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Henry Vilas Zoo

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: 702 South Randall Avenue, Madison, WI 53715-1665
Phone Number:
+1 608-266-4732
09:30 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 09:30 - 17:00

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 1,262 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 757
  • 374
    Very good
  • 87
  • 19
  • 6
Always a fun time at the Henry Vilas Zoo

This might no be the biggest zoo you've been to, but it certainly is one of the best and its FREE! This is a perfect size zoo for a quick stroll with little kids or a full day of... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Madison, Wisconsin
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1,262 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,243: English reviews
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This might no be the biggest zoo you've been to, but it certainly is one of the best and its FREE! This is a perfect size zoo for a quick stroll with little kids or a full day of activities for the whole family. It's set just off the UW Madison campus and surrounded by residential neighborhoods. This whole area... More 

Thank mwnate
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Zoo is free !!! Perfect for families easy for stoles and wild paths. Wheelchairs handled walkways with ease. Had a fun carousel and short train ride, only $2 each. Perfect for 3 year olds.

Thank safetraveller1
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Pros: Free Walkable without being overly exhausting. Playground for young children w Carousel and Train (each a small cash fee). Close to beach for swimming or play afterward. Picnic areas. Cons: Could use more docent activity. Containment areas for animals a bit small. Lack of one way glass on containment areas for less stressed animals.

Thank MadCityGirl73
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Stopped here for a few hours as soon as we landed. Nice size zoo with some nice animals - lion, tiger and bears oh my! Nice walking around the exhibits.

Thank Victor D
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Very nice zoo that you can visit for free. Only downside parking. Very clean and animals have very nice facilities to live in. Wide variety of animals.

Thank Don B
Level Contributor
52 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

My hubby and I visited this zoo while we were in Madison and it was well worth the visit! The zoo was clean and the staff was kind for the most part. Our favorite parts were the Meerkats and the Prairie Dogs. It's worth it if you have kids, there's even an indoor carousel!

Thank Casey T
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Given that the zoo survives on donations (no entrance fee), most of the animals were placed in a well-deserved environments and looked happy; except for primates, it felt like their area was not that clean. However, all in all, the trip was very nice with the fun facts around the place. We visited on Earth day, and so they had... More 

Thank Rula A
Washington State
Level Contributor
101 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This zoo went beyond my expectations, mostly because it is FREE! The exhibits are excellent, lots of variety. We almost skipped the 'farm animal' area but so glad we didnt--because there are red Pandas there!--not exactly farm animals! Looking forward to another visit next time I am in Madison...

Thank marycoug
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is always a great way to spend part of your day while in Madison. The zoo has free admission and a nice variety of animal exhibits to see. It's a nice walk through the zoo and located in a great park along the lake, where you can picnic, walk and take in some sunshine. The parking can be challenging... More 

Thank DKU53051
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

was there some time ago with a group of clients from Hodan Comminty Service from Mineral Point, WI. Something there for any and all to enjoy - ageless!

Thank June K

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  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
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