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

Discover the unique charm of two of Michigan's beloved zoos - the expansive Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, known for its array of notable animals and commitment to conservation and education, and the smaller but exceptionally engaging Saginaw Children's Zoo.

Explore these family-friendly destinations that cater to disability access and offer much more than just animal exhibits.

Whether you're spending a full day at Potter Park or passing a couple of hours at Saginaw Children's Zoo, this article provides all you need to plan your visit.

From ticket prices to visit duration, attractions, parking facilities and policies on food and pets – we've got you covered.

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

At A Glance

Potter Park Zoo, situated in Lansing, Michigan, and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo in Saginaw, Michigan, make for memorable family outings with a focus on animal conservation, education, and engagement.

Covering a vast 102 acres, Potter Park Zoo is home to larger wildlife like tigers, penguins, and lions.

You’ll need between 2-3 hours to explore the grounds fully, and it offers excellent accessibility options with rentable equipment for those with disabilities.

Visit expenses for an average family of 4 is about $40 with options for individual tickets between $5 to $15 and parking costs of $3-$5 per car.

The more intimate Saginaw Children’s Zoo spans just 10 acres.

This zoo, housing around 150 animals including sloths, llamas, rabbits, and crocodiles, provides a pleasant outing for kids of all ages that can be covered in about 1.5 hours.

They provide a well-maintained, mainly paved path for visitor convenience.

The total cost for a family of 4 is more affordable at $28 with free parking, and tickets, whether for adults or children, are fixed at $7.

Note, the zoo only allows service animals, no other pets are permitted in either facility.

Both zoos also nicely accommodate packed lunches from home and provide food stalls for visitors.


When it comes to size, Potter Park Zoo significantly outpaces Saginaw Children’s Zoo with a spacious 102 acres, in contrast to the more compact 10 acres covered by the latter.

This difference in size is reiterated by the duration it takes to visit each zoo.

With a staggering variety of attractions spread across its extensive grounds, visitors at Potter Park Zoo typically take between 2-3 hours to experience everything on offer.

On the other hand, Saginaw Children’s Zoo, with its smaller spread of exhibits, affords a quicker visit that averages around 1.5 hours.

While both zoos promise an exciting and educational adventure, the contrast in sizes offers different levels of exploration—ranging from a compact, quick visit at Saginaw to a full day of adventure at Potter Park.

More About Potter Park Zoo

About Potter Park Zoo

Size (acres) 102
Time To Walk Around 2-3 Hours
Adult Price $8-15
Child Price $5
Infant Price Free Under 3 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $40
Parking $3-5
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from https://potterparkzoo.org/


When comparing Potter Park Zoo and Saginaw Children’s Zoo, one of the key elements to consider is the cost of entry.

An adult ticket at Potter Park Zoo varies in cost from $8 - $15 while a visit to the Saginaw Children’s Zoo costs a flat $7 for an adult.

For children, Potter Park Zoo charges $5 whereas Saginaw has the same price as adult tickets - $7.

Concession tickets at Potter Park Zoo range from $6 - $13, while Saginaw Children’s Zoo offers concession tickets at $5 each.

Potter Park Zoo offers free entry for children under the age of 3, while Saginaw Children’s Zoo goes a step further, offering free entry for children under the age of 1.

The total cost of admission for an average family of four is another important financial consideration - for Potter Park Zoo, it amounts to $40, while for Saginaw Children’s Zoo it is considerably lower at $28.

The cost of an average family of 4 at Potter Park Zoo is $40 compared to 28 at Saginaw Children’s Zoo.

Both the Potter Park Zoo and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, located in Michigan, offer a diverse range of animals for their audiences.

Potter Park Zoo is home to a variety of large animals, such as tigers and lions, which are sure to attract those interested in seeing some of the planet’s most majestic creatures.

They also house penguins, making for a delightful contrast.

On the other hand, Saginaw Children’s Zoo focuses more on small animals, including sloths, llamas, and rabbits - an amazing experience for children and adults alike.

Like Potter Park, it also boasts a penguin exhibit.

In addition to this, the Saginaw Children’s Zoo has reptiles, including crocodiles, offering a unique appeal.

It’s worth noting though, that Potter Park, with its larger area, may have a greater number of animals in comparison to Saginaw Children’s Zoo.

However, the exact number of animals at each zoo has not been provided.

In conclusion, the choice between these two zoos could depend on whether your preference lies in observing larger, more ferocious animals or smaller, gentle creatures. <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 Potter Park Zoo and Saginaw Children’s Zoo in Michigan, USA, are notably accessible for visitors who utilize wheelchairs or have difficulty walking.

Potter Park Zoo has put efforts into accessibility by not only providing wheelchair-friendly routes but also offering rentable equipment to aid those who need it.

This makes the navigation of their extensive 102-acre zoo manageable and enjoyable for all.

Equally accommodating, Saginaw Children’s Zoo, while smaller at 10 acres, is highly accessible due to its mainly paved paths.

This makes it easier for wheelchairs and walkers to move around, enhancing the experience for visitors with mobility challenges.

Although different in size, both zoos make accessibility a priority, providing an inclusive environment for all visitors.

Pefect For

Potter Park Zoo and Saginaw Children’s Zoo, both located in Michigan, cater widely to families but each offers a unique visitor experience.

Potter Park Zoo, with its larger area and an array of large animals like tigers and lions, is ideal for families with older children who can enjoy and appreciate the conservation and education emphasis.

Its accessible facilities with rentable equipment make it an inclusive experience for families with disabilities as well.

On the other hand, the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, with its collection of smaller animals and shorter average visit duration, provides a more engaging and manageable outing for families, particularly those with toddlers.

Additionally, the paved paths allow easy navigation for families and individuals with disabilities, contributing to its family-friendly reputation.

Therefore, both zoos present enjoyable options suitable for different age groups and needs.


In conclusion, both Potter Park Zoo and Saginaw Children’s Zoo offer enriching and educational experiences in the state of Michigan.

Potter Park Zoo, focusing on conservation and education, shines with its impressive array of exotic animals like tigers, lions, and penguins, over a large 102-acre expanse.

This location would be perfect for an engaging full day family outing, especially for families with older children, but it requires more planning for transportation and budget as public transport doesn’t reach it and there’s a charge for parking.

On the other hand, Saginaw Children’s Zoo, though smaller, provides a more intimate experience with animals like sloths, llamas, and rabbits.

Although it doesn’t feature as diverse an animal selection as its counterpart, it’s ideal for families with toddlers, providing the paths have easy accessibility.

Plus, the less expensive tickets and free parking make it a great choice for an economical fun day out.

The allowance to bring personal food and beverages applies to both zoos, which comes as a handy family-friendly feature.

Regardless of the choice between the Potter Park Zoo and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, a memorable and engaging zoo experience in Michigan is a guarantee!

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