comScore
Detroit Zoo picture in Detroit
Valerie / Flickr

Key Info

Details

  • Zoos and Aquariums Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    3.5
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    3.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Many recent travelers called the Detroit Zoo one of the city's best family attractions. Spread out across 125 acres and boasting more than 2,400 animals, the zoo has a longstanding history in Detroit (it's been open since 1928). Of the zoo's 12 habitats, perhaps the most popular among recent visitors is the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, which debuted in 2016. This 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area allows zoo visitors to observe more than 80 penguins of four different species explore their habitat. Plus, thanks to an underwater gallery with two tunnels, visitors can see the birds above, around and below.

Along with the animals, the zoo also boasts a carousel (a hit with families), a 4-D theater, scientific displays and a playground, along with more kid-friendly distractions. Reviewers praised the zoo's easy-to-navigate layout and the well-cared for animals, but were disappointed with the dining selections. If you plan to eat at the zoo, bring your own food for a picnic.

The zoo's hours vary by season, but it's generally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter (late September to March) and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the spring and summer (April to early September). General admission tickets (which do not include access to the zoo's special attractions) cost $14 for adults 15 and older and $10 for seniors and children ages 2 to 14. Remember to budget for parking, which costs $6 per vehicle. You'll find the zoo about 13 miles north of downtown Detroit in Royal Oak, Michigan. The best way to reach it is via car or taxi. To learn more about the zoo's animals and to see upcoming special events, visit its website.

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#1 Detroit Institute of the Arts Arguably one of the city's foremost cultural destinations, the Detroit Institute of Arts dates back to 1885, but the beaux-arts building (referred to as the "temple of art ... Read more » Courtesy the Detroit Institute of Arts

#2 Motown Museum An entire genre  or at least sound  was born in the space of this small Detroit home. A blue and white sign, reading "Hitsville U.S.A," hangs above the ... Read more » Yelp Inc. / Flickr

#3 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History This large museum, named for its founder Charles Wright, tells the story of the African American experience from the beginning of time to the presidency of Barack Obama. Opened in ... Read more » Girl.in.the.D / Flickr

#4 Eastern Market Eastern Market draws history geeks and foodies alike. Open since 1891, this 43-acre district (six blocks of which are devoted to the public market) is the largest historic public market ... Read more » Tamara / Flickr

#5 Comerica Park If you're not much of a baseball fan, this ballpark – home field for the Detroit Tigers – is for you. While diehard fans are glued to their seats in hopes ... Read more » mrkumm / Flickr

#6 Fox Theatre If you're in town for any amount of time, catching a performance at this National Historic Landmark is almost required. Events range from Broadway musicals to performances by big ... Read more » Gordon / Flickr

#7 Guardian Building Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, the art deco Guardian Building is a must-see for architecture buffs. Known as Detroit's Cathedral of Finance, the Guardian Building was completed ... Read more » Angelo Mercado / Flickr

#8 Detroit Zoo Many recent travelers called the Detroit Zoo one of the city's best family attractions. Spread out across 125 acres and boasting more than 2,400 animals, the zoo has ... Read more » Valerie / Flickr

The Detroit Institute of Arts picture in Detroit
Motown Museum picture in Detroit
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History picture in Detroit
Eastern Market picture in Detroit
Comerica Park picture in Detroit
Fox Theatre picture in Detroit
Guardian Building picture in Detroit
Detroit Zoo picture in Detroit
The Detroit Institute of Arts picture in Detroit
Motown Museum picture in Detroit
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History picture in Detroit
Eastern Market picture in Detroit
Comerica Park picture in Detroit
Fox Theatre picture in Detroit
Guardian Building picture in Detroit
Detroit Zoo picture in Detroit

You'll find this Diego Rivera mural, "Detroit Industry," inside the Detroit Institute of ArtsIt's considered the finest example of Mexican mural art in the United States. Courtesy the Detroit Institute of Arts

An entire genre  or at least sound  was born in the space of this small Detroit home Yelp Inc. / Flickr

Girl.in.the.D / Flickr

Aside from its far-reaching history, Eastern Market showcases local area farmers and merchants. Tamara / Flickr

Comerica Park, located in downton Detroit, is home to the Detroit Tigers baseball team. mrkumm / Flickr

This ornate theater – a National Historic Landmark – is the place to see a Broadway show or a concert in Detroit. Gordon / Flickr

Detroit's Guardian Building may not look like much from the outside, but step inside and you'll find an elegant interior that reflects the city's past prosperity.  Angelo Mercado / Flickr

Valerie / Flickr

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