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Henry Vilas Zoo

702 South Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715-1665
608-266-4732
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Ranked #6 of 52 attractions in Madison
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Zoos
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... more » 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. « less
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481 reviews from our community

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Rockford, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

Had a very nice time with the family. Yes, it is small but it is free and the kids (young teens) loved it! We spent the morning at the zoo and then had a picnic at the small beach right across the street. The kids liked the goats the best:)

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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

Nice free zoo. Good assortment of animals, although crowded. Most of the animals could be easily seen.

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De Pere, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

This zoo is fairly small, but includes a lion, giraffes, rhino's, a monkey house, and more. They are building an arctic area for 2015 which is a $4M project. The exhibits are nicely done, the buildings are clean (including the bathrooms - which is almost unheard of at a zoo) they also have a nice little train that the smaller... More

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Canton, Ohio
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
31 attraction reviews
255 helpful votes 255 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Its amazing that a city the size of Madison has such a wonderful and FREE zoo. The lovely grounds are beautifully maintained with nice landscaping and facilities. This is the perfectly-sized zoo for a short outing----especially loved the extremely friendly (and apparently hungry) goats! Reasonably-priced concessions and great giftshop as well.

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Westborough, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

Small zoo with the main exciting animals that everyone would enjoy. The zoo is open to 5 but they start closing the buildings that house the birds, snakes and insects at 4:00. Soon after 4:00 they start putting the animals back in their cages. Great for families with small kids as it has enough to keep them occupied but is... More

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chicago, IL
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
28 attraction reviews
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

We had been to the Henry Vilas Zoo in the past, but it had been a while. Our return trip was enjoyable. We arrived on a Saturday and about 1/2 hour after the zoo had opened. The zoo lot was full (it is small), but we were able to find street parking within a block of the zoo lot for... More

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Hilliard, Ohio
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
30 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

Whenever we visit Madison, we try to find time for a trip to the zoo. It's still FREE, which I took for granted growing up, but amazes me as an adult. My mother has many childhood memories here, and my grandfather lives nearby when he was a little boy and used to visit the zoo frequently. Other than the price,... More

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

This is a small zoo, which actually made it nice. We are used to the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. We enjoyed this zoo because it was easy to see all the exhibits with 2hours without rushing. It has a lot if shady areas. It was refreshing to just walk in and go about our business. If you want to spend... More

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West Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

We always enjoy this zoo. It is walking distance to our family member's home and it is easy to see in a portion of a day. It is clean and has nice habitats for the animals. It is very walkable. We look forward to seeing the new Polar Bear exhibit.

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Combined Locks, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
70 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

The Henry Vilas Zoo is a Madison icon. It has been a family destination for generations. I visited it with my parents as a child, visited with my children, and now visit with my grandchildren. The zoo has evolved over the years. It's great how the city of Madison and its citizens have updated and improved the facilities. The children's... More

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