Open Today: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Complete Hours

Go Inside the Milwaukee County Zoo at

Behind the Scenes Weekend

March 11 & 12, 2017
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sponsored by
Prairie Farms Dairy

Aquatic & Reptile Center

Discover the inner workings of the Milwaukee County Zoo during this once-a-year event!  Have you ever wondered where the Zoo’s North Shore Bank Safari Train is kept during the winter?  Or what the Zoo’s “grocery store” that houses our animals’ food looks like?  Get a glimpse of the Zoo from a zookeeper’s perspective during the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Behind the Scenes Weekend, March 11 and 12.

From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, areas not normally open to the public will be available to Zoo visitors to tour.  All of the locations are designed to give visitors a new appreciation for all the work that takes place “behind closed doors” at our 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 animal mounts that can be touched. Located in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place
  • Aquatic & Reptile Center (ARC) – Upstairs Lake Wisconsin
    We’ll bet you’ve never had a view of the Lake Wisconsin Exhibit like this!  Go above one of our most popular exhibits to see these interesting finned and shelled residents from a new perspective. This tour requires walking stairs.
  • KuduWinter Quarters
    See the underground facility where our warm-weather animals – like the kudu – reside during Wisconsin’s chilly winters, below the Big Cat Building.
  • Giraffes
    Walk through specially-designed medical stalls used for giraffe hoof trims, blood checks and weights.  See the platform that brings keepers eye to eye with these gentle giants.
  • 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.
  • Aviary Kitchen
    Venture into the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary kitchen to see what our exotic birds eat.
  • Train Shop / Greenhouse / Heavy Equipment Area:
    In this bustling 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 up close used by Grounds Department to keep things humming at the Zoo.

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.