Jul 8, 2017

Nine Reasons I am a Detroit Zoo Member

I have been a Detroit Zoo Member for a long time.  We often purchase the membership as a family gift or have it gifted to us for Christmas or for the girls' birthday.  A gift membership is perfect, because it doesn't add clutter to my already overstuffed home, plus it is the gift of family memories, learning, inspiration, and discovery.  

So why am I a member?  

#1 Unlimited Admission for one Year

So even if you visit a couple of times a year it is worth it financially to get a membership to the zoo, however, being a member lifts a huge weight off your shoulders as far as your expectations for each visit.  As a member, I no longer feel that I have to see the whole zoo in one day, which is so unrealistic even for an adult, and simply impossible when you have three young children.

We have on many occasions went to the zoo simply to visit one exhibit.  The kids want to visit the park, and that is it?  Okay!  I don't hear myself saying, "I didn't spend $40 on admission so you can play at the park." If the kids get cranky and stop following directions if can pack it up and leave and not feel like my money was wasted on the visit.

Being a member allows you to visit the zoo at your leisure and pace your visit based on your children's ability, mood, the weather, your schedule, etc.  And they are open year round, making it a perfect place to go in the winter when you have cabin fever.

We love to visit the Zoo in the Winter! 

#2 Free Parking

Along with free admission, you can park at no charge when you are a member.

#3 Zoo Member Entrance

This one is a biggie for me.  Since we often go just to see one or two exhibits, we don't need to see everything in the front of the park.  We often use the member's entrance which is located at the west end of the bus lot.  There is a little kiosk where you check in, then you go under the train tracks and enter the park just west of the Ford Education Building near the fountains.  This saves you time and energy.  

#4 The Zoo is a Great Learning Resource

"Mom, what does a frog's foot look like?"
"I don't know, let's go see."
And we are off to the zoo to check out the frogs.
Sure we could go online and check it out, but there is just something about seeing animals right in front of you that makes the information stick a bit better.
Each time we visit the girls learn something new.  We see something new.  We read a sign we didn't read, a docent tells us a fun fact we didn't know before.  I love that the Zoo is a learning experience for all of us.  From biology to conservation to even map reading skills, there is a lot to be gained from a trip to the zoo.

Rosa gets the opportunity to feel a camel pelt.

#5 Wild Summer Nights 

This year the zoo is staying open late on Wednesdays and Thursdays in July and August until 8 pm.  This gives guests a chance to see the animals when it isn't so hot so some of the animals may be more active than they are during the afternoon.

The Detroit Zoo also hosts live bands on Wednesday evenings in July and August.  You can bring a blanket or lawn chair and sit back and enjoy the music.  Usually, the kids have a grand time dancing along to the summer sounds and it makes for a great evening.

#6 Member Cups 

If you enjoy soda or lemonade, you can get a member cup. The cup is good for the rest of the year and you can get unlimited refills on fountain drinks at the zoo.
Special Members-only souvenir cup
  • Buy one cup for $13.99
  • Buy two cups for $12.99 each
  • Buy three cups for $9.99 each

#7 Discounts on Merchandise and Classes

  • 10% off regular-priced merchandise at gift shops and stands
  • 20% off regular-priced merchandise during MemberFest
  • Discounts on classes vary.

#8 Discounts to Other Zoos

With your membership to the Detroit Zoo, you will receive a discount to Zoos all across the United States.  Due to the close proximity of the Toledo Zoo they do not offer a reciprocal benefit to these venues.  SEA LIFE Michigan even offers a reciprocal discount for Detroit Zoo members! Zoo members can get 50% off walk-up tickets at SEA LIFE if they bring their membership card.

See a list of all the locations.

Get 50% zoo admission all across the United States.

#9 Advance Ticket Sales 

The Detroit Zoo offers a lot of fun special events throughout the year.  Many of the events sell out quickly, but being a member gives you a chance to get tickets before they open sales to the public.  A great perk when you are looking to attend Zoo Boo, or Wild Lights on a peak day.

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer:


  1. We've done the zoo tots program and my 4 y/o enjoyed that. It's nice having a membership and being able to go for an hour or two and not stress that you wasted money on a one day admission or didn't get to see everything.

  2. I haven't been to the Detroit Zoo in over 10 years!! Definitely time to visit! Becoming members would be even better!!

  3. I can't wait to take my daughter to the zoo!!!

  4. Hi Amber - SEA LIFE Michigan actually does offer a reciprocal discount for Detroit Zoo members! Zoo members can get 50% off walkup tickets at SEA LIFE if they bring their membership card.

  5. Having discounts at other zoos is a great plus factor, it would be great if it applies to the zoo in Georgia. I go there every summer to visit my dtr and grandtr
    Also, i saw that someone commented that you can get 50% at Sea Life with memebership card.

  6. I did not realize you could get a better deal on multiple member cups or that you could get a discount on classes.

  7. The Detroit Zoo membership sounds like a great deal! I definitely have to look into this for my kids. They just took their first trip to the zoo and loved it!

  8. The membership is definitely worth it! We had it last year, but haven't renewed until we go next. Less than 2 visits makes it worth it for us. Love the extra benefits as well.

  9. I'm a member because it offers a great opportunity to walk around and get some exercise all year long while also seeing something interesting.

  10. I love all the new things they've been doing at the zoo! I've loved going when I was a child, and now I love taking my kiddo!

  11. discounts to other zoos is great!

  12. When we had a membership we loved the discounts to other zoos

  13. Our family loves going to the zoo. From my teenagers who think that they have already seen everything to my toddler.

  14. My kids & I love going to the zoo! We have been members for several years. Love all the benefits and visit reciprocal zoos as well.

  15. I love the zoo. I get just as excited as my kids do. Homer the sloth is my favorite!

  16. Memberships make going easier and we had such a good time at Wild Lights!