Finding Your Next Zoo to Visit in Michigan
The earth is full of millions of wondrous creatures. Depending on where you live, there are only so many animals that live naturally near you. If you want to see the different animals of the world, check out a zoo! Michigan has a fantastic selection of zoos and aquariums that you, your family and friends can visit. Check out this small list of some of the best zoos in Michigan!
Binder Park Zoo
Located in Battle Creek, the Binder Park Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Michigan. The featured animal exhibit here is the Wild Africa exhibit. For this experience, visitors take a “wilderness tram” through Zuri National Park. During this tour, visitors can feed the giraffes lettuce treats for a small fee that have been specially prepared by the zoo staff. As you cruise through the park, African animals dot the savannah when the weather is warm and sunny. If you are lucky, you will get to see an African Lion! Other main attractions include an antique carousel featuring 36 custom, hand-carved animals, as well as the Z.O.&O. Railroad. This “railroad” spans over 1.5 miles throughout the park and the CP Huntington train pulling the cars is from 1963!
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Kids under 2: FREE
- Kids 2-10yrs: $12.25
- Seniors 65+: $13.25
- Adults: $14.25
The Detroit Zoo has over 125 acres of land, located in Royal Oak, Michigan. On this land, there are over 2,000 animals being taken care of by the professional zookeepers at the zoo. The Detroit Zoo boasts the largest penguin habitat in the world in Polk Penguin Conservation Center. This 33,000 square foot facility hosts over 75 penguins, of 4 different species. The tanks are 25 feet deep, and hold over 325,000 gallons of water.
“The Polk Penguin Conservation Center received the 2017 Exhibit Award from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The award is the top honor bestowed annually upon accredited institutions for excellence in exhibit design by the AZA, the accrediting body for zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and seven other countries worldwide.” (https://penguins.detroitzoo.org/)
Ticket prices are as follows: Prices reflect the at-the-gate cost.
- (19 years – 64): $18
- Children (2 years – 18): $15
- Seniors (65+): $15
- Military with ID (Active duty, retired and veterans, residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county only): $15
- Parking / $8
- The Total Experience package includes a one-way ride on the train, one spin on the Carousel and two tickets for either the Simulator Ride or the 4-D Theater. It is purchased in addition to general admission.
John Ball Zoo
The John Ball Zoo is a local gem in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This zoo is home to over 1,800 animals, and is open from early March, to Halloween time. The habitats here are diverse, and have some of the most exotic animals from around the world, as well as some from the local region. Some of the featured exhibits include:
- Mokomboso Valley Chimpanzee Exhibit
- North America animals including Grizzly bears, puma and bobcats
- Treasures of the Tropics – reptiles, amphibians & small primates
- Living Shores Aquarium & Penguinarium
- Lions of Lake Manyara
- Wild Way Trail – Lemurs & howler monkeys
- Tigers of the Realm
Ticket prices are as follows and vary depending on the season.
- March 9- April 26 | April 27- September 29 |September 29- November 3
- Adults (ages 13-61): $10| $13| $10
- Seniors (ages 62 and up): $8 | $10 | $8
- Children (ages 2 – 12): $8 | $10 | $8
- Children (1 and under): FREE
- College Students (With Valid School ID): $8 | $10 | $8
- Veterans (With Valid ID): $8 | $10 | $8
Sea Life Michigan Aquarium
Located in Royal Oak, Sea Life Michigan Aquarium boasts over 250 species and over 5,000 creatures of marine life! This massive aquarium has some of the most unique wildlife such as clownfish, seahorses, sharks, turtles, stingrays and more! In a fan favorite exhibit called Stingray Bay, visitors get to observe rays in a massive aquarium and see their behaviors. They get to see how stingrays bury themselves in sand, and learn about their markings and makeup. The shark exhibit, also a crowd favorite, features black tipped reef sharks. Sharks as a species are over 420 million years old, making them older than trees! This aquarium has so much wonder and excitement to offer, you do not want to miss out!
Ticket prices are as follows for the aquarium:
- Kids 2 & under: FREE
- Kids 3-12: $13.95
- Adult: $18.95
Potter Park Zoo
The Potter Park Zoo is located in Lansing, MI. Over 500 different animals call the 20 acre zoo nestled in 80 acres of park, home. There are over 160 different species of animals from all over the world as well. Many of the Potter Park Zoo’s animals are on the endangered species list such as: the red panda, Amur tiger, and snow leopard. Some of the featured exhibits and activities are: train rides, camel rides, pony rides, a gift shop, and a petting zoo. Farmyard Adventures is a family favorite, as kids get to explore the barnyard and pet all of the different goats!
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Kids under 3: FREE
- Kids 3-12: $5
- Non-Resident Senior: $11
- Resident Senior: $5
- Non-Resident Adult: $12
- Resident Adult: $6
This was just a tiny, tiny taste of the different zoos that Michigan has to offer for you and your family’s enjoyment. All across the state you can find a wide range of animal types, and if you know where to go, you can find exactly what you want. Whether you are out celebrating an event, or just want to see some of the beautiful wildlife nature holds, any of the accredited zoos in Michigan will not steer you wrong. Take a day, or a weekend trip with your family and loved ones and find a new zoo to explore or return to your favorite!