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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 647 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 366
    Excellent
  • 216
    Very good
  • 51
    Average
  • 12
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Playful polar bears

Cute little zoo...free and on the lake, so a beautiful setting and nice way to spend a family day. Don't miss the polar bear cafe...huge plate glass window with up-close view of... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed June 28, 2015
TrippMaxAustin
,
Austin, Texas
via mobile
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647 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2015 NEW via mobile

Cute little zoo...free and on the lake, so a beautiful setting and nice way to spend a family day. Don't miss the polar bear cafe...huge plate glass window with up-close view of playful polar bears...amazing!

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2015 NEW

This zoo was very nice and had a nice selection of animals with a park-like setting. Great for all ages. Has a few play areas for the kids as well to get them good and tired out before you go home :)

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Maumee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2015 NEW

Great place for any kind of outing. Go with family or friends and enjoy being outdoors and watching the animals. Haven't seen the new polar exhibit yet but have only heard great things from my family.

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Wisconsin
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2015 NEW

Where else can you see lions, tigers, giraffes, red pandas, polar bears, Malayan tapirs, rhinos, and penguins all in one place (btw, that's not even half of their animal variety)? And for free? I have visited five times just this year and I love it every time. It's really a great place for all ages.

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Toledo, Ohio
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2015

This place may be small compared to some zoos, but it was free! plenty big for young children. There were animals here that my children had never seen at other zoos such as a camel. Bring a little cash to do carousel rides, etc. Is definitely worth it, and won't feel guilty if you only have time for a short... More 

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Level Contributor
94 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2015

The Henry Vilas Zoo is a free attraction that I often recommend or show to visitors to the area. It is a smaller Zoo, but families with little children seem to enjoy it thoroughly. On a nice day, I like to extend my trip by continuing the walk around the neighborhood and to the nearby park.

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Watertown, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
63 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2015

I have driven many school field trip groups to this free Madison, WI zoo. It is a great family and young peoples' attraction but, it is NOT large vehicle friendly so you have to find offsite parking as drivers do in almost every city.

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Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
131 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2015

Get there in the morning to see the "cats" wondering in the yard. Great place to shoot the big cats, minimal fencing. Highly recommended and an easy place to walk. No charge for parking or entry to the zoo.

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Lake Delton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2015

Ava figured out right away that you must look in the fences to see the animals. She had a very good time. It is like a park setting and very relaxing atmosphere.

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Palos Heights, Illinois
Level Contributor
49 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2015

What a great zoo! You would never think it was run on donations (so please donate if you go!). I assumed the zoo would be tiny and we'd get through it quickly, but it took us almost 3 hours to go all the way through. They have some great animals and exhibits here. It's definitely worth stopping by.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Additional Information about Henry Vilas Zoo

Address: Address: 702 South Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715-1665
Phone Number: 608-266-4732
Location: United States  >  Wisconsin (WI)  >  Madison
Open Hours:
Sunday 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

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Questions & Answers

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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?