EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: Belle Isle Nature Center has reopened! LEARN MORE

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Polk Penguin Conservation Center

The Polk Penguin Conservation Center is the most extraordinary center for penguins in the world.

Among the most spectacular features of the 33,000-square-foot facility is a 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where visitors can watch as more than 75 penguins of five species explore their habitat. An underwater gallery with a vast acrylic window and two acrylic tunnels provides breathtaking views of the birds above, around and below, and allows guests to get nose to beak with the charismatic birds!

Inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary Antarctic expedition and epic crossing of the Drake Passage, the penguin center evokes the harsh and visceral ice world of the southern continent, recreated in a 360-degree 4-D entry experience that includes blasts of polar air and sea mist. A cool video and sound feature called projection mapping depicts a phenomenon known as iceberg calving – one of nature’s most dramatic spectacles where icebergs split and send massive cascades of ice crashing into the sea.

Reminiscent of a tabular iceberg with a crevasse and waterfall, the striking exterior conjures the stark and beautiful Antarctic icescape – right in the heart of Southeast Michigan!

The Polk Penguin Conservation Center is open as of February 14, 2022. The Polk Penguin Conservation Center is free with Detroit Zoo admission; however, entry to every guest is NOT GUARANTEED. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all guests, timed-entry passes are required – available on a first-come, first-served basis at the main admissions gate.

Polk Penguin Conservation Center Website