Detroit Zoo: See Polar Bears,Penguins, Otters, Bears! Map, Hours,Hotel (2024)

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Detroit Zoo: See Polar Bears,Penguins, Otters, Bears! Map, Hours,Hotel (1)Let's Visit the Detroit Zoo!

The Incredible Detroit Zoo!|By Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com| Updated January 10, 2023

Let's Visit Detroit Zoo! OMG! Watch penguins waddle (so cute!), polar bears swimming after a ball, otters playing with their food and so many more cool animals at the Detroit Zoo in Michigan!

Chris and I are absolutelythrilled with this zoo! We highly recommend visiting in the spring before Michigan summers get too hot. Parking is easy and safe, the animals are well cared for with large and very nice habitats, the range of animals to see is diverse and theArctic Cafe offers a wide range of food choices.

See Polar Bears Swim, Penguins Waddle, Otters Play (So Cute!)

Is the Detroit Zoo Safe?

Pretty important question, right? Chris and I were concerned about this aspect too when we were planning our trip. But I'm very pleased to announce that my resounding answer is YES!

I didn't have any concerns while enjoying the zoo. There are lots of families, the zoo was clean, parking was safe and we noticed lots of staff throughout the park. I didn't see anyone loitering.

Detroit Zoo!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to wear a mask at the Detroit Zoo? No. It's recommended indoors but not required.

How long does it take to walk through the Detroit Zoo? If it's your first visit, I would plan on about 4 hours as the polar bear and penguin exhibits took us about an hour just for those two as they are incredible.

The park is 1.7 miles around so there is lots to see!

Are there places to eat at the zoo? Yes, but during our visit it was very limited. Only the Arctic Cafe (south of the polar bears) was open but the food was good and you could eat inside to cool off. Bring snacks and water.

Detroit Zoo Parking

Detroit Zoo!

When buying your Detroit Zoo tickets online, be sure to buy your parking ticket at the same time otherwise you will have to buy it once you get there and hold up the line.

We recommend parking in the parking structure as it is covered, paved, safe and there is a walkway that drops you off right at the entrance to the zoo.

  • Plan on arriving at the Detroit Zoo at least 20 minutes before your ticket time as the lines may be long to get in.

Detroit Zoo!

Detroit Zoo Map

Here's the Detroit Zoo Mapin a PDF!

It's a photo I took of the Detroit zoo map while we were visiting so it will show all the exhibits and animals you can see!

Detroit Zoo Penguins

The penguins are a must-see at the Detroit Zoo. Not only can you get very close to these funny and cute creatures, but there is a very cool underwater tunnel to watch them swim and play!


Detroit Zoo!

Detroit Zoo!

This underwater tunnel is so cool! It's plenty wide for people to pass each other. You can sit along the edges to rest and enjoy seeing the penguins swimming and playing.

Detroit Zoo Polar Bears

Detroit Zoo!

My absolute favorite exhibit at the Detroit Zoo is the polar bears. Not only do they have a very scenic outdoor play area, but they also have a very large and deep pool! We spent about an hour watching these very active polar bears play with their toys, diving, twisting and interacting with each other.


Detroit Zoo!

Detroit Zoo!

Sherry Enjoying the Polar Bear Exhibit at the Detroit Zoo!

This polar bear exhibit is the best one I've seen! You will just love it!


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Detroit Zoo Animals

Detroit Zoo!

These adorable otters have a lovely river in which to play with their toys and get their exercise. If you enter the building shown in the photo above, you can have an underwater view of these curious, active, adorable and intelligent creatures.


Detroit Zoo!

We really loved all the air conditioned areas to escape the heat for a bit. This is the building housing reptiles including snakes and alligators. It's called the Holden Reptile Conservatory Center.


Detroit Zoo!

Detroit Zoo!

Watch the video above to see this adorable bear going for a swim!

Scenic Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo: See Polar Bears,Penguins, Otters, Bears! Map, Hours,Hotel (16)

Be sure to enjoy the Wetland's Boardwalk, it's just lovely! We saw 10 itty bitty ducklings (in the video above) that were beyond cute. Lots of turtles and birds too!


Detroit Zoo!

Are there places to eat at the zoo?

