Trip Planner:   USA  /  Wisconsin  /  Madison  /  Zoos & Aquariums  /  Henry Vilas Zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison

(4.5/5 based on 1,200+ reviews on the web)
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. Plan to see Henry Vilas Zoo and other attractions that appeal to you using our Madison trip itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a fabulous zoo to visit, and it's free! It's a nice size zoo, meaning kids don't get cranky and adults don't get worn out - it's easy to walk the whole zoo and not be overwhelmed. There is als...  more »
  • This free zoo is well-maintained and modern. They have lots of critters to see and the enclosures seem quite spacious even though the zoo is within city limits.  more »
  • Lovely zoo And free. So many wonderful exibits. Very clean. Staff friendly. A must do is the Carousel and the train!  more »
Google
  • Amazing zoo. I've been coming here for years. They are constantly updating animal habitats and the animals are treated so much better than at other zoos I've been to. There's a kids area with a playground and carousel, an open aviary, and lots of exhibits. Admission is free, but if you like the place, I would suggest giving a small donation. Every bit helps their outreach, education, and conservation efforts.
  • This an awesome free zoo! I don't think i can expand much on what everyone else is saying. It is the darling of Madison, has lions, a tiger, giraffes, badgers, etc. and now features a gorgeous indoor carousel and the only restaurant I've ever heard of with windows into a polar bear exhibit. The gift shop has some beautifully designed t-shirts along with the normal stuffed animals and jewelry.
  • Free admission! But, of course, this means that parking is ALWAYS a nightmare. The zoo is really well kept, though. It's smaller, but is home to a few unique species and even has a children's area. Great for families, obviously, and even for people who are just passing through.
  • This would be a great entry-fee zoo. But the fact that they have these animals and a decent quality setup supported by donations only, is really impressive. They have a variety of animals and a nice park nearby. Highly recommended.
  • Great place. Lots of animals and kids loved being able to get around and see them even if it was mid-november.