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Henry Vilas Zoo

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Address: 702 South Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715-1665
Phone Number: 608-266-4732
Website
Today
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
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 599 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 346
    Excellent
  • 192
    Very good
  • 48
    Average
  • 11
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Great zoo!

I can't believe this zoo is free, and it's a great zoo! We had such a good time! Very family friendly. Prices for snacks and gift shop were affordable since the admission was... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 20, 2015
FreezinginWI76
,
Wisconsin
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599 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Wisconsin
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015 NEW

I can't believe this zoo is free, and it's a great zoo! We had such a good time! Very family friendly. Prices for snacks and gift shop were affordable since the admission was free. Feels nice to be able to let your kids ride the train and have snacks and such because you didn't have to spend so much to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015 NEW via mobile

The Henry Vilas Zoo is a great place to visit! When we were there it was under contruction but that didn't hinder us from seeing everything that we wanted to see. There were many cool things to keep my young children and preteen amused!

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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
64 attraction reviews
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015 NEW

We were really impressed with this zoo...and it's free, even parking! It is right in the city and easy to get too. It's in the middle of a neighborhood and a lovely park. Perfect for spending the day with a frisbee, soccer ball and a picnic. It was a nice size, not huge but worth a few hours of exploring... More 

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Murcia, Spain
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
13 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

Great place to go with kids. Free visit in nice park environment. Not too large, but with all the basic animals one would expect.

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Elgin, Illinois
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
10 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2015 via mobile

We have been visiting the zoo for over ten years and we enjoy each visit. Admission and parking is free and yes, the zoo is small but it is worth a trip. The zoo is in Villas Park with views of Lake Winga and includes swimming and boat rentals. The zoo is currently enhancing exhibits with the addition of several... More 

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Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2015

Both admission and parking are free (though be aware, the parking lot is very small and is nearly always full, so you must either circle the lot and stalk someone walking to their car or just park on one of the side streets near the zoo and walk). Being free, it is small but still has several of the animals... More 

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Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2015

The Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI. should be at the top of a traveler's list when visiting this eclectic city. One of only a few free zoos in the country, the Vilas Zoo will be welcoming back polar bears in the summer of 2015, in its new Arctic Passage exhibit. Also, a first-time indoor-outdoor cafeteria will open at the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

I have been going to Vilas for well over 60 yrs. I volunteered there one summer and had a wonderful time until health issues prevented it. I wish people of Madison understood how rare it is to have a Free Zoo of this caliber. The animals are very well cared for by professionals and the exhibits are wonderful and well... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

Considering that there is NO entry fee and that the zoo is smaller than the really major zoos in the US, the individual exhibits like the Primate House, the reptile House, and the Rain Forest indoor habitat are outstanding. In summer there is also a kids external play area. In winter there are enough indoor, walk-through displays to occupy kids... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015

Compared to Brookfield zoo, near where I used to live, this is a small zoo. That being said, it's not going to wear you out with too much walking, it's very nice and clean, and best of all, it's free.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
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