Detroit Zoo
Detroit Zoo
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Detroit Zoo has 125 acres of naturalistic habitats for more than 2,000 animals from anteaters to zebras and features award-winning attractions such as the National Amphibian Conservation Center, Great Apes of Harambee and Arctic Ring of Life. The Zoo’s newest attraction is the spectacular Polk Penguin Conservation Center, the largest facility for penguins in the world.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • GattoViziato
    Lexington, Kentucky777 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great zoo!
    We have already been twice this year! We went for the holiday lights which was a phenomenal experience-10/10! We went back in the Spring again, which was also wonderful. It is well organized and you can make your way through many exhibits and enjoy them. The bears were very active while we were there. The otters too on both visits. We really missed the male lion Simba, who was absent from the exhibit, which was a big disappointment for the kids. The butterfly exhibition was also closed on our last visit, which was also quite disappointing. One BIG word of advice, dress your kids in clothing and shoes that are disposable. They use dyed black mulch, and when wet, will permanently stain your clothing year-round.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written June 25, 2023
  • Therese C. Callahan
    31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Nice Place To Visit In The Summer.
    I arrived when the zoo opened on July 3. It was a worthwhile experience. I liked seeing all the animals. There were also movies about the birds of Rio, and the octopus. I was able to see and do as much as I wanted thanks to the all-inclusive ticket I bought online. I'd come again if I ever returned to the Detroit area. I also bought a stuffed penguin as a souvenir.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 8, 2023
  • vmackmin
    Lewiston, New York115 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not bad but not great
    The zoo had a lot of animals. Unfortunately, a lot of them were not out. The part was the penguins. They were so funny and the building was amazing. There was not a clear path to follow so that also made it hard. The worse part was the polar bears. I was so excited to see them. We told this long path that was in the sun and we got there and there was no polar bears. Not sure of they just not out but it was very disappointing.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 15, 2023
  • Dan1721
    Howell, Michigan105 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great zoo for family and friends
    I have not been to the Detroit Zoo for several years. Although it may not be the size of the San Diego Zoo, it is still an awesome zoo. It has become the type of zoo that I would like to visit on a regular basis with my children and grandchildren. So much so that we purchased a family membership. Brandi, in guest services, was awesome in helping us set up that membership. Proper job.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 27, 2023
  • MI_BRDNRD
    Michigan449 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    First Time Visit!
    Our family of 8 adults visited the Detroit Zoo one Sunday in September. For many of us it was either our first time visiting or we haven’t visited in many years. We all had a great time. Some of our favorite exhibits were the penguins, polar bears, grizzly bears, eagles and the butterfly and bird house. We really liked how most of the exhibits were laid out in a way that you could see the animals up close with hardly any barriers in-between. Many of the animals were napping but that’s to be expected as it was a warm day when we visited. Food and drinks inside the zoo are very expensive so I would suggest eating beforehand or packing your own lunch. This is a fairly large zoo with lots of walking between exhibits so be prepared for that. I’d suggest bringing some binoculars as you can really get an up close look at the animals that way. Buying tickets online vs at the gate will save you $4 and get you inside the zoo a little quicker. Overall, this was a nice zoo and we’ll definitely visit again.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 18, 2023
  • snst1996
    Sterling Heights, Michigan2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Polar Bear Exhibit
    Well layed-out and a great zoo to walk through. The Arctic Ring of Life is worth the price of admission alone. I went about noon and the polarbear I saw was very active and great fun to watch in and out of the water. I even caught a feeding time. Not something I’ll soon forget!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written October 3, 2023
  • Brianne W
    Detroit, Michigan1 contribution
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun experience for the most part
    Took my son too see the lights they were beautiful. Too the lady working in the back of the zoo by the polar bear exhibit... You should fix your attitude while working around lots of children. I took my son too see the dump truck light and there was no blocking or tape up and she yelled at us and upset my son. He is not even 2. Other than that everything was beautiful and everyone was nice.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 25, 2023
  • Kaitlynn V
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great zoo!!
    Not the largest zoo we've been to but it is beautiful and very well kept. It has secured itself as a new favourite. It's very walkable and easy to do with small children. We arrived a little later than we anticipated so we were there around 4 hours and weren't able to see everything. We like to take our time at the exhibits though- so other families may see the entire zoo in this time frame. Just gives us an excuse to go back another time and see everything we missed! Our highlights were the penguin exhibit (which is absolutely breathtaking and comparable to Sea World's) and the red panda/kangaroo walk throughs. One thing we didn't forsee but should have- is the crazy wait times for the restaurant. It was a beautiful day (20 degrees Celsius) and the zoo was bustling but is still considered the off season and there was only one restaurant open. We tried to eat around 1pm but were told it would be well over an hour wait. We ended up coming back at 230 and waited 20 minutes but the zoo has tons of space for picnics and if I had researched a bit more we would have just brought our own lunches to avoid hangry kids. That being said, the food was great. I had the club sandwich which was massive and the kids hot dog meals didn't disappoint either.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 17, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,375 reviews
Excellent
749
Very good
388
Average
137
Poor
53
Terrible
48

