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Detroit Zoo and DIA Offer Specials for Memorial Day

To celebrate the holiday weekend, these local attractions are offering special opportunities for local families.

Looking for a way to spend family time over the holiday weekend? Then don't miss these two local opportunties meant for a memorable Memorial Day. 

The Detroit Zoo

In celebration of the 2012 Memorial Day weekend, the Detroit Zoo will remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On Memorial Day, the Detroit Zoo will close at the regular time of 5 p.m. The Zoo opens at 9 a.m. each day. 

“With all the new and exciting things to see and do, we want to give the community extra time to enjoy their zoo over the holiday weekend,” Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron Kagan said in the press release.

Current exhibits

Holiday visitors can take advantage of the extended hours to check out some of the Detroit Zoo’s most recent arrivals.

Bulgan, a male Bactrian camel calf, can be seen in his habitat across from the Horace H. Rackham Memorial Fountain. The Australian Outback Adventure is hopping with six red kangaroo joeys, and about 20 black-tailed prairie dog pups can be spotted in their habitat. 

Mike, Thor and Boo, the orphaned grizzly bear cubs rescued late last year from Alaska, can be found exploring their new home and pool. Another site not-to-miss is the Great Apes of Harambee, where 10-month-old female chimpanzee Akira can be found clinging to mom and playing peek-a-boo with her 3-year-old brother. 

The newly renovated lion habitat has doubled in size and features a 70-foot-tall glass wall for a closer encounter with the big cats, and a new home for an 18-foot reticulated python has been built at the Holden Museum of Living Reptiles. 

The Detroit Zoo’s attractions will remain open late as well, including the Tauber Family Railroad and the new Carousel, featuring 33 hand-carved and hand-painted figures.

Two new films are showing at the Wild Adventure Ride (“Happy Feet: Mumble’s Wild Ride”) and Wild Adventure 3-D/4-D Theater (“Great Escapes: Life in 4-D”, alternating with old favorite “Dora & Diego’s 4-D Adventure”), located in the Ford Education Center. 

Visitors can also explore the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, a collection of images from the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife photography competition. This exhxibit is housed inside the Ford Education Center.

The Science On a Sphere experience, an animated, hologram-like globe that displays dynamic representations of Earth’s atmospheric, oceanic and land activities, is also at the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery.

Both exhibits are free with Zoo admission. 

Detroit Institute of Arts

Back for the third year, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will offer free general admission to active military personnel and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across the United States. The idea behind the program is based on a mission to support, connect and empower military families.

By showing proper ID, military personnel and up to five members of their immediate family can enjoy a free treat through the museum, starting Monday.

“Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,500 museums this summer,” NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said in the press release.

“This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year.”

Current exhibits

This summer is a busy one at the DIA, with three special exhibitions on view: Patti Smith: Camera Solo, Five Spanish Masterpieces, and Picasso and Matisse: The DIA’s Prints and Drawings.

The Family Fitting Room returns from July 5 through Aug. 31, where volunteers are on hand to tailor a visit based on interests and time. July also brings daily drop-in art-making activities, the annual Concert of Colors, storytelling and puppet shows.

Live music is featured every Sunday afternoon and Friday evening.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members. 

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