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Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison

Despite its relatively small size, Henry Vilas Zoo showcases animals from around the world in a mix of indoor and outdoor habitats. Resident land animals include primates, big cats, tropical birds, and North American prairie animals. In the water, you'll see reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Kids will love the children's zoo, complete with carousel, zoo train, and play area, as well as a year-round exhibit of goats and alpacas. The zoo’s discovery center is equipped with microscopes and magnifying glasses, so you can examine feathers, scales, and skin, or even see tarantulas, cockroaches, millipedes, and other small creatures up close. Take a look at our Madison sightseeing planner to schedule your visit to Henry Vilas Zoo and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Henry Vilas Zoo Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,467 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Free admission! Lots to see and do! Stop by the new polar bear exhibit or visit the monkeys. Concessions on site or pack a lunch and enjoy the surrounding park that the zoo sits in. On site parking is...  more »
  • ever since I was a young teen Ive loved trains. When I ran my first train the it was amazing. Being crammed in and being between people you love is the best. The train vibrations are really what got m...  more »
  • My parents took us here every year when we were young. Now my grandchildren love it as much as I did. The additions and improvements have made it even better. We really enjoy the "creepy crawly" house...  more »
Google
  • Is a great place to visit. I don’t like zoos cause they just have animals to win money, but this is not the case! Is great that can help animals I think they do a great job as much as they can. Great job! Is a perfect place to take the kids and talk them about why those animals are there and at the same time kids can learn about the amazing story of this animals and they countries.
  • Great zoo and super nice that it's free. There isn't much park ever. Went for the holiday lights recently which was fun. It cost a little money, but they had a good amount of lights, the Merry-Go-Round going, and if you could take pictures with Santa.
  • My wife and I love animals, so "The Hank" is a semi-regular date spot for us to just walk and talk and see some sweet critters! Entry is free, but donations are appreciated. I love watching the bison, badgers, and bears. They recently remodeled their bear enclosures, and they are truly spectacular! There are plenty of neat things to keep kids interested as well - there's even a big arctic exploration vehicle on display in front of the polar bear enclosure!
  • One of the best attractions in Madison. We love continuously visiting this zoo, it is a special place. The variety of animals is incredible and the events they offer are outstanding. We also enjoy stopping in at the Glacier Grille for lunch or ice cream and buying a Henry Vilas Zoo shirt each year from the gift shop. If you are looking to donate to something this would be it. It's a free zoo relying entirely on funding. Worth every penny! The only negatives I can say is that I would love to see some of the enclosures a little larger and some of the animals with companions. They seem lonely. Also, parking is not great. Though there is free parking offered don't plan on getting a spot, most of the time you will have to park on the street and walk a bit.
  • Easy, relaxed atmosphere. Compact enough for small humans to navigate in a few hours. Impressive collection of mammals: I'm an old man and until today I had never before seen a camel or giraffe! My granddaughter and I enjoyed ourselves.
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Plans to Henry Vilas Zoo by other users

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