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Henry Vilas Zoo

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 702 South Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715-1665
Phone Number: +1 608-266-4732
Website
Today
09:30 - 17:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:30 - 17:00
Description:

Truly a wild place to hang out, this free zoo, located inside Vilas Park,...

Truly a wild place to hang out, this free zoo, located inside Vilas Park, features animals from around the world including African lions, South American alpacas and tortoises from the Galapagos Islands.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,167 reviews
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    Terrible
Free entertainment in Madison

I had been there in my birthday. I was excited to see the polar bear and penguins, both animals that I never had seen before. It was in the summer and I think that the polar bear... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Juliana L
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1,167 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,148: English reviews
Level Contributor
60 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

The Vilas zoo is a perfectly nice place to visit. Free (and free, though at times hard to find) parking. There are many species represented, including a new bear exhibit. Penguins, giraffes, tigers, buffalo, and much more! Concessions are pricey (like any zoo). The biggest con is the size of the enclosures, which just feel too small to me overall.

Helpful?
Thank Hilary J
Level Contributor
63 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I had been there in my birthday. I was excited to see the polar bear and penguins, both animals that I never had seen before. It was in the summer and I think that the polar bear was suffering a lot. There was no cover/protection to customers near to the polar bear spot. The line was big to buy beverages... More 

Helpful?
Thank Juliana L
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Shocking FREE admissions! First time here and didn't expect much going on. The front entrance looked like it was going to be a small zoo. But we end up being in the zoo all day long. So much to do and see . Kids of all ages enjoyed it very much! Parking is a challenge but worth it!

Helpful?
Thank Hideoko Y
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Let me start with the best part...IT'S FREE!! This is a very nice zoo. Good variety of wildlife including some that are nor often seen like Red Panda. Good enclosures and well designed displays. Much of this zoo is on a par with the Milwaukee Zoo and although smaller it is very impressive with free flying aviaries, a nice herpetarium,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Gary D
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Always interesting. Best early in the morning on weekdays. Gets very crowded later. Excellent exhibits. Priceless (free) experience.

Helpful?
Thank sparky731
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
67 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Vilas Zoo is very well done and getting better. The animals are getting more natural habitats as they make improvements. It is also clearly designed to be kid friendly without making it unattractive to adults. I love the bountiful shade trees and various walking paths. The reminds me of the San Diego Zoom in many ways (on a much smaller... More 

Helpful?
Thank Richard B
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were visiting a sick relative in Madison, WI and searching for an outdoor activity to share with our 4 year old. The Radisson recommended Henry Vilas Zoo, which was still open in November and was absolutely delightful. I took so many pictures but wrote this review from the hotel business center and cant upload them. Penguins? Giraffes? Rhinos? Yessir,... More 

Helpful?
Thank helenhanbasket85
New Milford, NJ
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Lots of animals to see in different habitats & interactive exhibits for kids & adults. Admission is free & a donation booth is near the entrance, which most people happily use. Fun way to spend the afternoon. There was definitely a lot more to see & do than I had thought before visiting!

Helpful?
Thank KARS929
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

You can see all kinds of animals here and get some info on the animals while you are there. They had food there which was okay. But the animals were so cool to look at and watch their activities. I had a blast there.

Helpful?
Thank Beware45
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have seen the zoo change over 60 years from depressing jail cells to habitats. My children never tired of going. There are special events on the holidays with Halloween being the largest. Lake Wingra and a public beach are just 30 feet from the rear entrance. There is also tennis courts, shelters for picnicking and an ice rink during... More 

Helpful?
Thank David P

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Questions & Answers

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Madison, Wisconsin
9 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?