Animal Encounters

Detroit Zoo - Giraffe Encounter

Giraffe Encounter

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

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.

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. Guests may also take part in a special experience called Breakfast with the Giraffes. This private event that 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.


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