PPM
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
Waste of time and money! Zoo requires timed reservations (this is bolded on the website) in small print is the fact that while they charge full admission (nearly $20) almost all the the exhibits are closed. It is a complete waste of time and money for anyone who wants to see more than a stranded deer in an enclosure. I will take my family to the Toledo Zoo in the future where all the exhibits are open and the staff is wonderful.
Written January 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leck8786
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Family
Don’t waste your time or money until everything opens back up. All indoor exhibits including butterfly, penguin house, train, snake exhibit, all food vendors are closed. Paid 60$ for 2 adults and a 2 year old and it was a total let down. Employees followed you around monitoring you wearing a mask outside even when there are no people around you. Save the money and watch a YouTube video on tigers.
Written April 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dave S
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Get some animals in there! Honestly most of any inside exhibits were closed and this was not noted on any signs before you bought your ticket. Many of the outside exhibits didnt' have any animals in there. The massive 'arctic zone' was nothing more that a massive expanse of white stone with one distant polar bear. What has happened to this once great zoo? It's nothing more than a walk in the park now. The only things that were entertaining were the reptile and butterfly house...and some peacocks wandering around. Seriously, this is a partially taxpayer funded place that takes in many many millions of $ every year..they can at least populate the place with some animals.
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenn E
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
The weather was good the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we decided to head over to the zoo with our family members who were visiting from out of town. The day was pleasant enough, but a number of exhibits were closed for renovation or the animals have been moved to other facilities. Overall, we saw about 60% of what was available the last time we visited the zoo (pre-pandemic). None of the concession kiosks were open - and every water fountain was covered with a note to "get free water from any concession stand." The experience might be better at another time of the year, but based on this trip I cannot recommend a trip to the Detroit Zoo.
Written November 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ski361
Mine Hill, NJ128 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
Zoos are our thing, so we made it a point to visit Detroit’s zoo. The penguin exhibit at the entrance was enjoyable, but the rest was just okay. The train ride was lame… you mainly get a one way ticket to view the perimeter of the zoo and the parking lot. Too many of the exhibits were empty. We recommend the side pathways off the main walk. Secluded and natural, but with no animals.

Would not go back
Written August 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MariJems
Canton, MI4 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
I was very disappointed with my visit to the Detroit Zoo. I went on a weekday with my grandsons and their aunt. Upon entering the zoo, we were greeted with signs of the many attractions that were closed: the aviary, butterfly house, giraffe encounter, etc. When we tried to visit the sea lions, we were told that "they weren't out today." I also purchased the Total Experience Pass to take advantage of the 4D movie, the dinosaur exhibit, and a train ride. Since I had to purchase a "timed" entrance and the earliest slot available was 2:30, it would have been helpful if someone would've told us when the last train left, either the person at the gate (who was not very friendly, BTW) or the women at the counter of the 4D movie who suggested we come for the last movie showing, even though we were there on time for an earlier showing. (We would've made the train ride had we gone to the earlier showing.) Additionally, when I tried to purchase hot snacks, the only items available were some type of slushy and french fries. No pretzels or other items shown on the menu; AND the young man at the counter said I had to have exact change to make the purchase.

I have been going to the Detroit Zoo for many years, but paying $140 (not counting food or other items) only to miss one of the 3 events I specifically paid for via the Total Experience Pass, the unfriendly and rude behavior of some of the staff, and the lack of exhibits made this trip a real bummer. I have my choice of zoos based on my location and I have been a Detroit Zoo member in the past. I'm very sad to say that the Detroit Zoo will not be my first choice in the future.
Written July 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

plevin2017
Lebanon, OH470 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Family
There are great winter zoos, there are ok winter zoos and there are bad winter zoos. Great winter zoos have enclosures so you could see every animal all year. Ok winter zoos make warm areas for the animals outside. Bad winter zoos do not do anything. The poor bear, penguin and several other animals. So bad.

Zoos come in price ranges for what they are. $19 for a large zoo with lots of animals is not bad. $15 for medium zoos with many animals. Small zoos come in at around $8 - 10.

Detroit wants large zoo prices with a medium size zoo. Most zoos discount heavily in winter. Not Detroit.

Detroit passed the record on captive food prices $3.25 for a 12 once can of soda.

My suggestion. Go south to Toleto
Written November 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PamR2709
Lansing, MI53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I grew up in the Detroit area and always enjoyed the zoo. For several years it was a little "sketchy". I went three years ago and was so very impressed. This most recent visit exceeded my expectations. The animals are extremely well cared for. Their habitats are even larger than they were three years ago. The grounds are very well-maintained. I was particularly impressed with the knowledge and friendliness of the docents in each area.
It is particularly fun to go in the winter as the animals are mostly inside and easier to view. I took my grandkids--14 and 6. They loved it as well.
The zoo is not cheap but I would rather pay more and visit a quality zoo.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2749
garden city2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Family
Zooboo 2022 was huge disappointment for the huge amount of money I spent taking my family. Far fewer pumpkin displays, fewer blowups, concession stands understaffed and unbelievable waits for overpriced treats. Understaffed for volunteers handing out chintzy trinkets and treats, except for a small can of pop and Doritos. We have gone for years, but will probably not go again.
Written October 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charlyn F
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
We absolutely love this zoo. We get a membership every year, and in the summer we’re at the zoo at least once a week. My daughter is old enough to understand that she probably won’t see EVERY animal while we’re there. We are always very satisfied with what we do see.
We also love the attractions. The 4D movies, art displays, dinosaurs, carousel and train are part of what keep us coming back. Activities like face-painting and drawings of the family are expensive, but fun to do every so often on pay day!
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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