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Wildlife & Zoos in Michigan

Across Michigan, you will find numerous aquariums and zoos offer close encounters with some of nature's most interesting creatures. These exciting places are fun destinations to visit with the entire family.

Watch penguins in the world's largest iceberg-shaped penguinarium at the Detroit Zoo. Take a safari and learn about African animals and culture Binder Park Zoo. Pet a black bear at Oswald's Bear Ranch. And check out the fish and aquatic animals at the Belle Isle Aquarium.

When visiting central Michigan, make some time to visit Potter Park Zoo in the City of Lansing. Covering over 100 acres, Potter Park is the oldest zoo in Michigan and is made up of more than 500 animals across 160 species. Exhibits include the Exploration & Discovery Center for Education, the Lansing River Trail, and Wings from Down Under.

If you enjoy bird watching, the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Augusta encompasses 180 acres and offers year-round tours. 

Air Zoo

Home to many rare and historical aircraft, Air Zoo, also known as Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, is located near Kalamazoo in Portage, Michigan. The southern Michigan attraction is convenient to the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, and is just one of the premier Michigan zoos.

Visiting aeronautics enthusiasts will find an extensive collection, including an S.P.A.D. WWI Fighter and the SR-71B Blackbird – famous for being the world’s fastest air-breathing aircraft. The museum also features amusement rides and interactive exhibits like the 4-D simulation of a WWII-era B-17 bombing mission.

Binder Park Zoo

Enjoy a day of wildlife fun at Binder Park Zoo. Located on 433 acres of natural forests and wetlands in Battle Creek, this zoo is home to over 140 species of animals. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and strives to provide exceptional care for the animals, while providing a wonderful zoo experience.

Don't miss feeding the giraffes, a fun way to view one of the largest giraffe herds in the country up close. Kids love riding the Z.O & O. Train and the Binda Conservation Carousel.

Fun seasonal events at the zoo include the Cheetah Chase, the Reptile Weekend and the Howl-a-palooza. The zoo also offers camps, workshops, parties and "Zookeeper for a Day." Make the most of your next visit to Southern Michigan with a day at Binder Park Zoo.

Children's Zoo at Celebration Square

Open from April and October, the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square is located in Saginaw in central Michigan – just 20 minutes from Birch Run. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the Saginaw zoo is home to over 150 animals.

The Children's Zoo at Celebration Square features Iberschoff Special train ride, the Fossil Find dig, Crawl Space for insect and lizard lovers, and the Wetland Experience.

Detroit Zoo

Ideal for traveling families or school field trips, the Detroit Zoo is a premier attraction in Michigan. The zoo was established in 1928, after the development of the Detroit Zoological Society.

Some of the first animal exhibits at the Zoo included the Bear Dens, Sheep Rock, Bird House, Elk Exhibit, the Primate House, Baboon Rock and the Reptile House.

This Detroit area zoo was the first in America to have cage-free exhibits. Not only is this incredible zoo home to more than 270 species of animals, it remains active in several Species Survival Plans, to preserve critically endangered species. It's just one of the many excellent Michigan zoos.

The zoo's Arctic Ring of Life remains the largest polar bear exhibit in North America, with its 300,000 gallon aquarium. Have fun walking through the 70-foot-long underwater tunnel, to see the bears up close. The Australian Outback Adventure features red kangaroos and red-neck wallabies in two-acres.

Great Lakes Zoological Society

Open daily in Ann Arbor; the Great Lakes Zoological Society operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. just south of Whitmore Lake. Set in the western Detroit metropolitan area, the zoo is a 5000-square-foot exhibit – plus the World of Discovery gift shop.

Formally the Great Lakes Zoological Society's World of Discovery Reptile Zoo, the zoo also features conservation programs, adoption, and over 70 different species of animal.

John Ball Zoo

Established in 1891, the John Ball Zoological Garden is a historic park located in central Michigan. Found in Grand Rapids, John Ball Zoo covers 140 acres ­ and is home to more than 1,100 animals – along with rides over at Funicular.

Spanning approximately 240 species, John Ball Zoo Society was Michigan’s first zoo to be accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Exhiits include the Mokomboso Valley Chimpanzee Exhibit and the African Veldt Exhibit – plus the Living Shores Aquarium, Bald Eagle Aviary, and Stingray Lagoon.

Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

Ideal for bird watchers and fowl fans, the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary encompasses 180 acres in Augusta, 10 miles west of Battle Creek. In 1927, W.K. Kellogg, the cereal maker, purchased the land around Wintergreen Lake to create the sanctuary for an appreciation of the native wildlife.

The sanctuary is included in the Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station. Enjoy a leisurely stroll on the 3/4 mile trail along the lake, to see waterfowl, upland game birds and birds of prey. 

Tours are available year-round with focus on the different seasons: nesting, young families, migration and birds of winter. The Kellogg Bird Sanctuary is an ideal destination in southern Michigan.

Potter Park Zoo

Covering over 100 acres, Potter Park Zoo is located along Interstate 96 within central Michigan. Owned by the City of Lansing, Potter Park was established in 1915 – making it Michigan’s oldest public zoo. It's just one of the many excellent zoos in Michigan.

Potter Park Zoo is home to over 500 animals across 160 species, plus annual events like L&L Zoo Days, Boo at the Zoo, and Wonderland of Lights.

Exhibits include Wings from Down Under – plus the Lansing River Trail and the Exploration & Discovery Center for Education.

Wilderness State Park

Make the most of an outdoor romp in Michigan. The Wilderness State Park, located on Michigan's Lower Peninsula in Mackinaw City, is set along Sturgeon Bay in Lake Michigan. The park is comprised of sand dunes along the coastline and a deciduous forest in the interior. Pack your water bottle and snacks for hiking on one of the trails, then head to Waugoshance Point for awesome views of Lake Michigan.

Bring your binoculars to spy several species of birds in the park including woods, warblers, loons and bald eagles. Stay in comfort while in Mackinaw City, where the warmth, charm, and hospitality is second to none. Enjoy your visit to Northern Michigan.