Detroit Zoo Safety Guidelines & Updates

Our goal is to provide a great Zoo experience in an environment that is as safe as possible for all. To maintain the health and safety of our guests, staff and endangered animals, there are a few safety guidelines and updates we would like you to review before your arrival.

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Face masks are encouraged indoors for the well-being of each other, staff and the animals who call the Detroit Zoo home.


Detroit Zoological Society members are no longer required to book reservations to visit the Detroit Zoo during daytime hours. If you would like to purchase or renew a membership, click here.


  • All general admission guests are required to purchase their tickets in advance so that we can maintain capacity limits. Tickets can be purchased here. A limited number of general admission tickets will also be available at the gate each day with pricing of $20 per child or senior, and $25 per adult. The best way to guarantee your Detroit Zoo experience, at the best price, is to purchase your advance tickets today.
  • After purchasing your tickets, you will receive an email with your digital ticket, safety details and a digital map, as the Zoo will not be providing paper maps. Please check your spam folder if you do not receive your tickets after making a reservation.


  • Parking is available in the surface lots and the parking structure.
  • Please show your ID and membership card (if applicable) before presenting your digital or printed timed ticket to the booth attendant, who will scan it.


  • 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, those planning to visit the Polk Penguin Conservation Center will join the organized queue line adjacent to the building entrance. Detroit Zoological Society memberships and advance admission tickets will not guarantee a pass to the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.
  • Explore Zoo Treks for information about the animals and the habitats.
  • Visitors are strictly prohibited from feeding any animal at the Detroit Zoo. Animals have specialized and nutritionally balanced diets, and throwing food and other objects into habitats risks their health and safety. Guests who violate this rule will be escorted from the Zoo.
  • Please pay attention to the signs around the Zoo alerting you to any temporary closures as well as all the safety guidelines:
  • EXPERIENCE UPDATES: Most indoor areas have reopened. The Wild Adventure Zone remains closed to the public.
  • FOOD AND GIFT OPTIONS: Click here for food options. Click here for gift options. Credit or debit cards are strongly preferred as means of payment.


Knowledge regarding potential susceptibility of animals to COVID-19 continues to emerge, and DZS protocols adapt to include new information as it is available. We are taking proactive measures to limit any potential risk to animals who live at the Detroit Zoo as we continue to properly care for them. The DZS staff is wearing personal protective equipment while caring for certain species. Guests may notice temporary barriers in areas that might present a risk of transmission of COVID-19 from a guest to an animal. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work to keep the animals at the Zoo healthy.


The safety protocols and reopening information were developed after reviewing scientific data, consulting with health experts, local officials and other zoos around the world. As a visitor, you are required to follow all of the safety guidelines established by the Detroit Zoological Society. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and even death. Older adults and people who have underlying illnesses may be at greater risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is still a risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 while in outdoor areas with other people, though it has been established that viruses do not, in general, survive sunlight/UV radiation for very long. When you visit the grounds of the Detroit Zoo, or any other public place, you are accepting there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, everyone must share the responsibility of following safety guidelines to help keep themselves and others safe. When you make the choice to visit the Detroit Zoo, you represent that you are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have not tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks and have not been in direct personal contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks. While in the Zoo, you are expected to observe the DZS’s safety guidelines that are derived from the CDC, WHO and other experts. They are outlined above and posted throughout the Zoo and include wearing face coverings, following posted routes of circulation, physical distancing and adhering to sanitization requirements.