When we arrived at the Detroit Zoo we received an extra ticket with our parking passes. This extra ticket gave us our entrance time for the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Our first trip to the $30 million dollar state of the art facility. and its very happy residents.
When we planned our trip I had completely forgotten this addition that opened last summer. We don’t visit places like the zoo while everyone is on vacation. We prefer the small crowds when kids are back in school. A privilege of homeschooling if you will. Our ticket was for the very start of the day so we ventured right over. As you walk in you get to see a similar exhibit to the old penguin house. Owl pressed her face to the glass excited to watch the Penguins preening themselves.
We walked down a ramp that was surrounded by projected images of a ship’s deck and mistress to make it feel like you were on a ship. This depicts a trip through the straight passage complete with ice blasts and sea mist.
As you progress down the ramp cool screens shaped like port holes played videos of various sea animals. Take a moment to enjoy each one. They are a great way to gather information about the arctic sea.
We walked through a tunnel just like the polar bear exhibit has allowed us to be fully under the water as the Penguins in the Polk Penguin Conservation Center swam around us. You are 25 feet under water. Deeper than any other penguin pool in the world and deeper than you could ever see a penguin in the wild.
At the bottom, the children found a cook inlet where the Penguins swam down near them giving the children an up close look. Their faces were priceless.
We loved learning about how the ice forms in layers and what makes each layer of the ice-foggy or clear. I am still thinking up an experiment to learn about this one hand’s one. The building its self is a gigantic iceberg.
A few tips for visiting the Polk Penguin Conservation Center
Check the time of your ticket. This exhibit is popular and timed tickets help control the flow of traffic so you can enjoy it more. As the exhibit ages, this system will end.
Bring your camera. There is so much to see and your children will be in awe. You don’t want to miss the chance to get an ever lasting photo of the wonder and excitement on their faces.
Take it slow. You may be tempted to follow the quick flow of visitors as they wonder through the exhibit. You get one chance to enjoy this during your visit so go slow. Enjoy what it has to offer. Read the information provided and really talk to your kids about what they are seeing. Learning should never happen in a hurry.
Learn more about the Polk Penguin Conservation Center
Make an easy zoo sensory bin