An Animal Lover’s Guide to Metro Detroit

We have at least one animal aficionado in our house with his little brother showing a burgeoning interest. Over the past few years, we have taken advantage of the great animal-themed places to visit in metro Detroit. Our region offers so many family-friendly outings! Most are open year-round with several free or low-cost options.

Here are some of our favorites:

Detroit Zoo (Royal Oak) – No list about animals could be complete without mention of the Detroit Zoo. Home to more than 2,400 animals on 125 acres, there is so much to learn and explore!

Belle Isle Aquarium (Detroit) – The oldest aquarium in the country, its Albert Kahn design alone makes it worth a visit. The Belle Isle Aquarium features fish, seahorses, eels, and other creatures from around the world. Admission is free though donations are accepted.

Belle Isle Nature Center (Detroit) – Visit the reptiles, fish, and amphibians inside, and join their fallow deer encounter daily at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., or 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Heritage Park Petting Farm (Taylor) – The farm is open year-round with goats, sheep, alpacas, ponies, cows, donkeys, rabbits, chickens, and piglets. Be sure to wear close-toed shoes to walk through the barn! Admission is $4 for non-Taylor residents, and children under 2 are free.

Greenfield Village (Dearborn) – Experience life on a working farm in 19th century America. Say hello to their sheep, cows, chickens, horses, ducks, and geese in the barn, as well as the horses pulling carriages throughout Greenfield Village.

Sea Life Aquarium (Auburn Hills) – The aquarium features 12 interactive exhibits, including a touch pool with sea stars, urchins, and slipper lobsters. Buy advance tickets online or use your Detroit Zoo membership to save money on admission.

Maybury Farm (Northville) – In addition to the dozens of farm animals, there is a U-Pick vegetable garden, a playground, and a picnic area. Regular admission is $3, and children under 2 are free.


Where are your favorite local places to visit animals?
What places should we add to our list?

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Kelsie Rodriguez
I’m a stay-a-home mom to a 3-year-old boy, Theodore, and his baby brother, James, and a wife to my husband of 5 years, Gabe. I grew up in a small town in Michigan, and though I sometimes miss the country, I love living in Metro Detroit! I enjoy reading, playing piano, traveling, trying new restaurants, craft beer, and Michigan sports (Go Blue!). I graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology and Sociology from U of M in 2009, and received my Master of Social Work degree from Boston University in 2013. Though I'm not currently working, I've found that my degrees turned out to be great training for parenthood!


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