The Detroit Zoo is Michigan’s largest family attraction. It is located on 125 acres of land, contains 1,500 animals of 260 species and receives over a million visitors every year. The zoo participates in conservation efforts such as raising swans and snails for reintroduction into the wild; in addition, it has saved several abused circus animals. Its mission is “Celebrating and Saving Wildlife.”
The Detroit Zoo officially opened on August 1, 1928. It was founded by Luther Beecher, who bought the animals from a circus that had gone broke. It erected its first decorative structure in 1939, which is known as the Bear Fountain. During the Great Depression, it housed a famous chimpanzee named Jo Mendi. This chimp had performed on Broadway and in motion pictures; he loved to act for the audience. He performed incredible feats such as counting, dressing, eating with a spoon and dancing. He died in 1934.
In 2005, the Detroit Zoo made news when it became the first zoo in the United States to voluntarily give up its elephants for ethical reasons– it sent them to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s sanctuary to preserve them from the harsh Michigan winters.
HOURS OF OPERATION
November through March: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m
April through Labor Day: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
The day after Labor Day through October: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
The zoo is only closed three days a year– Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
CURRENT ADMISSION PRICES
Adults and children ages 15 and up: $11
Children ages 2 to 14: $7
Seniors over the age of 62: $9
Active military personnel with with ID: $9
Children under 2: Free
•The Arctic Ring of Life: This interactive exhibit includes an Inuit village from the 1990s, an underwater tunnel from which visitors can view swimming seals and polar bears, and an ice world. It also contains other arctic animals such as the Arctic Fox.
•The Wild Adventure Ride: This motion-simulated ride can be found in the Ford Educational Center. It is designed to be both educational and fun, and it takes passengers on a simulated thrill ride through several different natural environments.
•The Australian Outback Adventure: This is the zoo’s newest exhibit; it opened in spring of 2006. It is unique because it allows visitors to come within touching distance of wallabies and kangaroos. Participants are allowed to walk along a path that is separated from the animals by only a knee-high cable. Other features include interactive learning centers and outback buildings.
•Amphibiville: This exhibit includes a wetland that is home to many species of frogs and other amphibians. It also houses the National Amphibian Conservation Center, which is home to dozens of unusual amphibians.
•African Grasslands: In this attraction, visitors can learn about the many animals in Africa. It includes two new animals, warthogs and African wild dogs, which were introduced to the zoo in 2007.
•Giraffe Encounter: For an additional $5, the zoo allows 50 visitors each day the opportunity to feed the giraffes. The participants are situated on a platform, which places them eye to eye with the towering creatures.
•3D/4D Theater: At various times throughout the day, the zoo shows 3D nature films in this theater. The films include multi-sensory effects such as wind, water, smells and various tickling and poking sensations. The current showing is “Wild World Africa,” which features some of the wildest animals in Africa.
DEALS, PROMOTIONS AND EVENTS
•Summer Zoomance: This promotion allows adults to experience the zoo, live jazz and food for $8 per person. It is offered on two different dates in 2010, July 15 and August 26.
•Wild Summer Nights: During the months of July and August, the zoo has a different concert every Wednesday night. These concerts are free with regular admission and include a different musical style each night.
•Summer Safari Camps: From June 21 through August 18, the zoo offers a wide variety of different summer camp options for children ages 4 to 15. They range from half-day sessions to weeklong experiences. If desired, parents can bring their children in early or pick them up late to allow them to participate in additional activities. Prices start at $30 for Detroit Zoological Society members and $35 for non-members.
•$2 Off Days: During certain holidays and special events, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and President’s Week, the zoo offers $2 off their regular admission prices.
•The Detroit Zoological Society: The cost to become a member of this organization is $48 a year for an individual, $65 dollars a year for an individual with a guest and $79 a year for a family. Residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties receive discounts on these rates. In return, members receive free admission to Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo, free parking and discounted admission to other zoos and aquariums. They can also get in free to the Wild Summer Nights concerts.
•EdZOOcation Field Trip Programs: The Detroit Zoo offers several different field trip experiences for various grade levels. The field trips include three different options for grades K-2, two for grades 3-5, one for grades 5-8 and one for grades 7-12. The cost to participate is $2 per person, not including admission.
•School Discounts: Admission for school groups is $5 for both children and adults; residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties get in for $3.50
•Other Group Discounts: Groups of 20 or more receive a discount of $1.50 for adults and $1 for children and seniors. Larger groups of 500 or more receive an additional dollar off for adults and fifty cents for children and seniors.
Both schools and non-school groups must give two weeks notice in order to receive these discounted rates.
WHERE TO FIND COUPONS AND DEALS ONLINE
There are very few websites that offer deals for the Detroit Zoo, and even those that do only have deals occasionally. However, if you are looking for Detroit Zoo coupons, the following websites might be helpful:
This web page has information about the zoo and any promotions it may be offering. It also contains links to other pages that may have coupons and news about the zoo.
The above sites don’t always have coupons, but if there are any deals available they are the best places to find them.
HOW TO GET COUPONS AND DEALS OFFLINE
The best way to find the zoo’s current promotions is to call the zoo itself at (248) 541-5717 or visit their website at www.detroitzoo.org. Alternately, you can check local hotels and merchants or visit the tourism bureau.
The Detroit Zoo is a great place for family fun. It includes activities for all ages, has many unique exhibits and offers several entertaining events throughout the year. However, the cost can add up. Admission is expensive, parking is not included, and many of the attractions cost an additional fee. The zoo offers group discounts, but individuals can only get a deal on admission a couple of times a year. The best way to get a good price on this activity is to join the Detroit Zoological Society, which makes both admission and parking free.