Must Sees for Your Next Visit to the Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo first welcomed guests in 1883 and continues to impress and educate visitors today.

Located one mile North of my home, I have been visiting the Detroit Zoo since childhood. Over the years, the zoological park has undergone improvements and renovations to many of their habitats.


Admission to the Detroit Zoo is $14/$10 adult/child.  I purchased an Individual Plus Membership for $75 and it’s been a great value purchase for my family.

I’d like to share several must-sees for you to try on your next visit to the Detroit Zoo.



1.) Visit the new Polk Penguin Conservatory Center

The new 33,000 square foot penguin habitat provides a lot of space for the over 80 penguins that call this space home.  

Penguins can swim, dive, play and rest in the 25 foot deep aquatic areas. The 320,000 gallon tank allows the King, Macaroni, Rockhopper and tiny Gentoo penguins to interact and exercise while entertaining the many visitors as well.  

The habitat invites you on an Antarctic expedition and provides interactive learning along the way.  It’s fun for kids and adults alike!

2.) Step into the Australian Outback Adventure for close encounters with kangaroos

This cage-free habitat offers visitors a close and personal view of 17 kangaroos and a two wallabies.  Your best chance to view them in on a cool, Spring morning or as they lounge together in packs on the side of the shared trail.


3.) Meet Homer the Hoffman’s toe-toed Sloth



Although difficult to catch Homer between naps, this adorable sloth can be often be found in his cozy log in his habitat behind the snow monkeys and lions.

4.) Feed the newest addition to the giraffe pack, Zawadi


Born August 6, 2016, Zawadi is the youngest reticulated giraffe at the Detroit Zoo.  Her name means gift in Swahili.

Open Tuesday through Saturday, the Giraffe Encounter allows guests to purchase tickets for $5, allowing for an intimate encounter as you feed the giraffes leaves from an elevated platform.

5.) Find yourself mesmerized by the butterflies in the Butterfly Garden

Come for the butterflies, stay for the birds.  

Once you enter the light-filled, tropical, domed greenhouse of the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, you find yourself surrounding by hundreds of flitting butterflies.  


After you’ve taken enough pictures, you’ll exit into the Matilda R. Wilson free flight Aviary.  This is one of my favorites.

Keep an eye out for the fabled scarlet ibis, the bleeding heart birds and the tanagers.  Always watch overhead.


6.) Take some photos at the Rackham Fountain


Built in 1939, this fountain is the most photographed spot in the Detroit Zoo.  The two 10-foot bronzes bears anchor the 75,000 gallon pool.

Pokémon Go fans must come visit the Detroit Zoo for a day of fun.  Pikachu is often spotted near Rackham Fountain.


7.) Take a ride on the unique Carousel



Custom designed by The Carousel Works, this one-of-a-kind menagerie of 33 hand painted figures provides rides for more than 1.6 million visitors each year.

Which one will you choose?

8.) Watch the harbor seals swim overhead in the Arctic Ring of Life






The Arctic Ring of Life is one of North America’s largest polar bear habitats, and it is also home to arctic foxes and seals. This indoor/outdoor exhibits offers interactive learning games in an outfitted Arctic cabin.

9.) Ride the train aboard the Tauber Family Railroad

Climb aboard the 2 foot narrow gauge train, chugging you along from one end of the park to the other.  A classic since 1931, this is sure to please all.

10.) Plan a return visit!

Free with your new membership card! 


Have you ever visited the Detroit Zoo? Did you visit as a child? Have you come back to see the renovated habitat?

Share your thoughts and experiences at the Detroit Zoo in the comments below.

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