Wild Animals, Wild Winter at the Detroit Zoo

By: Amber Ogden | January 14, 2015

There are plenty of activities that are strictly enjoyed during the summertime, like going to the beach and eating a grilled burger on a patio. Going to the zoo is not one such activity. While you might think it’s too cold to stroll from one animal exhibit to another, remember that there are plenty of benefits to going to the zoo during the colder months: most notably, Wild Winter at the Zoo.

Held over multiple weekends throughout the next three months, Wild Winter activities begin at the Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, this Saturday, Jan. 17 and Sunday, Jan. 18. The first weekend’s theme is Wild Winter Arctic Adventure and includes arts and crafts, ice carving demonstrations and the opportunity to learn about the zoo’s arctic animals through zookeeper talks.

“A trip to the Detroit Zoo in winter is the ultimate ‘cool’ experience—it’s less crowded than in the warmer months, and some of the animals are more active in the colder temperatures, such as the wolverines and Japanese macaques,” Jennie Miller, Communications Manager of the Detroit Zoological Society, said.

(Photo provided by Detroit Zoological Society, Patti Truesdell and Jennie Miller)

(Photo provided by Detroit Zoological Society, Patti Truesdell and Jennie Miller)

During Wild Winter weekends, check out your favorite indoor and outdoor habitats, then take advantage of special family-friendly events including children’s music, games, crafts and more. The zoo even provides a downloadable winter map on its website so visitors can print it out and bring it along to help navigate the best route during their visit.

The second Wild Winter weekend takes place on Saturday, Feb. 7 and Sunday, Feb. 8.

“Wild Winter African Adventure will include a celebration of African American history with an African drum lesson and stories by Kenyan naturalist and Detroit Zoo education specialist David Gakure,” Miller said. “It will also feature live entertainment, arts and crafts and games.”

The third and final weekend, Wild Winter Safari Social, is on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, and includes animal arts and crafts, animal enrichment activities, zookeeper talks and a winter safari scavenger hunt. Ice cream and hot cocoa will be available for purchase at a discounted price!

(Photo provided by Detroit Zoological Society, Patti Truesdell and Jennie Miller)

(Photo provided by Detroit Zoological Society, Patti Truesdell and Jennie Miller)

“We are also featuring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition—a collection of images from the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife photography competition,” Miller said. “This spectacular exhibition showcases 100 of the most incredible photographic images of wildlife from around the globe.”

The exhibition is free with museum admission, and visitors can find it in the Ford Education Center through March. All Wild Winter at the Zoo activities are also free with museum admission, and run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the aforementioned weekends. The zoo’s winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through March, and admission costs $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and children ages 2 to 14, and is free for children under the age of 2.

As if Wild Winter at the Zoo wasn’t enough to enjoy, there are plenty of great events to look forward to at the Detroit Zoo in the coming months! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more information on The Cotton Family Wolf Habitat, which is expected to open this spring, as well as Dinosauria, which runs Friday, May 22 through Monday, Sept. 7. For a complete list of the year’s happenings, visit the events page of the official website.