Visit the Detroit Zoo Free Online Friday With Pure Michigan Virtual Tour

Visit the Detroit Zoo Free Online Friday With Pure Michigan Virtual Tour

This Friday July 17th, you have the chance to visit the Detroit Zoo for free from the comfort of your own home. The zoo has teamed up with Pure Michigan, Under the Radar, and Georama Travel to provide a virtual tour of the facilities and animals. If you have never been to the zoo, the tour could provide enough evidence to plan a trip soon. Those who have already been to the Detroit Zoo may learn a thing or two from the guide and a live question and answer segment throughout the tour.

Jim Daldin, the host of PBS’s “Michigan Under the Radar”, will serve as the guide on this 2 hour virtual tour (12noon to 2pm). Guests are encouraged to use their desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. Mobile phones will have limited connectivity for the event. Viewers can also ask questions that could get answered in real time.

One of the highlights of the tour will likely be the Arctic Ring of Life. This zoo exhibit features polar bears and seals in a giant 350,000 gallon tank. The Arctic Ring of Life is the largest polar bear exhibit in North America. Guests to the park can walk through a 70 foot tunnel and watch polar bears and seals above them. The bears and seals appear to swim together, separated by a transparent barrier. This zoo exhibit recently finished in second place in a nationwide vote for the best zoo exhibit by 10 Best (USA Today).

Arctic Ring of Life (Photo Credit: Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia )

Arctic Ring of Life (Photo Credit: Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia )

Another highlight could be Dinosauria. This exhibit, which costs an extra $5 per person, features more than 40 animatronic dinosaurs. It is the largest animatronic dinosaur exhibit in the country. Other add-ons at the zoo include a train ride, carousel, simulation ride, and 4D theater.

Dinosauria Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo features more than 2000 animals from 280 different species. The zoo saw more than 1.3 million guests in 2014. This marked the ninth straight year attendance was over the 1 million mark. Later this year, the zoo is also scheduled to complete its new penguin exhibit, which will be one of the biggest in the world.


The Detroit Zoo has gone through several buildings and phases dating back to 1883. The current zoo was officially opened in 1928. The Detroit Zoo was the first American zoo to use open natural exhibits (bar free).

Virtual tours of Michigan landmarks is an ongoing trend. This tour from Under the Radar follows up a June visit to Mackinac Island, which provided viewers with a four hour interactive tour. That segment was watched by more than 3500 people live and an additional 9000 viewers since the original airing.

Online viewers can also see 360 degree views of many Michigan landmarks thanks to the Google Trekkers. This includes views of the top of the Mackinac Bridge, the Lansing State Capitol, Mackinac Island, Ford Field, Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Lake of the Clouds.

A trip to the Detroit Zoo costs $14 per adult and $10 per child. A visit to the zoo on Friday from the comfort of your home is free. I think this will be a great preview event that could even lead to the zoo breaking attendance records in 2015 and 2016. We look forward to the event and also future live tours from the Under the Radar crew. Link to the live tour here.