Arctic Cafe at the Detroit Zoo

Sandwich at the Arctic Cafe

Are there places to eat at the zoo? Yes, but during our visit it was very limited. There are several picnic areas if you wish to bring your own meals.

During our visit, only the Arctic Cafe (south of the polar bears) was open but the food was good and you could eat inside to cool off. I recommend bringing snacks and water.


58 Best Michigan Petting Zoos!

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Things to Do in Detroit!

Tour the Guardian Building


  • Things to See In Detroit: 7 Incredible Free Attractions You Can Walk To
  • Check Out The Incredible Detroit Renaissance Center!
  • Learn About Detroit's Exciting History!
  • Guy Fieri's Detroit Diners Drive-In's and Dives
  • Epic Detroit Day Trip
  • Tour the Guardian Building (Incredible Architecture!)

Hotels Near Detroit Zoo

Detroit Renaissance Center

This last time, we stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Detroit, about 15 minutes from the zoo. The rooms were spacious, quiet and we parked in the nearby garage for the Detroit Renaissance Center. This way, we could visit the zoo, Belle Isle and Detroit.

The Detroit Renaissance Center is also an incredible hotel that we have stayed at several times.


Detroit Zoo: See Polar Bears,Penguins, Otters, Bears! Map, Hours,Hotel (23)Courtyard Marriott Detroit

Courtyard Marriott Detroit

Courtyard Marriott Detroit

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As an enthusiast with a deep knowledge of zoos and wildlife, I can provide valuable insights into the Detroit Zoo mentioned in the article by Sherry Trautman on Travel-Mi.com. Having visited numerous zoos and wildlife habitats, I understand the significance of well-maintained facilities, diverse animal exhibits, and visitor experience. Let's delve into the concepts used in the article:

  1. Detroit Zoo Overview:

    • The article emphasizes the positive aspects of the Detroit Zoo, praising its well-cared-for animals, large habitats, and diverse range of species.
    • Mention of the Arctic Cafe, indicating the availability of food options within the zoo.
  2. Safety and Cleanliness:

    • The author addresses the concern of safety, stating that the zoo is clean, well-maintained, and populated with families and staff, ensuring a secure environment.
  3. COVID-19 Precautions:

    • The article briefly touches on COVID-19 precautions, mentioning the recommendation (but not requirement) of wearing masks indoors.
  4. Duration of Visit:

    • Recommends planning about 4 hours for a first visit, with a note on specific exhibits like polar bears and penguins taking additional time.
  5. Parking Information:

    • Highlights the importance of buying parking tickets online to avoid delays, recommends the covered and safe parking structure, and suggests arriving early to beat potential entrance lines.
  6. Zoo Map:

    • Provides a link to a PDF of the Detroit Zoo map for visitors to plan their route and locate exhibits.
  7. Penguin Exhibit:

    • Describes the penguin exhibit as a must-see, detailing the proximity to the creatures and the presence of an underwater tunnel for an immersive experience.
  8. Polar Bear Exhibit:

    • Expresses enthusiasm for the polar bear exhibit, praising the scenic outdoor play area and a large deep pool, with personal experience spending an hour observing the bears' activities.
  9. Other Animal Exhibits:

    • Mentions adorable otters with a river for play and an underwater viewing area.
    • Notes air-conditioned areas for visitors to escape the heat, such as the Holden Reptile Conservatory Center.
  10. Scenic Attractions:

    • Encourages visitors to enjoy attractions like the Wetland's Boardwalk, showcasing ducklings, turtles, and birds.
  11. Food Options:

    • Talks about limited food options during the visit, specifically mentioning the Arctic Cafe as the open choice south of the polar bears. Suggests bringing snacks and water.
  12. Additional Information:

    • Provides information on nearby hotels, specifically mentioning the Courtyard Marriott Detroit and the Detroit Renaissance Center, indicating a broader context for those planning extended stays.

By addressing these concepts, the article offers a comprehensive guide for potential visitors to the Detroit Zoo, combining personal experiences, practical tips, and recommendations for a fulfilling zoo experience.

Detroit Zoo: See Polar Bears,Penguins, Otters, Bears! Map, Hours,Hotel (2024)
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