Zoos

For a guaranteed wild time with the people you love, visit our zoos and animal sanctuaries and prepare to be wowed.  

Your little ones will especially love a trip to the zoo. Watch their eyes light up at the sight of a majestic lion or when they go to feed a hungry giraffe. Lucky for you, Wisconsin is home to countless wildlife attractions featuring animals, educational exhibits and fun for the entire family. 

Major Zoos

Add a visit to a major zoo to your family trip itinerary. 

Spend the day at a wildlife sanctuary right in the heart of Milwaukee near Lake Michigan. More than 2,000 animals, including mammals and reptiles, live at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Get up close to animals, like goats, at the family farm or on the Secret Safari backstage tour. Watch others, like gorillas, as they take afternoon naps and enjoy snacks. For a different perspective, see the animals and treetops below on the zipline attraction.

South of Milwaukee is the Racine Zoo on the shores of Lake Michigan. Orangutans and rhinos lead this menagerie of more than 300 animals. During your visit, be sure to stop by the barnyard safari to pet animals like llamas. Kids will love the two playgrounds on-site as well as the miniature express train. 

At the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, where more than 600 animals live, visit the polar and grizzly bears at the Arctic Passage exhibit. Over in Minocqua, hop on a safari tram ride at the Wildwood Wildlife Park Zoo and Safari to get an up-close look at the animals there, like wildebeests, antelopes and ostriches.

And feed giraffes at the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park in Green Bay. Once the giraffes are fed and you’ve visited all the animals, tackle an obstacle ropes course with your family. 

Petting Zoos & Animal Sanctuaries

See how local farms and sanctuaries protect wildlife — and even pet some of the animals during your visit.

The Bear Den & Petting Farm in Waterford lets you bottle feed a fawn and see how soft a lemur’s fur is. In Weyauwega, there’s the Animal Haven Zoo & Sanctuary, home to over 100 exotic species, including swans, emus and ostriches. The buffalo roam at Glacier Ridge Animal Farm in Van Dyne, also home to camels and elk and fun farm friends like pigs, goats, ducks and geese. 

Over in Lake Geneva, you’ll find a unique experience at a conservation park called Safari Lake Geneva. See animals up-close from your car at this drive-through safari featuring over 20 animals. And nestled in the Wisconsin Dells is the Timbavati Wildlife Park, home to more than 400 animals, including tigers, giraffes, penguins and kangaroos. On the property is an animal nursery and other attractions, like a safari train ride. 

Trips to zoos and animal sanctuaries in Wisconsin are educational and fun. At the end of the visit, you and your family will leave with permanent smiles on your faces.

Discover More Unexpected

There’s no shortage of unique attractions in Wisconsin. Find your next unforgettable adventure here.