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Henry Vilas Zoo

#4 of 101 things to do in Madison Features Animals
702 S Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715-1665
+1 608-266-4732
Review Highlights
One of our absolute favorite zoos!

My husband and I love anything to do with animals... but providing it is for the benefit of the... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Small setting, Big fun.

This is a wonderful family outing destination. We all love to see the animals, but there are also... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Madison, Wisconsin
Read all 1,378 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent63%
  • Very good29%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“polar bears” (106 reviews)
“train ride” (31 reviews)
“prairie dogs” (23 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:30 - 17:00
702 S Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715-1665
+1 608-266-4732
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Reviews (1,378)
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1 - 10 of 1,359 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

My husband and I love anything to do with animals... but providing it is for the benefit of the animals. We don't go to zoos that take animals from their natural environments to stuff in a cage and earn a buck from onlookers. We want...More

Thank kdvw4
Reviewed 3 days ago

This is a wonderful family outing destination. We all love to see the animals, but there are also zoo planned activities throughout the year as well as the rides. And afterwards, how about a little picnic on the shore of Lake Wingra right outside the...More

Thank dmmurray54
Reviewed 4 days ago

Great place to spend a few hours they really have made some nice upgrades to the place in the last few years. The arctic passage exhibit is especially nice. The zoo is small but it's hard to find a better value. Drop a donation in...More

Thank Ryan S
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Been to this zoo a couple times now and you can't beat it for a free zoo. Large selection of animals keeps the kids entertained. We will definitely be back. Animals could probably use a little more space would be the only draw back.

Thank enodnor83
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Coming from Europe where the concept of free zoos does not exist, I was quite amazed with Henry Vilas Zoo. There are plenty of different animals to see and there is much information provided so that you actually get educated. This is a nice place...More

Thank gkullis
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

This place is depressing. The behavior exhibited by the polar bear is disturbing and heartbreaking. This poor thing has clearly been driven mad through boredom and being confined to this small space. All of the enclosures are FAR too small. If you actually love animals,...More

Thank travelbug7684920934
Reviewed 6 days ago

This was my second time coming to the zoo! I absolutely love it! It's free and you can donate to help too! There is alot of animals to see and alot of fun!! We will be back next time we visit!

Thank giggly711
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This zoo is very nice. The animals are well cared for. My granddaughter especially loved the play area, carousel, train and the photo booth. Loved that it is a free zoo, but donations are accepted. Even a donation at $2 per person was less expensive...More

Thank Julie C
Reviewed 1 week ago

We arrived early when the doors opened on Wednesday. Many of the animals were not out yet. It is a smaller zoo, but does have some good exhibits.

Thank 347tyw
Reviewed 1 week ago

Did you know that Henry Vilas Zoo is one of only 2 totally free ACCREDITED zoos in the nation. They do an amazing job and their dedication to species survival is amazing. I highly recommend a visit when you are in the area.

Thank Elizabeth W
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
5 August 2017|
Response from candicef14 | Reviewed this property |
No, I don't think so.
22 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Kevin F | Reviewed this property |
Between 2 to 3 hours should be enough time.
mitzi 1
29 June 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from JesseWhite | Reviewed this property |
No electric chairs, but there are wheelchairs available at the gift shop on the Drake St main gate.