Zoo Experiences

Create lifelong memories with a special experience at the Detroit Zoo!

Experiencing animals in their habitats puts you and your family at the heart of Celebrating and Saving Wildlife.  Your interactive experience purchase includes a charitable contribution; please see below for the fair market value for each. A tax receipt will be provided within two weeks of purchasing your animal encounter. Contact us to schedule your special experience today!

For more information and reservations, please call (248) 336-5836 or email us.

Reservations must be made two weeks in advance and are non-refundable.


Giraffe Encounter

Detroit Zoo - Giraffe Encounter

Closed for the season

| Tickets $5 per person | Feedings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Feeding opportunities are subject to the giraffes’ appetites, weather and special events. This elevated viewing platform overlooks the giraffe habitat and brings guests to eye level with the tallest creatures at the Zoo. Visitors have the opportunity to feed the giraffes twice daily, weather permitting, from late spring through early fall. Sixty tickets will be sold for each feeding and may be purchased at the Ambassador Booth, located just inside the main entrance of the Zoo.

Feeding opportunities are subject to the giraffes’ appetites, weather and special events. This elevated viewing platform overlooks the giraffe habitat and brings guests to eye level with the tallest creatures at the Zoo. Visitors have the opportunity to feed the giraffes twice daily, weather permitting, from late spring through early fall. Sixty tickets will be sold for each feeding and may be purchased at the Ambassador Booth, located just inside the main entrance of the Zoo.

If guests are interested in a private experience, we suggest Breakfast with a Favorite Animal. This private event must be reserved in advance and includes a charitable contribution to support the Detroit Zoological Society’s mission of Celebrating and Saving Wildlife.

Ambassador Booth on Zoo Map

Breakfast with a Favorite Animal

You’ve heard of dancing with wolves – now you can dine with them.

Enjoy a delicious continental breakfast at the Zoo with the animal habitat of your choosing serving as a unique backdrop. Your longtime favorites – Breakfast with the Giraffes and Breakfast with the Butterflies – are still options for this experience. Throughout the 90-minute encounter, you’ll learn details of the animals’ daily lives from the people who take care of them.

Enjoy a delicious continental breakfast at the Zoo with the animal habitat of your choosing serving as a unique backdrop. Your longtime favorites – Breakfast with the Giraffes and Breakfast with the Butterflies – are still options for this experience. Throughout the 90-minute encounter, you’ll learn details of the animals’ daily lives from the people who take care of them.

  • There will be no direct animal contact
    • (except for Breakfast with the Giraffes or Butterflies)
  • Groups limited to five participants
  • Children must be 5 or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $500.00 per group
  • Fair market value: $120

For more information and reservations, please call (248) 336-5836 or email us.

Reservations must be made two weeks in advance and are non-refundable.


Tea and Crumpets Tour

A crumpet with a glass of tea

8-9:30 a.m.

Make your next special occasion even more memorable with a fanciful celebration at the Detroit Zoo! Your experience will begin with a Docent-led golf cart tour of the Zoo, followed by a tea party complete with delicious crumpet pastries held in the exclusive Nautilus Room in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery.

  • Groups are limited to five participants
  • Children must be 5 years or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $500 per group (fair market value $100)

Make your next special occasion even more memorable with a fanciful celebration at the Detroit Zoo! Your experience will begin with a Docent-led golf cart tour of the Zoo, followed by a tea party complete with delicious crumpet pastries held in the exclusive Nautilus Room in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery.

  • Groups are limited to five participants
  • Children must be 5 years or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $500 per group (fair market value $100)

For more information and reservations, please call (248) 336-5836 or email us.

Reservations must be made two weeks in advance and are non-refundable.


Seal the Deal

Two seals underwater

Join our expert staff caring for seals in the Arctic Ring of Life!  Your group will go behind the scenes, meet these captivating animals, and learn how each receives individualized care.

