Today's Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Complete Hours

Exercising extra caution amid COVID-19 concerns, the Zoo has decided to postpone its Behind the Scenes Weekend event scheduled for this weekend, March 14-15. We have not yet determined a new date but hope to host the event on a weekend later in the year. Thank you for your understanding. The Zoo remains open.


Behind the Scenes Weekend

Presented by
Prairie Farms Dairy

March 14-15, 2020
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Harbor seal

Venture into interesting areas not usually open to visitors during the Zoo’s annual special event, Behind the Scenes Weekend, presented by Prairie Farms Dairy, March 14-15.  This weekend, visitors have the chance to take a closer look at the newly opened Elephant Care Center, the holding areas and saltwater baths for our harbor seals and even the engines and coaches for the Zoo’s popular Safari Train!

On Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., these areas mentioned, and several others will be open for public tours.  All locations are designed to give visitors a new appreciation for all the work that takes place “behind closed doors” at the Zoo.

Tour highlights include:

  • Sensory Safari (9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
    Do you wonder what it’s like to reach out and touch one of our animals? Sensory Safari caters to visitors with special needs and features touchable animal mounts.
    Located in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place

  • Elephants
    Take a closer look inside the Elephant Care Center! See where female African elephants Ruth, Brittany, and new-arrival Belle spend their time and how zookeepers care for the world’s largest land mammal.

  • Winter Quarters
    Many visitors will be surprised to discover an entire warm exhibit area below the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country!  The “underground barn” houses many of our African hoofstock animals that reside here during the winter.

  • Small Mammals’ Kitchen
    See what the Small Mammals’ residents eat and learn about the enrichment (toys!) these animals enjoy most.

  • Harbor Seals/Polar Bear
    See the off-exhibit holding areas for these animals, including the saltwater baths for our seals, and the polar bear kitchen, complete with meat and lard for our mighty Arctic bear!

Aviary kitchen
Visitors to the Aviary kitchen during Behind the Scenes Weekend

Specially trained Zoo Pride volunteers will be available to answer your questions and serve as tour guides for this popular event.  Guests are encouraged to ask questions!  Due to the nature of some of the locations, several tours are not handicapped accessible.

All tours are included in regular Zoo admission, and are conducted on a first come, first serve basis.  Admission is $13.75 for adults, juniors (ages 3-12) are $10.75, seniors (age 60 and over) are $12.25; parking is $12.  Milwaukee County residents with identification will receive $1.75 off regular Zoo admission.