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Henry Vilas Zoo

Address: 702 South Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715-1665
Phone Number: 608-266-4732
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89%
Ranked #7 of 122 things to do in Madison
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Owner description: Truly a wild place to hang out, this free zoo, located inside Vilas Park, features animals from...
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Attraction details
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Owner description: 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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581 reviews from our community

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English first
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

This is a very nice small low key zoo that is well worth your time to stop by a visit. It is located close to down town and the UW Madison campus. There is also a lake with a beach and plenty of picnic areas just outside the gates of the zoo. This is a great place to spend the... More 

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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

Fun winter visit and kept free for all through generous donations! I don't enjoy seeing caged animals but when conservation is the focus it makes it easier.

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

I live in Madison and it's great that they have a zoo that anyone can access for free year round. It's also expanding, so that's good tlnews too!

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Madison
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

A "Must Do" for any one in town for a visit. It's FREE admission and parking. Also has picnic area with a nice sand beach.

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Wisconsin
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
12 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015

Not your big overblown Zoo experience. Very accessible for children. Near Wingra Lake and Park for a bit of running around. Don't forget to search out the Old Shoe slide. Iconic piece of magic.

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Madison, Wisconsin
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

The Henry Vilas Zoo is a real gem: never too crowded, pleasant, and it seems genuinelly concerned about the wellbeing of the animals. It is a safe place for children to run and learn. Great family outing

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Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Great place for an outing with the children. There is also a park close by to have a picnic with the family.

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Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Can't beat the price (free), fun for the whole family. Parking is often tricky, but worth it...nice to have a beach and park right there, too! I would love to see more animals return like elephants...but the giraffes, camels, seals, lions and tigers and monkeys are favorites,. Not to mention the children's play area, train and carousel.

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Madison, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

If you are traveling with small children and want to knock around for an hour or two, this small local zoo always has something fun. The indoor exhibit are getting upgrades, so if you have not been there for a while it is worth another visit.

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Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

This is a free zoo with some quality animal exhibits in a beautiful setting on Lake Wingra. Its a great place to spend three hours, grab a treat and enjoy the parklike setting.

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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?