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Behind the Scenes Weekend

March 10-11, 2018
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sponsored by
Prairie Farms Dairy

Behind the Scenes Weekend

Discover hidden areas of the Milwaukee County Zoo during the once-a-year event, Behind the Scenes Weekend, sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy, March 10-11. 

This weekend, visitors can see the underground enclosures where warm-weather animals live during the winter, learn how food items are prepared for polar bear Snow Lilly, and get an up-close look at the filtration system in the Aquatic & Reptile Center.

Behind the Scenes WeekendOn Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., areas not normally open to the public will be available for tours.  All of the locations are designed to give visitors a new appreciation for all the work that takes place “behind closed doors” at the park.

Tour highlights include:

  • Sensory Safari (9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
    What would it feel like to reach out and touch one of our animals? Sensory Safari caters to our visitors with special needs and features touchable animal mounts. Located in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place
  • Elk Barn
    Learn interesting facts about this North American mammal, such as the males may stand taller than 5 feet at the shoulder, and weigh up to 990 pounds!
  • Winter Quarters
    Who would know there’s an entire underground facility where the warm-weather animals reside during Wisconsin’s cold winters! Located below the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country.
  • Harbor Seals/Polar Bear Exhibit
    See the off-exhibit holding areas for these residents, including the saltwater baths for the
    seals and the polar bear kitchen – complete with lard and meat for our mighty Arctic bear! (This tour requires walking stairs.)
  • Elephants
    Our Zoo is home to female African elephants, Ruth and Brittany.  Tour this area to see how keepers care for Earth’s largest land mammal.
  • Behind the Scenes WeekendSmall Mammals’ Kitchen
    See what The Zoo’s tiniest animals eat, and learn about the enrichment (toys!) these animals enjoy most.
  • Train Shop / Greenhouse / Heavy Equipment Area:
    In this busy area, talk to our train engineers and sit in a train coach, learn what it takes to grow thousands of plants and flowers for the park and see the large equipment used by the Grounds Department to keep the Zoo looking pristine all year round.

Specially-trained Zoo Pride volunteers will be here 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 $11.75 for adults, juniors (ages 3-12) are $8.75, seniors (age 60 and over) are $10.25; parking is $12.  Milwaukee County residents with identification will receive $1.75 off regular Zoo admission.

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