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Exploring the Detroit Zoo With Kids

The Detroit Zoo is a great place to explore with the family. From exciting animal exhibits to educational activities, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a day of adventure or just a fun way to spend a few hours, the Detroit Zoo has something for you. Here is a guide to what you can expect when visiting the Detroit Zoo with kids.

Getting There

The Detroit Zoo is located in Royal Oak, Michigan, just 25 miles north of downtown Detroit. The easiest way to get to the zoo is by car, as the zoo has ample parking. Public transportation is also available, with several bus routes serving the area. If you choose to take public transportation, be sure to check the schedules ahead of time to ensure you arrive on time.

If you are coming from out of town, the Detroit Airport is located just 4 miles away, making it easy to get to the zoo. There are also several hotels in the area, so you can easily find a place to stay if you are looking for a more extended visit.

No matter how you get there, the Detroit Zoo is an easy and convenient place to visit with the family.

Admission Prices

Admission prices vary depending on the age of the visitors. Children under 3 are free, and children ages 3-12 will be charged $9 for admission. Adults are $14 each, and seniors are $9. There are also discounted rates for groups of 10 or more people. If you plan on visiting the zoo multiple times in a year, you may want to consider getting a membership. Memberships start at $60 and allow you to visit the zoo as often as you like.

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Animals and Exhibits

The Detroit Zoo features more than 2,400 animals from over 250 species. You can explore the zoo’s four main areas: the Arctic Ring of Life, the African Grasslands, the Australasia Forest, and the American Grasslands. Each area features its own unique animals and exhibits.

The Arctic Ring of Life is home to polar bears, arctic foxes, snowy owls, and other arctic animals. The African Grasslands feature giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and cheetahs. The Australasia Forest is home to colorful birds, kangaroos, and wallabies. Finally, the American Grasslands house bison, bald eagles, and elk.

The Detroit Zoo also features several educational exhibits and activities. The Creature Carousel allows kids to take a ride on a variety of animals, from elephants to sea lions. The National Amphibian Conservation Center is a great place to learn about reptiles and amphibians. There’s also a petting zoo, a butterfly garden, and a 4-D theater.

Special Events

The Detroit Zoo hosts several special events throughout the year. The Wild Summer Nights event takes place on select Fridays and Saturdays in the summer, and features live music, food, and special animal encounters. The Howl-o-ween event is held in the fall and includes trick-or-treating, crafts, and more. There are also several holiday-themed events, like the Lights Before Christmas event in December. Be sure to check the zoo’s website for more information about upcoming events.

Food and Drinks

The Detroit Zoo features several food and beverage options throughout the park. There are several snack stands offering quick snacks like hot dogs, popcorn, and ice cream. There are also several restaurants offering more substantial meals, such as burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

The zoo also has several places to grab a drink. The Detroit Zoo Bar & Grill offers beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as a selection of sandwiches and appetizers. The Polar Bear Café is a great place to grab a cup of coffee or a cold beverage. The zoo also has several water fountains throughout the park, so you can stay hydrated while you explore.

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Gift Shop

The Detroit Zoo Gift Shop offers a wide selection of souvenirs, apparel, books, toys, and more. You can find something to remember your visit by, or pick up a few gifts for your friends and family. The gift shop also has a selection of animal-themed items, like plush toys and books.

Playgrounds and Picnic Areas

The Detroit Zoo has several play areas and picnic areas throughout the park. The Wild Adventure Playground is an outdoor play area with climbing structures, slides, and swings. There are also several picnic tables throughout the park, making it easy to find a spot for a family picnic.

Educational Programs

The Detroit Zoo offers several educational programs for kids and adults alike. The Zoo-ology program is a great way to learn more about animals and their habitats. The Animal Ambassador program is a hands-on experience that allows visitors to get up close and personal with the zoo’s animals. The Zoo Academy program is a great way for kids to learn more about animals and conservation.

Special Accessibility Features

The Detroit Zoo is committed to making the park accessible to all visitors. The zoo offers wheelchairs, scooters, and strollers that can be rented for the day. The park also has accessible paths and elevators, making it easy to get around the park. The zoo also offers a sensory map with information about the different areas of the park.

Safety First

The Detroit Zoo takes safety very seriously. All visitors are required to wear masks while in the park, and social distancing is enforced. The zoo also has strict cleaning protocols in place to keep visitors safe.


A visit to the Detroit Zoo is sure to be a great experience for the whole family. With its wide variety of animals and exhibits, educational activities, and special events, the Detroit Zoo has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a day of adventure or just a fun way to pass the time, the Detroit Zoo is sure to be a great option.

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So, if you are looking for a fun and educational way to spend the day with the family, consider visiting the Detroit Zoo. With its wide variety of animals and exhibits, educational activities, and special events, the Detroit Zoo is sure to be a great experience for the whole family.