ROYAL OAK — Detroit Zoo visitors can spend more time with the red pandas, white rhinos, and blue poison dart frogs — as well as thousands of other animals — thanks to extended hours for the Independence Day weekend. The Zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and will remain open until 8 p.m. on July 3, 4, 5, and 6, 2013.
Holiday visitors can take advantage of the extra hours to check out some of the Detroit Zoo’s recent arrivals: Daphne and Violet, warthog piglets born in April; a female southern pudu – the smallest species of deer – born in May; and a macaroni penguin chick hatched in May.
Guests will also have more time over the long holiday weekend to experience the Wild Adventure Zone. The 4-D Theater is now showing “Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” a 14-minute adventure featuring the sub-zero heroes from the film of the same name. “Ice Age” is alternating with “Great Escapes: Life in 4-D.” The Simulator Ride is featuring “Happy Feet: Mumble’s Wild Ride,” an action-packed escapade with Mumble and his penguin friends. Tickets for each experience are $5 with Detroit Zoo admission.
With ZooMORE – a discounted ticket package for rides and attractions – visitors can experience the 4-D Theater and Simulator Ride as well as the Tauber Family Railroad and Carousel, or any combination thereof, for $12 per person in addition to regular Zoo admission.
Extra hours also means extra time to check out the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Ford Education Center, featuring 100 spectacular images from the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife photography competition. The exhibition is free with Zoo admission.
The Detroit Zoo’s extended holiday hours are a prelude to later hours on Wednesdays in July and August for Wild Summer Nights. The concert series kick offs with The Sun Messengers on July 3 and continues through Aug. 28, 2013. Concerts take place in the Main Picnic Grove from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and are free with Zoo admission – reduced to $6 after 6 p.m. on Wednesdays in July and August. Members are admitted free.