Best Michigan Zoos and Aquariums To Take Your Kids This Summer (Detroit, Birch Run, Frankenmuth, Belle Isle...)

Michigan Zoos and Aquariums | By Sherry Trautman |

Get ready to pet cute goats, hold a fluffy bunny, feed a hungry giraffe and touch a strange looking sea creature! Every summer, I get just giddy with anticipation to start visiting Michigan Zoos and Aquariums!   

Locations include Frankenmuth, Birch Run, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Detroit (+ Belle Isle), Auburn Hills and Saginaw, Michigan. 

People forget the good that zoos do. If it weren't for zoos, we would have so many species that would be extinct today.     

Betty White

Check out Top Michigan Zoos and Aquariums!

Michigan has an incredible amount of zoos and aquariums to keep you busy all summer! It's a great way to teach kids about appreciating and the need to care for our animals. 

Plus, Michigan zoos and aquariums play a large part in studying and preventing animals from becoming extinct across our globe. We watch Animal Planet just about daily to learn more about and appreciate the animals in our world.

So be sure to visit lots of Michigan Zoos and Aquariums this year to support these vital endeavors! 

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park: 8313 Pratt Lake Ave SE, Alto, MI

We really enjoyed our trip to Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park!  Our nephew, shown below, loved panning for gold, holding fluffy bunnies and feeding the animals.  The park was very clean and a joy to visit.

Spend the Day at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan

John Ball Zoo: 1300 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI

The highlight of the John Ball Zoo (for myself and my nephew) was the camel rides and a chance to pet adorable goats! What cool experiences!  We also loved the ring tailed lemurs, wallaby and lions.  

You may bring food into the Zoo but glass containers are not allowed.

Saginaw Children's Zoo is Absolutely Incredible!

Saginaw Children's Zoo: 1730 S Washington Ave, Saginaw, MI 

Can you say penguins, alligators and prairie dogs, oh my?  This zoo rocks for both adults and kids. We love seeing the kangaroos, owls, turtles and free-roaming peacocks!  

Plus, the cost is around $5 per person and on Tuesday's it's even less!  Well worth going.  We spend about 2-3 hours there every time we go.

Saginaw Children's Zoo is one of my favorite Michigan Zoos and Aquariums as it is very affordable, the grounds are absolutely stunning (as you can see above), there's penguins (duh!) and the zoo has tons of shade trees and things to do. 

Oh, and be sure to ride the train!

Check Groupon before you go, sometimes there are specials.  

Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek is One of Our Top Favorite Michigan Zoos!

Binder Park Zoo: 7400 Division Dr, Battle Creek, MI

Binder Park Zoo, in my opinion, is one of the best zoo in Michigan.  Not only is it one of the largest, but this zoo houses 500 animals! There's fantastic walking trails, lots of shade trees and wide open spaces for the animals.  See lions, sloths, prairie dogs and so much more! 

Go on a safari in Wild Africa to feed the giraffes which is one of my favorite things to do.  Read more about Binder Park Zoo.

Visit the Incredible Detroit Zoo!

Detroit Zoo: 8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI

Experience simulator rides, 4-D theater, railroad and so many animals! We absolutely LOVED the penguin and polar bear exhibits!  You can spend an hour just in these two habitats!

The Detroit Zoo, in my opinion, is one of the best zoo in Michigan. 

There are also lots of special experiences for groups that cost extra. There are lots of events throughout the year so check the zoo's website often!

Ticket prices vary per day.  It is cheaper to go during the week than the weekend. Save money and buy your tickets ahead of time on their website.

Visit Wilderness Trails Zoo in Birch Run Michigan

See lions, tigers, bears, oh my!!  Visit the Wilderness Trails zoo in Birch Run Michigan to feed baby goats and colorful parakeets!  

Benefits of a ZooA study published by Science Advances in 2020 discovered that humans and activity have caused global mammal extinctions over the past 126,000 years. Even now, many animals are going extinct all across the globe. Zoos and aquariums are working tirelessly to help fight these problems. Their breeding programs help preserve genetic biodiversity and in time, they will be able to reintroduce critically endangered species back into the wild. 

Hay!  Go Visit Grandpa Tiny's Farm in Frankenmuth Michigan!

Address: 7775 Weiss St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Visit Grandpa Tiny's Farm in Frankenmuth to see lots of animals with big personalities!  It's not really a zoo, but it's a great place to explore and pet cute animals so I found it worth mentioning.

I mean, how cute is this miniature horse!?  He's just beaming with personality!  See ducks, reindeer, pigs and so much more at Grandpa Tiny's Farm. It makes for a fun Michigan family activity. 

Other Michigan Zoos to Visit

Indian Creek Zoo - 2744 Consear Rd, Lambertville, MI 48144

Visit Michigan Aquariums!

Visit Michigan Aquariums all year!  It's a fantastic thing to do in the winter in Michigan. Plus it's so relaxing and serene!  If you've had a stressful week, plan to visit a Michigan aquarium this weekend!

Visit Detroit's Belle Isle Aquarium

Belle Isle AquariumBelle Isle Aquarium
Belle Isle AquariumBelle Isle Aquarium

Belle Isle Aquarium, located on Belle Isle in Detroit, is America's Oldest Aquarium! It was opened in August 18, 1904! 

Just walking through this aquarium is a joy as you will feel like a part of history.  This small museum is free and is located next to the Belle Isle Conservatory which is a must see.

Sea Life Aquarium in Auburn Hills (Detroit Area): Explore the Incredible Underwater Tunnel Filled with Sharks and Fish!

Sea Life Aquarium is located at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, 4316 Baldwin Rd, Auburn Hills, Michigan. 

We love to visit Sea Life Aquarium so there is so much to see!  There are touch pools, thousands of colorful fish and lots of splashing stingrays (my favorite!).  Plus, we love to eat at Rain Forest Cafe located only a few feet from the aquarium entrance! 

Sea Life Aquarium is one of my favorite Michigan Zoos and Aquariums as you can visit any time of year!

--> Read More, See Videos and Fun Sea Life Michigan Aquarium Photos!

Be sure to check Groupon before you go, sometimes there are specials.  

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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