  • Available Fridays and Sundays, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Four participants maximum
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • $500 per group

Join our expert staff caring for seals in the Arctic Ring of Life!  Your group will go behind the scenes, meet these captivating animals, and learn how each receives individualized care.

  • Available Fridays and Sundays, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Four participants maximum
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • $500 per group

For more information and reservations, please call (248) 336-5836 or email us. Reservations must be made two weeks in advance and are non-refundable.


Private Photo Safari

Arctic Fox

How many times have you just missed the perfect shot when trying to photograph one of the animal residents at the Detroit Zoo? Amateur shutterbugs are treated to a 90-minute guided tour of the Zoo with an experienced photographer while learning tips and tricks for capturing perfect photos of the animals. Reservations must be made two weeks in advance. Private Photo Safari dates are subject to availability.

  • Private Photo Safari is conducted from 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Offered year-round (weather permitting)
  • Groups limited to three participants (one more participant for an additional $100)
  • Children must be 10 or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $300.00 per group
  • Fair market value: $40

How many times have you just missed the perfect shot when trying to photograph one of the animal residents at the Detroit Zoo? Amateur shutterbugs are treated to a 90-minute guided tour of the Zoo with an experienced photographer while learning tips and tricks for capturing perfect photos of the animals. Reservations must be made two weeks in advance. Private Photo Safari dates are subject to availability.

  • Private Photo Safari is conducted from 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Offered year-round (weather permitting)
  • Groups limited to three participants (one more participant for an additional $100)
  • Children must be 10 or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $300.00 per group
  • Fair market value: $40

For more information and reservations, please call (248) 336-5836 or email us.

Reservations must be made two weeks in advance and are non-refundable.


Resident Reptiles

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Revel in a private, educational, zookeeper-led tour of the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, home to 180 reptiles representing 70 species. You and your guests will learn about the Detroit Zoo’s turtles, snakes and lizards – and witness a python, water monitor or crocodile enjoy a hearty meal. (Not for the faint of heart!)

  • There will be no direct animal contact
  • Groups limited to five participants
  • Children must be 8 or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $500.00 per group
  • Fair market value: $70

Revel in a private, educational, zookeeper-led tour of the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, home to 180 reptiles representing 70 species. You and your guests will learn about the Detroit Zoo’s turtles, snakes and lizards – and witness a python, water monitor or crocodile enjoy a hearty meal. (Not for the faint of heart!)

  • There will be no direct animal contact
  • Groups limited to five participants
  • Children must be 8 or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $500.00 per group
  • Fair market value: $70

For more information and reservations, please call (248) 336-5836 or email us.

Reservations must be made two weeks in advance and are non-refundable.


Mingle With the Macaronis

(Gentoos, Rockhoppers and Kings, too!)

Mingle with the Macaronis experiences are sold out for the season.

Do you want to know how penguins stay warm, eat and play while living in their icy cold habitat? Get up close and personal with them at the Zoo! Under the guidance and supervision of a zookeeper, you will interact with these charming birds in their habitat. Your visit will last approximately two hours and include a behind-the-scenes tour of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Once inside, you’ll meet some of the 80-plus penguins. Many photo opportunities will be available as you hand-feed the gentoo, rockhopper and macaroni penguins.  View frequently asked questions here.

Mingle with the Macaronis experiences are sold out for the season.

Do you want to know how penguins stay warm, eat and play while living in their icy cold habitat? Get up close and personal with them at the Zoo! Under the guidance and supervision of a zookeeper, you will interact with these charming birds in their habitat. Your visit will last approximately two hours and include a behind-the-scenes tour of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Once inside, you’ll meet some of the 80-plus penguins. Many photo opportunities will be available as you hand-feed the gentoo, rockhopper and macaroni penguins.  View frequently asked questions here.

  • Mingles are conducted from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Mingles cannot be scheduled during breeding (March 15 – May 31) or molting season (August 15 – September 30)
  • Groups limited to six participants
  • Children must be 7 or older and accompanied by an adult
  • Cost is $1,000.00 per group
  • Fair market value: $150
  • Frequently asked questions