Utica, MI

The Reptarium Reptile Zoo in Utica, Michigan is a Unique Family-Friendly Destination

Tracy Stengel

“Salt” and “Pepper.” Image via The Reptarium Facebook page.

If you’re looking for an exciting, family-friendly activity sure to thrill adults and children alike, slither on over to The Reptarium in Utica, Michigan. It is a unique reptile zoo that offers an unforgetable hands-on, interactive, and educational experience with exotic animals such as Burmese pythons, boa constrictors, monkey-tailed skinks, and geckos. There’s even an albino alligator, a large turtle pond and a two-headed snake named Ben and Jerry. The zoo also has a variety of arachnids and amphibians.

One of the newest residents of the zoo is Drogo, a three-year-old male two-tied sloth. After three years of research and seven months of searching for just the right sloth, the owner of The Reptarium brought Drogo home to Michigan. Drogo loves, sleeping, climbing his rope, and hibiscus leaves. See for yourself if sloths move at a glacial pace or if that is an old wives’ tale!

Drogo with his buddy Pierre. Image via The Reptarium Facebook page.

Visitors can pet, hold, or touch several pre-selected animals that have been trained and are very docile. An Animal Educator will show the proper way to do so and can provide a lot of fun facts and information about each species. The friendly and knowledgeable Animal Educators are stationed throughout the zoo.

There will be plenty of opportunities to get some great pictures of you and your loved ones meeting all the amazing animals.

There is a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and Reptarium swag to commemorate your visit. At the gift shop counter, you can also purchase “an experience” such as feeding the reptiles, getting a photo with Drogo, or a foot spa pedicure with doctor fish. If you are interested in feeding the animals, it is best to come early as there is a limited number of times animals get fed per day.

The Reptarium is open for general admission Fridays 4PM — 8PM, Saturdays 4PM — 9PM, and Sundays 3PM — 8PM. General admission is $10 and that will give you 60 minutes to explore the zoo. Due to Covid-19, there is a limited number of guests allowed in per hour, so it’s best to get your tickets in advance. They also offer private animal encounters, you can book a private tour, or they will host children’s birthday parties. You can even rent the zoo for the whole day! If you can’t make it to the zoo in person, you can schedule a 5-, 15-, 30-, or 60-minute virtual tour online.

Brian Barczyk. Image via The Reptarium Facebook page.

The Reptarium is owned by Brian Barczyk, the famous and wildly popular “snake guy” on YouTube with the AnimalBytesTV channel (formerly SnakeBytesTV) and a daily vlogging channel. He has over 30 years in the reptile husbandry profession. Brian’s charisma is undeniable and his enthusiasm and love for animals is infectious. It’s no wonder he has over 3 million subscribers.

The Reptarium is located in Southeast Michigan at 49559 Van Dyke Avenue, Utica, MI 48317. If you have questions or want more information, call (586) 884–6941.

If you’ve been to The Reptarium, please share your experience in the comments!

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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