Henry Vilas Zoo

Madison, WI

Zoos & Wildlife
4 (5 reviews)

Where are we going?

Address: 702 S Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715, USA How do we get there? Number: 608 266 4732
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About this activity

Henry Vilas Zoo is around 30 acres of family fun with a wide range of animals, rides, activities and recreation for all ages and abilities. You know what else we love? The zoo is FREE to enter, so everyone can have an animal-tastic time.

Are you excited to explore the exhibits that you can enjoy during your time at Henry Vilas Zoo? Let's get started!

Why not start your journey in a tropical rainforest? The Tropical Rainforest Aviary gives you an immersive experience as you surround yourselves with tropical plants and fish, as well as beautiful birds all around you in a free-flight setting. 

Just outside this popular exhibits, you can watch the otters swim in the waterfall!

Love big cats? Great! Henry Vilas Zoo is home to Amur tigers and African lions, with their enclosures mimicking the wild. You might be lucky and hear them having a conversation with each other!

The Discovery Center and Herpetarium offer some intriguing species from the cold-blooded family. Don't miss seeing the Anaconda - the largest snake species in the world!

Also at the Discovery Center is great hands-on learning exhibits for kids.

The family can explore the North American Prairie complete with bison and prairie dogs, or brave the cold of the Arctic Passage and see polar bears and harbor seals up close!

The Children's Zoo Barn is a 3,500 square foot ecological wonder, well worth getting the kids to stop and appreciate the solar panels, geothermal technology and rain collection system involved, before you enjoy the farm animals and feed the goats.

With a carousel and adventure play area too, it's all about giving the family an incredible day out filled with animal fun and educational experiences. Why not take a walk on your wild side and visit Henry Vilas Zoo on your next family day out. 

You never know who you might just meet!

Activity location


Madison Metro has several routes that will get you within a five to six blocks of the Zoo.

Get directions

How much does it cost?



Free, but donations greatly accepted



Same as adult


Last Updates


Henry Vilas Zoo FAQ’s

Not for profit, free admission facility which depends on your expenditures and donations so put your hand in your pocket please! They also lead by example in reducing energy use and conserving natural resources through several initiatives on the zoo grounds, such as recycling waste, using recycled paper, composting animal waste, using an electric vehicle, solar power, rainwater collection, biodegradable cups at the concessions, & more!

The Concessions stand is open daily, weather permitting, April through October. Zoo concessions offers a wide range of great snacks and meal choices at reasonable costs which then go toward supporting the zoo.

There is of course a gift shop open daily from 9:30am-5:00pm (reduced hours in winter) where you can pick up all the gifts and merchandise that you want!

As an admission-free, community-supported zoo, the Henry Vilas Zoo welcomes numerous groups from area schools, churches, after school programs, and more.

The zoo is accessible and wheelchairs are available to rent at the Zoo's gift shop

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