Awesome Animal Adventures

By Denice Ryan Martin

There’s tons of water fun in the Dells, Northwoods and on Lake Geneva. But if you’re feeling water-logged or want to do something different for a day, visit one of the nearby petting zoos and wildlife centers. It’s your chance to get up close and personal with some of Wisconsin’s furry animal friends.

Central Wisconsin

Wisconsin Deer ParkWisconsin Dells

Did you know the white-tailed deer is the state’s official wildlife animal? See, pet, and feed over 100 of these gentle creatures plus five other kinds of deer from around the world. Greet other fascinating animals like American Elk, bison, llamas, emus and lemurs. Explore an entertaining exhibit that’s four blocks long while strolling along its paved and wooded trails.

Northest Wisconsin

Lumberjack Steam TrainLaona

Experience the farm and the forest in one trip! This amazing daytrip destination is chock-full of animal, history and forestry exhibits. The kid-friendly animal corral features small cuddly farm animals as well as an assortment of fine feathered friends. Take a peaceful pontoon boat ride on the Rat River and scout for eagles, otter, deer, blue herons and other wildlife. Train lovers of all ages are invited “All Aboard!” for a vintage steam train ride to an old logging camp. Top off the fun with ice cream from the Choo Choo Hut restaurant.

Northwest Wisconsin

Wilderness Walk Zoo & Recreation ParkHayward

Howdy, pardners! This 35 acre site includes wild Northwoods animals and farm animals, plus a western town and a chance to pan for gold. Come and meet the baby bear cubs, Laverne and Shirley, and the majestic timber wolves, Sadie and Sammi. New additions are two lemurs, Lucy and Lizzy, and three silver foxes. Open rain or shine, seven days a week.

Northwoods Wisconsin

Wildwood Wildlife Park & Nature CenterMinocqua

Generations of vacationing families visited this popular park in the 60's, 70's, and 80's, when it was known as Jim Peck's. Today it's the second largest zoo in WI with over 750 mammals, reptiles and birds. Memorable moments include feeding fish in the trout pond, offering bears their “bear juice” and doling out “critter crackers” to the deer, camels and sheep.  A new exhibit, the “Parakeet Budgie Encounter” puts you in very close contact with 500 colorful parakeets. Fun educational programs, a Primate & Reptile Center and a large interactive petting zoo all guarantee a full day of animal excitement.

Southeast Wisconsin

The Dancing Horses Theatre & Animal Gardens - Delavan

Conveniently located near Lake Geneva, Animal Gardens has a petting zoo with 60 hay-eating animals, a singing bird, 16 exotic animals, and ---wait for it---a dancing horse theatre! Visit the hands-on Baby Animal Barn, feed deer in a deer park, share a pond with the swans, and step back in time at the Indian Village. For an extra charge, treat your family to the enchantment of the Dancing Horses Theatre. It’s a show complete with exquisitely trained horses, dazzling moves, pageantry, costumes and music. A one-of-a-kind show that’s sure to be remembered for years to come!

This entry was posted in Animals & Agriculture