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Henry Vilas Zoo

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Features Animals
Open Now: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Open today: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
Great time and price right

For a free zoo this is a great bargain. Parking a bit inconvenient. Red panda exhibit was very nice... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Hopedale, Illinois
via mobile
Madison Zoo

Grounds very beautiful. Many benches so people can sit along the way. The animals and exhibits... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Diane H
via mobile
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent62%
  • Very good29%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“polar bear”(71 reviews)
“train ride”(32 reviews)
“prairie dogs”(26 reviews)
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.
Open Now
Hours Today: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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702 S Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715-1665
+1 608-266-4732
Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Madison
Reviews (1,557)
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All reviewspolar beartrain rideprairie dogsmerry go roundreptile housered pandawide variety of animalslake wingraperfect sizefree admissionchildren's areabisonfew hoursgreat for kidsall agesstreet parkingwhole family
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1 - 10 of 1,535 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

This was a nice little zoo with a darling children's section and a beautiful new merry-go=round. Unfortunately , some of the attractions were not available , which was disappointing. Obviously, it can't compare with a zoo like the Portland zoo, but the fact that it...More

Thank Ellen V
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

For a free zoo this is a great bargain. Parking a bit inconvenient. Red panda exhibit was very nice feature. Definitely worth a trip if in the area.

Thank W6221ZKmarkr
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Grounds very beautiful. Many benches so people can sit along the way. The animals and exhibits are clean and well taken care of.

Thank Diane H
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a free zoo . It’s a tiny little zoo and it’s very well kept up . Very well landscaped , paths are blacktopped & are in excellent shape , great shade trees throughout . There are strollers at the entrance . There is...More

Thank Trisha U
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Lots of recent renovations make this a great FREE activity. A unique carosel (costs extra) is a highlight for my kids. They also have a train, gem mining and goat feeding for a small fee. During summer months, bring a lunch and stop across the...More

Thank Nicole M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Free zoo with free parking so what more can you want?.animals seemed to be as well kept as any decent zoo(seen better,but seen many more worse [or much worse-was in Russia last year] ),went late August mid week,so parked no problem at 9.30am.filled 2hrs .

Thank rob-t-35
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Great, worth the trip. It is free but they welcome donations and well worth a nice donation. They take great care of the animals.

Thank Ton K
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We really enjoyed this zoo. The zoo is very clean and we enjoyed seeing a wide variety of animals. Many of the animals were very active. We especially enjoyed watching the polar bears playing in the water! Great way to spend the day!

Thank JVogl
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

What? A free zoo, not possible! This one is! Great variety of animals, large and small. Especially the badger exhibit! Since it's free spent a hour, go through quickly or take your time and spent the day. Donations are welcomed in any amount. Parking can...More

Thank B172VJtarah
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

These days few things of any real value are free. The Henry Vilas Zoo is a Madison, WI jewel. Family fun for kids and adults of all ages. Whether a short couple hour visit or an all day adventure you’re sure to enjoy your time...More

Thank Meander241944
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Questions & Answers
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September 10, 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from summerslide | Reviewed this property |
The zoo is free and there are no employees by the entrance or exit so I’m assuming if it’s not monitored, some will bend the rules.
Teresa O
August 1, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from karao692 | Reviewed this property |
The zoo is pleased to make strollers and wheelchairs available for visitors to rent at the zoo gift shop in the fall, spring and summer seasons. The cost is a $10 deposit (you will get $5 back upon returning the stroller or... More
July 10, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Gail E | Reviewed this property |
It’s a small and friendly zoo crowd, with a lot of frequent visitors. Just ask anyone. I could point if I was there, but couldn’t really explain. Sorry. Hope you enjoyed your visit.