Which Is Best: Detroit Zoo Or Saginaw Children's Zoo. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

Explore the wonders of the animal kingdom in the state of Michigan through a detailed comparison of Detroit Zoo and Saginaw Children's Zoo.

Highlighting aspects such as notable animals, accessibility for disabled individuals, fun for families, and ticket prices among others, this article aims to give potential visitors a clear perspective on what to expect in each zoo.

From the conservation-focused large Detroit Zoo to the engaging, child-friendly Saginaw Children's Zoo, get ready to plan your next family adventure.

Which Is Best: Detroit Zoo Or Saginaw Children's Zoo. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

At A Glance

The Detroit Zoo and Saginaw Children’s Zoo are both prominent attractions in Michigan, offering a wide array of experiences for families and animal lovers.

Located in Royal Oak, the Detroit Zoo spans 125 acres and is home to 245 species of animals including tigers, giraffes, bears, and penguins, among others.

An emphasis on conservation and education characterizes the Detroit Zoo, which also offers disability access, despite some sloped and hilly areas.

It costs around $84 for a family of 4 to visit, with an average visit taking 2-3 hours.

On the other hand, Saginaw Children’s Zoo in Saginaw is a more modestly sized 10-acre park that houses diverse small animals like sloths, penguins, and rabbits.

This zoo, best described as engaging with plenty of family-friendly activities, offers full disability access with mainly paved paths.

The cost for a family visit is significantly lower than Detroit Zoo, at approximately $28, making it quite a budget-friendly option.

Despite being smaller, visitors should expect to spend an average of 1.5 hours touring the entire park.

Both zoos grant free entries to young children (Detroit Zoo to under 2 years and Saginaw Children’s Zoo to under 1 year), have parking facilities (with Detroit Zoo charging $8 per vehicle) and allow service animals.

Visitors are also welcomed to bring their own food and drinks.


Despite both being located in the state of Michigan, the Detroit Zoo and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo significantly differ in size.

With a sprawling 125 acres of diverse wildlife exhibits, the Detroit Zoo provides a more extensive exploration that requires, on average, about 2-3 hours to fully appreciate.

On the other hand, the inviting Saginaw Children’s Zoo, which is geared towards family trips and small animal engagement, covers a humbler land space of 10 acres.

Because of its smaller size, visitors can comfortably tour this Zoo within a time frame of 1.5 hours.

Thus, while the Detroit Zoo offers a larger, more immersive experience, the Saginaw Children’s Zoo provides a more compact, easily navigable visit.

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/


The Detroit Zoo and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo offer differing price points for a day of family fun.

For an adult ticket, the Detroit Zoo charges between $14 and $23, while the Saginaw Children’s Zoo is considerably cheaper at $7 per ticket for both adults and children.

The price range for a child ticket at Detroit Zoo is $12-19, where at Saginaw Children’s Zoo the cost is the same as an adult ticket at $7 flat rate.

Concession tickets at Detroit Zoo fall into the same price range as child tickets, $12-19, while Saginaw Children’s Zoo offers them at a discounted $5.

The price for a family of four, on average, is much higher at Detroit Zoo, costing around $84, whereas a similar family outing at Saginaw Children’s Zoo would only cost $28.

Invoice can be zero at both places depending on the age of the children; at Detroit Zoo, children under two years of age get free entry and at Saginaw Children’s Zoo, children under one year of age have free admission.

The cost of an average family of 4 at Detroit Zoo is $84 compared to 28 at Saginaw Children’s Zoo.

When comparing the animal ranges at the Detroit Zoo and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, the Detroit Zoo clearly has a more diverse selection and greater number of species.

Housing 245 different types of species ranging from African tigers to Australian kangaroos, the Detroit Zoo offers an expansive variety, including bears, giraffes, penguins, camels, zebras and lions.

On the other hand, the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, though hosting a rich mix of animals, has a smaller number of different animals, around 150, with the most notable including sloths, rabbits, llamas, crocodiles and some penguins.

Both zoos, however, share an interest in penguins, which are commonly found and can be enjoyed at both locations.

Therefore, while the Detroit Zoo offers a larger range and diversity of animals for visitors, the Saginaw Children’s Zoo still presents a fun mix of small animals, maintaining the element of thrill and adventure for visitors. <div class=”overview” markdown=”1”id=”wyntk-saginaw-childrens-zoo”>

More About Saginaw Children’s Zoo

About Saginaw Children’s Zoo

Size (acres) 10
Time To Walk Around 1.5 Hours
Adult Price $7
Child Price $7
Infant Price Free Under 1 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $28
Parking Free
Number Of Animals 150
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from https://www.saginawzoo.com/



Both Detroit Zoo and Saginaw Children’s Zoo in Michigan make significant efforts to maintain accessibility for visitors with physical disabilities who use wheelchairs or have difficulty walking.

Detroit Zoo, due to its large size of 125 acres, contains a variety of walkway surfaces such as paved, gravel, and woodchipped paths, and some areas in the zoo are hilly or sloped.

Despite these terrain variations, the zoo still works hard to ensure accessibility for all guests.

On the other hand, the smaller 10-acre Saginaw Children’s Zoo is seemingly easier to traverse as its paths are primarily paved, providing smoother surfaces for wheelchair users or those who have trouble walking.

While both zoos do not offer public transport options, they do provide parking facilities.

Visitors looking for more accessibility information can directly contact each zoo for specific needs and accommodations.

Pefect For

Detroit Zoo, best known for its conservation and educational efforts, is more versatile for a trip with families that have older children or disabled individuals who can navigate its hilly and slope areas.

With fascinating animals like tigers, giraffes, and penguins, it’s a wonderful learning experience that older children can appreciate.

On the other hand, Saginaw Children’s Zoo is an ideal location for a family trip with a greater emphasis on engagement with smaller animals like sloths, llamas and rabbits, which can be intriguing for a younger audience.

Its relatively flat, paved paths make it more accessible for small toddlers or individuals with disability as well.

However, both zoos extend an inclusive invitation to families, making them both excellent choices for a memorable family fun day.

The deciding factor often boils down to the specific needs and interests of the family or group planning to pay a visit.


In conclusion, both Detroit Zoo and Saginaw Children’s Zoo offer unique experiences suitable for family outings, with each having its specific appeal.

Detroit Zoo, with its wide variety of 245 animal species, including lions, tigers, and giraffes, offers an intriguing adventure on its 125-acre landscape.

Coupled with a commitment to conservation and education, it provides an immersive experience that could be enjoyed by families with older children.

However, it may be more challenging for those with disabilities, given its combination of paved, gravel, and woodchipped surfaces.

It’s undoubtedly a larger financial commitment with variable ticket prices and parking fees, but given the size and species variety, it represents significant value.

On the other hand, Saginaw Children’s Zoo, although smaller in size, comes with its own charm.

The focus on small animals, like sloths, llamas, and rabbits, means it’s a friendly experience, especially for families with toddlers.

The ability to cover the entire zoo in 1.5 hours means it’s an incredibly manageable day out.

Although it offers fewer species, it’s price-friendly - an economical alternative that still provides a full zoo experience, including free parking.

Both zoos maintain strict rules about bringing pets, although they permit service animals as required by law.

Visitors can enjoy food from onsite stalls or opt to bring their snacks and drinks, adding to the convenience.

Whichever you choose to visit, each zoo offers a unique and enjoyable experience tailored to different preferences and budgets while promoting animal conservation and education.

Zoo Near Me