The Detroit Zoo: A Wintertime Destination {+Giveaway!}

One of my favorite things to do in the wintertime is to walk through the Detroit Zoo after a snowfall. {I shared some photos of a visit last year here.} In the sunshine and fresh air, with fewer visitors and more active animals, a walk through the Zoo can be a serious mood booster when you have the winter blues. When you’re cold, just pop into one of the indoor habitats to warm up. With a little help from zookeepers, I’ve put together a guide to all the hot – and cold – spots to visit on your next trip.

Start out at the Penguinarium to see king, macaroni and rockhopper penguins “fly” through the water in their three-sided habitat. From there it’s a short hop to the National Amphibian Conservation Center, the award-winning habitat the Wall Street Journal called “Disneyland for toads.”

After a short walk along the Mall Road, warm up at the Arctic Food Court with a cup of hot cocoa. Then make your way over to the wolverines, the mascot of our great state, and follow the trail west to see the American bison who share a habitat with the collared peccaries. From there, head over to the bear dens {the bears do get sleepy in the winter, but can be seen outdoors on nicer days}.

After a visit to the giraffe house, where the warm indoor habitat provides a close-up view of the Zoo’s tallest creatures, check the white rhinos, which can be enjoyed from their indoor viewing area. Drop in at Meerkat Digs, and then visit the black-and-white ruffed lemurs {one of my favorite areas!}.

Right around the corner, you’ll find the adorable snow monkeys. Whether they’re playing in the snow or relaxing on the edge of their hot tub, they are always entertaining to watch. Next door, the kings of the jungle can be seen up close on their toasty perch near the glass, thanks to the warming rocks in their habitat {I kind of want some of those for my bathroom!}.

And close to that are the majestic Amur Tigers. Kinley always likes to say “grrr!” as we walk by, and as you can see, she {or maybe he?}, often likes to talk back to us when the weather is cooler!

Tiger at the Detroit Zoo

Swing around to the Great Apes of Harambee, where chimpanzees, western lowland gorillas and drills go bananas on tires, branches and ropes in the habitat’s spacious dayrooms. {I could watch them swing and play all day. Amazing creatures.}

From there, become immersed in the underwater environment of swimming polar bears and seals at the Arctic Ring of Life…Definitely one of the best spots for photo ops, as you can see below! {Kinley, last year…what a face, huh?}

Kin at the Zoo

Once back on the path, head over to the Holden Reptile Conservation Center to see more than 85 species of crocodilians, snakes and lizards. Then visit the Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat and watch its adorable residents play in their 5,900-gallon pool. From there, it’s a short flight to the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, where the popular Butterfly Garden is always a balmy 75 degrees and the Free-flight Aviary provides a tropical environment for over 30 species of birds. {Butterflies are one of my favorite photo subjects!}

Butterfly at the Detroit Zoo

Are you convinced yet to bundle up and take a walk through the Detroit Zoo for a terrific day??? I’m telling you, it’s a “wild” winter wonderland that is so much fun. Plus, the fresh air is so fantastic for wearing the kiddos out 😀 Plan a visit for a healthy dose of Vitamin Z!

The kind people of the zoo are providing me with a 4-pack of tickets to give away to one lucky reader. Just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end next Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


    • Mrs. Weber says

      It sure is…Not sure the species, but pretty sure it was something exotic. I love taking pics inside the butterfly house. They are so gorgeous!

  1. says

    I love the amphibian the walk through area you can sometimes get super close to the sloth.

    When my daughter Lucy was about 2, one of those big blue butterflies landed on her head & stayed there for the longest time! It looked like she had a big butterfly clip in her hair.
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  2. Alecia S says

    Definitely the butterfly exhibit. So relaxing and when one lands on you it’s just awesome!

  3. Norm says

    I really like not all the zoo animals, but the birds (flamingos,eagles, peacocks etc) and the butterflies too.

  4. says

    It is so difficult to pick a favorite exhibit! We adore them all! :-) My personal favorite is the butterfly gardens! Some of the best photos I have taken (aside from those of our children 😉 ) have happened there!

  5. Laura Torchia says

    love the Polar Bears…..Love to go to the zoo when it is snowing! If you havent done it you must