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Henry Vilas Zoo

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Address: 702 South Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715-1665
Phone Number:
+1 608-266-4732
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 1,192 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 705
    Excellent
  • 360
    Very good
  • 84
    Average
  • 19
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
So much to see, all for free

Many things to do in Madison that cost you money but, Henry Vilas Zoo offers so much with no to a little bit of money. Zoo is the perfect size to keep all ages entertained... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
mamalarry
,
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
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1,192 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,173: English reviews
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Many things to do in Madison that cost you money but, Henry Vilas Zoo offers so much with no to a little bit of money. Zoo is the perfect size to keep all ages entertained, afterwards the park or beach to picnic, swim, take a trail, have the kids play on the play ground equipment, play ball, ice skate in... More 

Helpful?
Thank mamalarry
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

We love this free zoo. There are many things to do for all ages. The train rides, carousel, and play place are just a few that we love other than the animals!

Helpful?
Thank BKJOKohl
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

The Madison Zoo is ideal for families with young children. It is small enough that kids can walk on their own without needing a stroller all the time but still has a variety of animals. Other things that make this zoo great for children are that it has a playground, goats to feed and inexpensive rides for when you need... More 

Helpful?
Thank triplelaura
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

Really nice zoo for a town the size of Madison. Have been going to this zoo for years and it only gets better. Constant improvements every year--bigger enclosures, more room for the animals. It's a free zoo, but I encourage you to make a donation so they can keep getting better.

Helpful?
Thank TeresaM1968
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

Great zoo, animals token care of well. Good environment. It is free to get into the zoo, but lots for sale. I recommend spending the small change to ride the carousel! So eat first and try and go on a non peak time, as parking gets filled fast. Also more enjoyable if your not into crowded place on off times.... More 

Helpful?
Thank samuelkali
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This is a great free zoo, you will probably only spend 1/2 a day here so plan accordingly. Take snacks if you want to avoid the typical snack bar food (chips, ice cream, etc.)

Helpful?
Thank Heather H
Stoughton, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
91 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

One of the few zoos in the country that doesn't charge for parking or admission. It's supported by a trust fund and the generosity of benefactors. It's well maintained and cutting edge on how it cares for it's animals. Habitats are creative and fun, animals are healthy and seemingly very happy. Awesome park cohabits the space.

Helpful?
Thank Cindy N
United States
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Wonderful small, easily walkable zoo. My parents from TX always wanted to bring the grandkids when they were here for a visit. And they keep getting better and better with more modern exhibits and animal sanctuaries. Worth the 45 minute drive each and every time!

Helpful?
Thank LASS2000
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It was a great family activity, which was free! We needed to get the kids out of the house and moving. Even in the winter, there are a lot of things to see!

Helpful?
Thank Cortney E
Pekin, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went on a cold day but still enjoyed the indoor areas. This is a great free zoo. I think this is a real gem and worth a stop.

Helpful?
Thank sam61554

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Henry Vilas Zoo and other visitors
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NYC
over a year ago
6 months ago
Madison, Wisconsin
10 months ago

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Questions? Get answers from Henry Vilas Zoo staff and past visitors.
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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?