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Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison

#1 of 21 in Zoos & Aquariums in Wisconsin
Zoo · Zoo / Aquarium
Despite its relatively small size, Henry Vilas Zoo showcases animals from around the world in a mix of indoor and outdoor habitats. Resident land animals include primates, big cats, tropical birds, and North American prairie animals. In the water, you'll see reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Kids will love the children's zoo, complete with carousel, zoo train, and play area, as well as a year-round exhibit of goats and alpacas. The zoo’s discovery center is equipped with microscopes and magnifying glasses, so you can examine feathers, scales, and skin, or even see tarantulas, cockroaches, millipedes, and other small creatures up close. Take a look at our Madison sightseeing planner to schedule your visit to Henry Vilas Zoo and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Henry Vilas Zoo reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,669 reviews
  • Visited this zoo during a free day in Madison. We have been to many zoos across the country and this one is above average even compared to ones that charge. It is extremely good for families with...  more »
  • I would give 6 Stars easily. One of the coolest free zoos I've visited (Lincoln Park Zoo still better, but different). It reminded me of the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA (pay zoo, much larger, but not as well set-up). Really neat selection of animals: lions, grizzly bears, orangutans, lemurs, alligators, lizards, etc! My teenage boys really enjoyed themselves. Do not pay attention to the low reviews. Many are from 'animal rights' malcontents. It was somewhat quiet inside. Very clean! Parking seemed adequate - found a place in the small lot. Bathrooms large. Would definitely return to Madison just to visit!
  • i can't believe it's free. What a wonderful thing for family outing it doesn't cost an arm and a leg has quite a few families there. My family enjoyed it immensely. Course we left money to like to help take care of the animals and what beautiful animals they had. It was well well maintained. It was a beautiful zoo and well took care of.

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