Which Is Best: Detroit Zoo Or Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

Discover the contrasting worlds of the Detroit Zoo and the Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park.

Venture into the educational and conservation-focused 125-acre expanse of the Detroit Zoo, boasting 245 animal species from kangaroos to zebras.

Compare it to the intimate 30-acre, family-friendly environment of Garlyn Zoo, home to unique animals like sloths.

Compare ticket prices, amenities, accessibility, and more as we dive into these two fascinating zoological parks located in Michigan, USA.

Which Is Best: Detroit Zoo Or Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

At A Glance

Nestled in the state of Michigan, USA, are two remarkable yet distinct zoological parks worth exploring: The Detroit Zoo and the Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park.

The Detroit Zoo, situated in Royal Oak, stretches across a vast 125 acres and is home to an impressive variety of 245 animal species, including tigers, giraffes, zebras and more.

A strong emphasis on conservation and education reflects in their offerings, making it an ideal destination for families with older children.

Acknowledging the presence of disability access, the zoo encourages a hearty 2-3 hour visit for immersion in their diverse wildlife.

Meanwhile, the Garlyn Zoo is located in Mackinac County, it’s a more intimate size, covering just 30 acres and housing animals such as tigers, bears, and sloths.

It has a friendly atmosphere welcoming to families having older children, toddlers while also including disability access.

With an average tour time of 1.5 hours, the Garlyn Zoo offers a shorter but just as enriching an experience for wildlife enthusiasts.

Both zoos promote self-sustenance with available food stalls and policy encouraging visitors to bring their own refreshments.

Each park diligently ensures the safety of their residents, prohibiting visitors from holding the animals, and limiting the entry of personal pets to only service animals.


Comparatively, Detroit Zoo, occupying around 125 acres is considerably larger than Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park, which spans across 30 acres.

The sprawling Detroit Zoo not only offers a greater expanse for the animals, but also requires a longer visitation period, averaging 2 to 3 hours for a general tour.

Conversely, the more compact Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park ensures a more intimate interaction with the wildlife, allowing visitors to experience all its attractions within a shorter span of approximately an hour and a half.

Despite the disparity in size, both zoos provide an immersive experience that allows visitors to engage with and learn about the diversity and importance of wildlife.

More About Detroit Zoo

About Detroit Zoo

Size (acres) 125
Time To Walk Around 2-3 Hours
Adult Price $14-23
Child Price $12-19
Infant Price Free Under 2 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $84
Parking $8
Number Of Animals 245 species
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from https://detroitzoo.org/


When it comes to pricing, both Detroit Zoo and Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park have their own unique price schemes.

For instance, adult tickets at the Detroit Zoo range from $14-23 while at Garlyn Zoo they are set at $15.

Child tickets are slightly cheaper at Garlyn, priced at just $7.5 whilst in Detroit they sit between $12-19.

The pricing for concessions tickets are only available at Detroit Zoo, costing same as a child’s ticket at around $12-19.

Both zoos offer free entry for children under the age of 2.

The total cost for a family of four is more economical at the Garlyn Zoo where it is $45, compared to $84 for the same group size at Detroit Zoo.

The cost of an average family of 4 at Detroit Zoo is $84 compared to 45 at Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park.

Detroit Zoo and Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park, both located in Michigan, offer animal lovers a plethora of engaging species to observe, yet in varying numbers and types.

Detroit Zoo, considerably larger, is home to a diverse range of 245 species, some of which include tigers, giraffes, bears, penguins, lions, kangaroos, camels, and zebras.

Its animal exhibits provide a broad spectrum for education and conservation.

On the other hand, Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park, although smaller, prudently houses a number of captivating species such as tigers, sloths, bears, and lions.

This compact wildlife park, while offering a more targeted selection of animals, encapsulates a friendly afternoon outing with a smaller but equally intriguing menagerie.

Even though the numbers differ, both zoos succeed in fostering an appreciation for the animal kingdom within their visitors. <div class=”overview” markdown=”1”id=”wyntk-garlyn-zoo-wildlife-park”>

More About Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park

About Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park

Size (acres) 30
Time To Walk Around 1.5 Hours
Adult Price $15
Child Price $7.5
Infant Price Free Under 2 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $45
Parking Free
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from http://www.garlynzoo.com/



Both Detroit Zoo and Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park display an admirable level of accessibility for disabled visitors.

Detroit Zoo, positioned in the urban locale of Royal Oak, features a substantial yet somewhat varied terrain to accommodate those in wheelchairs or with walking difficulties.

Some areas of the zoo are hilly or sloped, requiring a bit more effort or assistance to navigate.

However, the walkways are a diverse blend of paved, gravel, and wood-chipped surfaces offering traction and stability.

On the other hand, the cozy and friendly Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park, nestled in rural Mackinac County, provides mulch paths.

These paths tend to be easier to maneuver for those with mobility impairments.

While both zoos emphasize inclusivity and accessibility, the specific needs and abilities of the visitor may determine which zoo’s disability access is more appropriate for them.

Pefect For

Both the Detroit Zoo and Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park offer fun and educational experiences ideal for family outings.

The Detroit Zoo, with its strong emphasis on conservation and education, totals up to 125 acres of various wildlife habitats and interactive exhibits.

It’s a fantastic choice for families with older children, and takes about 2-3 hours to explore due to its larger size.

More mature children can benefit from the educational opportunities and may better appreciate the conservation efforts.

On the other hand, Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park might be a better fit for families with toddlers, thanks to its smaller size of 30 acres and the fact that it can be easily navigated in a shorter 1.5 hours.

Both zoos offer disability access, though it’s important to note the Detroit Zoo has a combination of paved, gravel, and wood chipped walkways, some of which are hilly and sloped, whereas Garlyn Zoo has walkways with mulch paths, which might be a factor to consider for families with disability needs.


In conclusion, both the Detroit Zoo and the Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park offer unique experiences that animal lovers and families would definitely enjoy.

The Detroit Zoo, larger and more expansive, covers 125 acres and houses a wide array of species, a perfect venue for a whole day excursion.

Its emphasis on conservation and education, combined with its fun family atmosphere and comfortable accessibility features make it ideal for families with older children.

On the other hand, the Garlyn Zoo Wildlife Park is a smaller, more intimate experience.

Thematically centered on being a friendly family afternoon outing, it welcomes families with toddlers in addition to older children.

Its mulch pathways make disability access effortless, and with less time needed to explore the entire park, it’s perfect for shorter, yet still fulfilling outings.

The free parking and very affordable ticket prices further enhance its attractiveness for a spontaneous family adventure.

Both zoos prioritize visitor comfort and ensure that options for food and refreshments are readily available.

Neither, however, allows visitors to handle the animals or bring pets, barring legal service animals.

While neither can be accessed by public transportation, ample parking is available for those traveling in person.

Ultimately, the choice between the Detroit Zoo and Garlyn Zoo Wildlife park hinges on individual preferences regarding zoo size, variety of species, and time spent on the outing.

Whichever one you choose, you’re certain to have a rewarding, enjoyable experience.

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