Henry Vilas Zoo (2020)

After more than a year, the Henry Vilas Zoo reopened its Lake Wingra entrance starting on Monday, March 29. The Children’s Zoo also reopened to visitors on the same day, just in time for the Madison school district’s spring break.

“Our goal is to phase in re-opening as safely and quickly as possible,” said Executive Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz. “The Children’s Zoo has the narrowest walkways throughout the whole zoo, which is why it has been the last outdoor area to remain closed. We also have COVID-susceptible gibbons and had to modify their outdoor exhibit space to ensure we are protecting them.”

In addition to opening the Lake Wingra entrance and the Children’s Zoo, guests will now be able to ride the carousel seven days a week. Carousel rides cost $3 each. The Glacier Grille and Chocolate Shoppe will also be open daily. The train and playground will remain closed for now due to COVID safety precautions.

Henry Vilas Zoo closed for the first time in its more than 100-year history on March 14, 2020. The zoo has been open since last June, but this marks the first time guests will be allowed to enter the Children’s Zoo, an area that includes red pandas, goats, gibbons, meerkats, and more.

Henry Vilas Zoo is a free, AZA-accredited zoo that is open daily from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. All guests ages 5 and up are still required to wear a face mask at the zoo.

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