Michigan Road Trip: Detroit Zoo during winter season - WNEM TV 5

Michigan Road Trip: Detroit Zoo during winter season

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DETROIT (WNEM) -

For some, a trip to the zoo is probably an activity saved for the warmer months.

The Detroit Zoo is open year-round, though, and welcoming everyone to old and new traditions.

“You know, we have a lot of fun events happening this time of year. We have our wild lights events which is starting on selected nights throughout December,” Elizabeth Arbaugh, curator of the mammals at Detroit Zoo said.

Rain or shine, visitors can be dazzled by more than 500 million lights at the Detroit Zoo. It’s all designed to make the zoo a great destination for families during the holiday season.

“The lights will light up the front half of the zoo,” Arbaugh said.

Holiday lights aside, if visitors want to stick to observing animals on their visit, the zoo’s got that covered too.

“There’s a lot of animals that are still out and active this time of year. You can see our wolves’ habitat and our wolves, you can get wonderful views of them and they are active all year round, and we have bears and seals and wolverines and all kind of animals that are still out and about that really enjoy this kind of weather,” Arbaugh said.

Those who enjoy the warmth can go inside and pay the penguins a visit.

One of the most popular exhibits is the Polk Penguin Conservation. The temperature inside ranges from 37-40 degrees to ensure the animals feel nice and cozy. There’s even a boat ride that adds to the unique experience. 

The front row seat depicts a legendary Antarctic expedition to Drakes Passage. For many visitors, it makes a winter visit to the zoo even more exciting than one in the warmer months. 

“Yes, because there are going to be animals that live out in the cold out there,” Arbaugh said.

For those looking for something a little more active, there’s a new addition right outside of the Penguin exhibit - an ice skating rink.

“It’s really great for kids, especially to get to go outside and enjoy sometime ice skating on the rink right outside and still being able to peak in at the penguins inside their habitat.”

A winter trip to the Detroit Zoo may be an outside adventure for you and your family this holiday season. 

Here is a list of some attractions open during the winter months:

  • Carousel
  • 4-d Theater- Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
  • Winter Rink (just outside the Polk Penguin Conservation)
  • Science of a Sphere 
  • Tauber Family Railroad
  • Holden Reptile Conservation Center
  • Wildlife Interpretive Gallery
  • National Amphibian Conservation Center
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Arctic Ring of Life

To learn more about hours, pricing and more attractions visit, click here

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