Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a reservation to visit the Detroit Zoo?

Yes, all visitors (ages 2 and up) are required to have a reservation prior to their visit in order for us to maintain capacity limits within the Detroit Zoo.


Do I have to wear a face mask when I visit?
  • Unless otherwise prevented by a medical condition, the Detroit Zoological Society requires that all guests 5 and older wear a mask at all times while at the Zoo.
  • We all have a shared responsibility to keep guests, volunteers, staff and the animals who live here safe. Guests who do not comply with the Detroit Zoo’s policies may be escorted from the Zoo.
  • Face masks must fit properly and securely cover your mouth and nose. Face masks with vents or valves are not permitted as they do not help prevent the spread of the virus, according to the CDC. Face shields are not accepted as substitutes for masks, but they may be worn as an added layer of protection.
  • Face masks are for sale at the Detroit Zoo’s Zoofari Market.
  • Guests may temporarily remove their masks when eating and drinking.
  • As individuals infected with Covid can often be “asymptomatic” and still spread the virus, we encourage individuals who cannot wear a mask to rethink their Zoo visit.
  • In order to protect other guests, staff and volunteers, guests who cannot wear a mask should minimize their time in indoor spaces, and must maintain at least six feet from other guests, staff and volunteers while outdoors.
  • Enjoy our weekly Zooper Hero posts on the Detroit Zoo’s Facebook page featuring guests of all ages sporting their masks. Share your picture with us from your last visit to the Zoo for a chance to be featured!

Does purchasing a membership automatically guarantee me a specific reservation at the Detroit Zoo?

Temporarily, due to the pandemic and capacity limits within the Detroit Zoo, purchasing a membership does not guarantee you will be able to select any time and date slot to visit. While you may see openings for general admission tickets, that may not necessarily mean membership slots are available for those same dates and times. General admission tickets are available in order to give people who may not be able to afford a membership a chance to visit. However, we continue to open up date and time slots for members each day.

Why are there general ticket slots available?

General ticket admission is currently available because we don’t want to exclude anyone from visiting who may not be able to afford a DZS membership. Each day, we open up more date and time slots for members. You will be able to visit your Detroit Zoo, we just ask that you check often.

If I’m a member, can I book more than one reservation at a time?

Currently, we’re asking members to only make a reservation once every two weeks in order to give other members the chance to visit.

Can I make a reservation in person?

All guests are required to make an advance reservation prior to their visit. If you need reservation assistance, please contact us at [email protected] or call 248-541-5717. Please be advised we are experiencing high traffic on our reservation site and through our call center. Please try again if you have issues. Thank you for your patience as we do our best to support all of our members and guests. A limited number of general admission tickets will also be available at the gate each day with pricing of $15 per child or senior, and $19 per adult. The best way to guarantee your Detroit Zoo visit is to book your visit in advance online.

Do I have to show up for my selected time and date slot?

Please only make a reservation for a day and time you are planning to come. Unfortunately, we have a high percentage of members who are not showing up for their reservations, which is preventing other members from visiting.
Visitors purchasing general admission tickets will be required to pay a change fee per ticket to visit the Zoo on a different date.

How do I cancel my reservation?

Members can fill out the form here or email [email protected] to cancel reservations. Please provide your order confirmation number.

All ticket purchases are non-refundable. Visitors purchasing general admission tickets will be required to pay a change fee per ticket to visit the Zoo on a different date.

Can I enter through the member-only entrance?

Due to the pandemic, the members-only entrance at Rackham Fountain is temporarily closed. All guests must enter through the main admission gates at the front of the Zoo.

When will the rides and attractions be open?

At this time all rides and attractions are temporarily closed and will reopen in phases. Check for updates.

What are the dining and gift options available?

Buddy’s Pizza is open daily with outdoor seating allowing for physical distancing of at least 10 feet between groups. The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. is open weekends only. The Zoofari Market is open, and online ordering is also available. Credit or debit cards are strongly preferred as means of payment to reduce transmission risk of handling cash.

Is the Giraffe Encounter open?

For the safety of our animals, the Giraffe Encounter is temporarily unavailable.

Will convenience rentals be available?

Currently, convenience rentals are unavailable due to the public health crisis.

Where can I find your full list of safety guidelines?

You can read the current safety guidelines at We are updating the page often.

Can I find out which habitats are open prior to my visit?

Yes, check out Zoo Treks to find out which habitats and indoor areas are currently open.

Why aren’t visitors allowed to feed the animals?

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.

Is the Polk Penguin Conservation Center temporarily closing for repairs?

The Polk Penguin Conservation Center is expected to reopen in winter 2020.

Can I bring my own food/picnic?

Yes, you can bring in your own food, non-alcoholic beverages and cooler. Grilling on Zoo grounds is prohibited. We have a large number of picnic tables throughout the Zoo for guest use, some of which are under tents. Feel free to sit at any that are not reserved.

Can I bring my dog/pet?

For the safety of your pet and our animals, pets are not allowed on Zoo grounds.

Are you open during certain holidays or in the winter?

The Detroit Zoo is open 362 days a year; we are only closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Starting in October we switch to our winter hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

I would like to have an event at the Zoo. How do I get information?

We offer a large variety of unique opportunities for private events. Please visit here for more information.

Can I rent an animal? Can I touch an animal?

Zoo animals are cared for by specially trained keepers who, in most cases, do not come in direct contact with them. So while it isn’t possible for anyone to pet a Zoo animal or volunteer to work with them, we do have a couple of suggestions. Also, our WildLife Preserver’s “Adopt-an-Animal” program allows you to make a donation in someone’s name. It is a symbolic adoption – the donation will be used for the care of that animal – and he or she will receive a certificate and information about the animal they love.

How long does it take to walk around the Zoo? How far is it?

The Zoo is 125 acres. If you walk all the primary pathways on the main route, it is a 1.7-mile trip. Adding in smaller paths increases your distance.