Henry Vilas Zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison: Hours, Address, Henry Vilas Zoo Reviews: 4.5/5

Henry Vilas Zoo
4.5
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Truly a wild place to hang out! We are an admission-free, AZA-accredited zoo located next to Vilas Park in downtown Madison with a mission to conserve and protect the wonders of the natural world. Sign up for a Behind the Scenes tour, let us host your next birthday party, or just come by and learn more about our animals. With over 100 species, including polar bears, Aldabra tortoises, and African lions, there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about your favorite animals!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
1 673 reviews
Excellent
1 048
Very good
476
Average
118
Poor
21
Terrible
10

hobbolink
Madison, WI4 contributions
Great
Sep 2021 • Couples
Best zoo ever. Free. Miss Winkie the elephant. They don’t have an elephant anymore more. Love the orangutan
Written 20 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Julie
10 contributions
Beautiful zoo in a beautiful setting.
Oct 2021 • Family
Beautiful zoo with lots of nice shade to walk under. Lovely display of animals in nice habitats. Because the zoo is free, you can feel no burden in buying tickets for the carousel and train. Our family enjoyed our visit.
Written 20 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chuck2010
Palmyra, PA2 575 contributions
Just a Superb Zoo for Families
Sep 2021
Outstanding small zoo dedicated to families ... we were impressed with the variety of animals as well as nice environments. It must take a lot of effort and dedication to run a zoo strictly on donations from the public .. Admission is free and a donation is appreciated
Written 6 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TheTiger4
Bismarck, ND19 contributions
Nice zoo to visit
Sep 2021 • Couples
Nice little zoo with surprising number of unique animals not found in other zoos. Giraffe, Polar Bear, Flamingos, Tiger, Lion, & Rhinos. Free admission (free will) well worth a hour or two visit. Glad we stopped.
Written 24 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kathryn A
Homosassa, FL248 contributions
Nice for children
Aug 2021
Because I like giraffes I do not miss an opportunity to see one. Well, this Zoo has one, but only one. The penguin enclosure was okay, but the otter area was really dirty. The gift shop was ideal for children. Located in a lovely nighborhood.
Written 25 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Judy W
85 contributions
Great for Kids
Aug 2021
Visited this zoo during a free day in Madison. We have been to many zoos across the country and this one is above average even compared to ones that charge. It is extremely good for families with children because they have several areas to really hold the interest of young people. Very clean and well maintained.
Written 21 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LA_Girl
Appleton, WI324 contributions
Sad Visit
Aug 2021
Because of Covid many of the animals are not available for viewing. Only saw a few animals while there. Most indoor areas are closed.
Written 17 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KelCoo
Severn, Maryland52 contributions
OK zoo for small kids
Aug 2021 • Family
Decent zoo, good for smaller kids. Although it’s "free" there's a $2 per person recommended donation that is "required".
Written 16 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah K
7 contributions
Not the zoo it was
Jul 2021
My husband and I used to frequent this "little free zoo" back in 2008-2009 when we were dating/engaged. We loved going; even the weekends weren't that busy, considering that is a prime day for families to attend. We went back for the first time in over 10 years and it was PACKED. To the gills. They built it up to be much more of an attraction than actual exhibits with animals. When we arrived, there were two bouncers at the entrance. One was a woman giving kids handstamps (for fun), the other was standing by the donation box. There's a big sign that says the obligatory "we're free so you don't have to donate, but suggested donation is $2/person" but with the other person standing RIGHT BY THE BOX it almost felt like you had to donate or be given the stink-eye. We would have donated anyways, but it was just an icky feeling. We didn't stay long--too crowded, too built up...not the same quaint zoo that we loved and frequented. I don't think I'll go back, but will find other things to do in Madison.
Written 13 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

garint1981
Freeport, IL40 contributions
One of the highlights of the weekend
Jun 2021
We went as soon as they opened even though it rained off and on. It still had a lot of people. At first, many of the animals weren't out due to the rain, but we ended up seeing everything the zoo had to offer; besides, the badgers were the only animal that didn't come out. Unfortunately (for my girlfriend), the reptile building was closed due to maintenance, but a staff member explained the reasoning thoroughly. We ended up staying a couple of hours and walked 3 miles.
Written 28 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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