Henry Vilas Zoo


Henry Vilas Zoo

702 South Randall Avenue, Madison

Opening hours

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
Sunday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Tel: +1 608-258-9490



  •  5.0 Stars written by J SCHLOESSER

    One of the best attractions in Madison. We love continuously visiting this zoo, it is a special place. The variety of animals is incredible and the events they offer are outstanding. We also enjoy stopping in at the Glacier Grille for lunch or ice cream and buying a Henry Vilas Zoo shirt each year from the gift shop. If you are looking to donate to something this would be it. It's a free zoo relying entirely on funding. Worth every penny! The only negatives I can say is that I would love to see some of the enclosures a little larger and some of the animals with companions. They seem lonely. Also, parking is not great. Though there is free parking offered don't plan on getting a spot, most of the time you will have to park on the street and walk a bit.

  •  5.0 Stars written by Justin Brunner

    My wife and I love animals, so "The Hank" is a semi-regular date spot for us to just walk and talk and see some sweet critters! Entry is free, but donations are appreciated. I love watching the bison, badgers, and bears. They recently remodeled their bear enclosures, and they are truly spectacular! There are plenty of neat things to keep kids interested as well - there's even a big arctic exploration vehicle on display in front of the polar bear enclosure!

  •  5.0 Stars written by Matt Wahoske

    A free zoo, what's not to love about that! Even though I’ve visited this zoo dozens of times over the years, I still enjoy going there. The zoo does a fantastic job of upgrading the exhibits and my kids especially enjoy the tricked-out merry-go-round. As expected, it gets crazy busy in the summer, so parking on the lake side of zoo will increase your odds of finding a parking spot. The zoo is open all year long, and visiting in winter is a nice way to avoid the large summer crowds.

  •  5.0 Stars written by Amanda Moser

    I love visiting Henry Vilas Zoo. It's a relatively small zoo but they have made some major improvements in the last couple of years including a very nice, new Arctic Passage exhibit. It's fun watching the polar bears play in the water while eating at the Glacier Grille. It's totally free- no admission or parking charges but there are only two small parking lots (and street parking in a busy area) so parking can be a challenge.

  •  5.0 Stars written by Thomas Pfeifer

    AZA accredited free zoo, with some incredibly animals and incredible conservation programs. I continue to be amazed that they are pulling it off. They live off donations, so be sure to donate when you're there, and don't hold back when partaking in their regular priced food/beverage items too.


Cities in the area