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“Save a trip”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Henry Vilas Zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo
Ranked #3 of 95 things to do in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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.
Dubuque, Iowa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Save a trip”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My wife and I stopped at the zoo on our way through Madison, to check it out. Even though it was free admission, by the time we left we felt that we had been over charged. The gates open at 9:00 AM I believe, but none of the centers open until 10:00 AM. Nor do the information booths. I asked for a map at the information booth inside the gate, and was told that they didn't have any, that they were being reprinted.

Even though the zoo was a disappointment, we decide to eat there anyway. This was ot a good choice either. The price wasn't bad, but the quality, even for consession stand food was very poor. I would not recommend this zoo to anyone unless. it was to tell them to save the trip.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Brad B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,258 reviews from our community

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Carbondale, Illinois
1 review
“Nice little zoo”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

I very nice, clean zoo in a great location. Kid friendly and interesting exhibits. Animals seemed well taken care of and a good variety of animals to view. Prairie Dogs were fantastic.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Family Vacation”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Our family of 5 really enjoyed this zoo. It was a fun way to spend a day on our vacation. The animals were lovely. It was larger than I was expecting, and we could not believe it was free.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mom2three850
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merrill, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Awesome free zoo in downtown Madison”
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

This zoo is our must-see stop with the kids every time we drive through Madison, WI. It is compact and has an excellent variety of animals and interactive exhibits. The kids love to find the queen bee in the herpetarium to watch the prairie dogs. They have lions and tigers and bears... Oh my! It's free so ... Enjoy!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank tammykevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines Iowa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Pocket-size menagerie”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Always on the lookout for free attractions, my wife and I visited the zoo in July. Though the temperature was in the 90s, the densely shaded grounds provided a cool place to linger -- for about 20 minutes. This zoo is tiny, and the animals -- rhino, apes, giraffes, tapir, tiger, lion, and more -- seemed a bit forlorn in their modest-size enclosures. This is really an attraction best suited to very young kids (under 10, say). On the plus side, there are plenty of picnic tables to enjoy your lunch (brought from home or purchased on-site). If you're someone with reservations about zoos in general, this one probably won't change your mind. Still, the staff was very helpful and the gift shops stocked plenty of reasonably priced themed merchandise.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank DesMoinesIowaGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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