, one of the biggest year-round markets in the United States. Packed full of fresh, organic and totally delicious foods, you can spend hours wandering the stalls snacking on cheese and meats and picking up souvenirs for home.
For an insight into Detroit’s history, head to the 90-acre Greenfield Village. Important historical buildings from the 17th century are complemented by costumed actors who demonstrate real-life skills such as glass blowing and brick making. Travel around the site by horse-drawn cart or experience the thrill of a ride in a Model T car.