Ten Ways to Go Wild with a Trip to a Michigan Zoo

Family vacation season is nearly upon us. While you may be planning for a longer getaway, keep in mind that a day trip can be a fun way to spend some quality family time and unwind a bit. Scattered throughout Michigan are an assortment of zoos and wildlife parks that are both educational and fun for all ages. So, grab some sunscreen and bottled water and get ready for a wild day of family fun at these Michigan zoos and parks! For more information on  zoos in your area, visit michigan.org/zoos.

Photo courtesy of Detroit Zoo

Photo courtesy of Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo – Royal Oak, MI
Features 125 acres of naturalistic exhibits with 1300 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates of 250 different species. Be sure to take a trek through the North Pole in the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit. The Detroit Zoo was the first in the United States to use open natural exhibits.

Potter Park Zoo – Lansing, MI
Located along the Red Cedar River, this 100 acre park features the county zoological park with over 400 different animal species, plus playground, picnic areas, pony and camel rides, petting zoo, gardens and more.

Photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo

Photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo

Binder Park Zoo – Battle Creek, MI
Open for the season on April 22, 2014! An African adventure awaits you at Binder Park Zoo! Discover spectacular views of wild animals from elevated boardwalks. Get nose-to-nose with one of the largest giraffe herds in the country as you explore Wild Africa and hand feed a giraffe! Binder Park opens middle of April through October each year.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park - Alto, MI
Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park features a reptile house, aviary, petting zoo, and guided safari tour through the park and prides itself on giving visitors a hands-on experience that’s as close to the wild as you can get. With animals as diverse as wallabies, zebras, pythons and lemurs, there is sure to be something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

John Ball Zoo Society – Grand Rapids, MI
John Ball Zoo, with over 2,000 animals, is located in a 140-acre park only one mile from the downtown Grand Rapids district. Zoo includes the Lions of Manyara exhibit featuring a pride of three lions, the only aquarium in Michigan, Komodo dragon, a troop of chimpanzees, and Colobus Monkeys that can leap 50 feet to the next branch!

Wilderness Trails Zoo – Birch Run, MI
Wilderness Trails Zoo is home to over 200 individual animals representing over 50 species including alligators, lions, tigers, monkeys and camels. Make lasting family memories  in Wilderness Trails’ petting area, butterfly house and animal feeding stations.

Photo courtesy of Children's Zoo at Celebration Square

Photo courtesy of Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square

Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square - Saginaw, MI
Animals from various parts of the globe make their home at the Children’s Zoo, including wolves, river otters, bald eagles, black-footed penguins, Capuchin monkeys, kangaroos, alligators, exotic birds, reptiles and more! Ride the hand-carved carousel and antique train and get up close and personal with all kinds of critters at live Amphitheater shows.

Cindy Lou’s Zoo – Roscommon, MI
Journey through 20 scenic acres in a park like setting in beautiful Roscommon. Cindy Lou’s Zoo features 120+ animals including exotic cattle, red deer, fallow deer, horses, miniature donkeys, goats and sheep, monkeys, lemurs, parrots and much more. Many of the animals are tame enough to hand feed and pet.

GarLyn Zoological Park - Naubinway, MI
Located 40 minutes west of the Mackinac Bridge on US-2 just six miles east of Naubinway. See live tigers, black bear, alligator, cougar, bobcat, wolves, wallaby, camel, reindeer, ring-tailed lemur, sika deer, river otter and more. Feed the deer, goats, llama and even the bear!

DeYoung Family Zoo – Wallace, MI
Come view the exotic felines and get the opportunity to interact with these magnificent creatures. This zoo is unique because it is a hands-on experience and all of the animals are very responsive.

Traveler Tip: Interested in seeing the animals most active? Try heading to the park early in the morning before it gets too hot. Not only will you avoid large crowds, you’ll also witness the animals at their peak activity.

While a trip to the zoo is great fun on any given day, special events and exhibits can bring a new element of discovery and enjoyment. Give these events a look and be sure to check michigan.org or your favorite zoo’s website for special opportunities.

GreenFest at the Detroit Zoo, April 26-27, 2014
GreenFest is a two-day Earth Day event dedicated to celebrating wildlife and educating the community about environmental conservation. The Zoo-wide celebration includes earth-friendly crafts, an endangered species scavenger hunt, animal enrichment activities, zookeeper talks and exhibits by local conservation groups.

Photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo

Photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo

Kids FUNfari at Binder Park Zoo, July 12, 2014
Healthy kids and happy families is what Kids FUNfari is all about! Join Binder Park Zoo in this event focus on getting kids active and healthy! Kids FUNfari is also the Lemur Lap Fun Run.  All children entering the Zoo will receive a reusable “goodie bag” and can participate in fun activities and demonstrations throughout the Zoo.

Corks for Conservation at Binder Park Zoo, July 19, 2014
Corks for Conservation is a wine tasting event held on Saturday, July 19th from 6pm to 10pm at Binder Park Zoo. Enjoy the Zoo after-hours with live music, delicious hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, live animal presentations, and of course, wine from Michigan based wineries.

Have you visited a Michigan zoo? Tell us about your trip! 

Six Places to Catch a Drive-In Movie in Michigan

With summertime blockbuster films getting ready to hit the big screens in the coming months, a trip to the movies is a perfect way to spend an evening with the family. Some of us may remember the summer nights when a typical pastime involved  pulling up to the local drive-in theater and curling up in the driver’s seat to enjoy a silver screen show. Relive those memories and make some new ones by visiting a local drive-in movie theater near you.

Here are six places you can go to catch a drive-in movie in Pure Michigan.

Capri Drive-In  - Coldwater, MI
capridriveinListed as one of the “10 Best Drive-In’s in America” by USA Today back in 2001, the Capri is a 1,000 car, twin-screen drive-in open seven nights a week from early spring until late October.

The Capri Drive-In opens for the season this Friday, April 4th with Captain America and Frozen playing on the big screen.  The box office opens at 7:30. Movies start at dusk. Admission is $8.00 for adults, age 5 thru 11 is $4.00 and kids under 5 are free.

Danny Boy’s Drive-In Movie Theater  - Ionia, MI
Danny Boy’s Drive-In Movie Theater in Ionia is a unique experience in a number of ways. Instead of a traditional screen, Danny Boy’s uses a high-tech inflatable water-resistant version that is 70 feet wide and 35 feet high.

Danny Boy’s also offers  a “snack permit”  for those who choose to bring their own movie treats. At a cost of $5 per carload, the permit allows those in the vehicle to bring all the goodies they want. Also, enjoy twice the entertainment with pre-movie activities that vary from week to week including a bounce house, petting zoo, and celebrity appearances. Ticket prices for those age 15 and over will be $7. Those under age 15 will pay $5, and kids age 3 and under are free.

Entrance_2720Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theater - Honor, MI
The Cherry Bowl Drive-In has provided fine films, food and family entertainment since 1954. Complete with playground, volleyball net, vintage movie memorabilia, 50′s style putt putt golf,  home run derby and popcorn popped fresh in their original 1953 popcorn popper, a trip to the Cherry Bowl is like stepping back in time to simpler summer nights.

Getty 4 Drive-In Theater - Muskegon, MI
At the Getty-4, tune in your movie on your car radio to enjoy your movie in stereo sound, or use the nostalgic drive-in speakers! The box office gates open nightly at 7:45, and the first features hit the screen around dusk or 9:00. The drive-in has a large playground and arcade room for all the kids, and a self-serve concession that has all your movie favorites.

Hi-Way Drive-In Theater - Carsonville, MI
hi.way.drive.in (1)Opened in 1947, Hi-Way Drive-In is Michigan’s oldest remaining drive-in movie theater. The box office opens at 7:30 and the movies start at dusk. Sound is available through you FM car radio. Prices are $7.00 for adults (12 and over), $2.00 for kids (4-11), and kids 3 and under are free. If you’re near Carsonville on the way to or from your next Michigan camping trip, be sure to pull in and make the Hi-Way Drive-In your rest stop –  Campers are always welcome!

Ford Drive-In - Dearborn, MI
The Ford Drive-In located in Dearborn, MI is America’s largest drive-in-theater with 9 screens and parking for 2,500 cars that is open for viewing year round.  In-car heaters are now available for the winter months. Gates open at 8 pm during the summer.

Have you been to a Drive-in movie theater in Michigan? What did you see? 

Fans Across Michigan Celebrate Detroit Tigers Opening Day 2014

 What does Pure Michigan mean to the Detroit Tigers?

Last year, we asked some of the star players and coaches “What does Pure Michigan mean to you?” See answers from Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Alex Avila, Danny Worth and more in the video below.

Are you in Detroit today for the Tigers’ home opener? Share your photos with us on Facebook or use #puremichigan on Instagram.