Detroit Zoo 2023: Photo Gallery and Favorite Things From Our Visit
It had been close to 30 years since Chris and I had visited the Detroit Zoo. In July, we each made a trip to this amazing facility with our respective families. It was great to see how much the zoo had changed and get a chance to get up close and personal with penguins, tigers, giraffes, and more. Today we will share a photo gallery from our visits, a look at our favorite things from our visits, and everything you need to know to make the most of your visit. The Detroit Zoo celebrated 95 years on August 1st and is in the middle of a month full of special events and deals (including membership discounts). Here’s a look at our visits, with an animal-filled photo gallery at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
The Detroit Zoo is huge! We spent close to 4 hours there during our visit and saw just about everything. There is a lot of walking (1.7 miles around the perimeter) involved, so be sure to wear comfortable footwear. One of the few negatives from our visit was that a lot of animals were either off exhibit or hidden in their enclosures, including some of the ones we had been most excited to see like the red pandas (the canopy walk was closed as well) and gorillas (the zoo currently does not have any). Plan your visit for a cooler day for the best chances to see the most active animals possible, and plan on maybe having to stop by exhibits multiple times to see the animals moving around.
Polk Penguin Conservation Center – One of the newest additions to the park and our number one choice for favorite attraction was the Polk penguin conservation center. Large viewing areas on two sides offer views of the five species (rockhopper, macaroni, gentoo, king, and chinstrap) of penguin that reside here. You will get great up close views at the glass, and a trip downstairs lets visitors see the penguins swimming from underneath.
Asian Forest (Amur Tiger and Japanese Macaques) – It was a bit of a letdown that the red pandas weren’t out and active, but one of the tigers made up for it by putting on a show as it walked around and got close up to the glass at the viewing area. The macaques were all very active and vocal.
Arctic Ring of Life – We caught this part of the zoo at the perfect time as we were able to watch the polar bear go from pacing around to taking a dip in the pool! The sea otters were also very active and playful in their exhibit.
Holden Reptile Conservation Center – This indoor exhibit building was incredible to walk through! We enjoyed looking for snakes as they hid in their exhibits, seeing the water monitor (the second largest reptile in the world), and learning about where each of the reptiles lives in the wild. Several spots offer underwater views of the reptiles if they are moving around.
Matilda R. Wilson Free Flight Aviary – If you’re looking for a colorful addition to your zoo visit, the aviary is the place to go! More than 20 species of birds are free to fly around, swim, or walk close to a pathway that winds through this beautiful building.
Below you will find more photos from our visits. Be sure to check out more information on the Detroit Zoo at detroitzoo.org. Tickets, parking info, maps, and more can all be found on their website, and you can even see photos of some of the animals. We definitely won’t be waiting another 20 years to make another visit!