Archive: Activities Abound for National Visit the Zoo Day December 27

Navigate the Zoo from the palm of your hand with new Detroit Zoo Trek

December 21, 2018

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

While the Detroit Zoo is open 362 days a year and annually welcomes 1.5 million guests, there’s one day in particular when America comes together to celebrate everything zoos have to offer. National Visit the Zoo Day is December 27, and the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is hosting special activities that are free with Zoo admission to mark the occasion.

“This event is a great way for families and friends to extend their holiday time together in a magical setting,” said Gerry Van Acker, DZS chief operating officer. “The activities we have planned will provide guests of all ages with an appreciation for the cold-weather creatures who live at the Detroit Zoo.”

Scheduled talks with animal care staff and fun learning elements will feature animals who are active during the winter as well as indoor viewing areas where guests can stay warm. A new Detroit Zoo Trek – an interactive mobile map system – will debut on December 27 in conjunction with the event, offering a guided route with a winter theme so guests can navigate the landmark’s 125 acres from the palms of their hands. To launch the trek, visit

“Winter is a fantastic time to visit the Zoo – many animals are especially active this time of year including red pandas, wolverines, snow monkeys and wolves,” Van Acker said. “In addition, our Conservation Campus is conveniently located near the main entrance, where guests can view animals indoors while being protected from the elements.”

National Visit the Zoo Day activities will include zookeeper talks that highlight penguins, mantella frogs, reticulated pythons and arctic foxes. Educational activities will be held in the Matilda R. Wilson Free-Flight Aviary, National Amphibian Conservation Center and Holden Reptile Conservation Center throughout the day.

Visitors can even experience summer in winter while exploring the Butterfly Garden, which is kept at a balmy 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the optimal temperature for the more than 25 species of butterflies to take flight. Hundreds of these winged wonders can be observed feeding on flower nectar and basking in the sun from the massive skylight. The Ford Education Center is another spot to take respite from the chilly temps while viewing the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, with 100 stunning images from the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife photography competition.