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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
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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 749 reviews
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  • 423
    Excellent
  • 250
    Very good
  • 58
    Average
  • 15
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
A terrific smaller zoo...great for kids.

Visited the Henry Vilas zoo recently with my grandsons. There is no admission charge to enter the zoo although contributions are requested and welcomed; there was also no parking... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed September 1, 2015
apster12
,
Wisconsin
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749 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

Visited the Henry Vilas zoo recently with my grandsons. There is no admission charge to enter the zoo although contributions are requested and welcomed; there was also no parking fee but there is limited parking space on the zoo lot so be prepared to find a spot on the streets. This is a great zoos for kids - since it... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

We took our great nieces to the Henry Vilas Zoo yesterday and it was a wonderful day. Parking was free and close and admission is free. They have many of the animals that the larger zoos have and the Polar Bear exhibit is awesome. One of the polar bears was enjoying a playful time in the water on this hot... More 

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Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015 NEW

The only animals I've ever seen content living here are the otters, and they love it. They can be seen sliding about in summer and will play with kids at the glass. The large cats are usually pacing and very bored, the orangutan looks soooo depressed in captivity, and until recently the polar bear enclosure was just sad. The black... More 

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Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW

Always entertaining. An impressive menagerie of animals and nice displays. Pro tip: the zoo is a great place for a date (it's free and a good walk). Love this place and have been many times.

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Madison
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

I enjoyed watching the big cats. Although I was disappointed not to see any leopards. For someone who is deeply in love with wildlife, this place offers a good opportunity to savor the pleasure.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
39 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

Very small, & not much to see. If you have young children it's okay, but otherwise don't waste your time.

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Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
29 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

A really nice, free zoo with a good selection of animals. Definitely a good stop for families... can be a bit crowded on weekends.

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Marietta, GA
Level Contributor
76 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

What looks like a small zoo has quite a bit of variety in the animals. Free to get in and easy to walk around.

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Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015

Come spend an hour or two at this free zoo. You won't be sorry. It's bigger than you would imagine, with incredibly playful polar bears, a rhino that seems WAY to close to visitors, an ape, monkeys, more bears, goats you can feed. ..and many more kinds of animals.

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Portage, Michigan
Level Contributor
122 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015

The zoo was fun for our first stop of the day on a road trip. My daughter enjoyed seeing the animals. She also liked getting her picture taken at all the photo opportunities. She was, however, very disappointed that the children's play area was closed for repairs. There were also several exhibits that were empty or being fixed.

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Questions & Answers

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NYC
3 months ago

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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?