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


Sponsored by Lifeway Foods

All moms receive free admission.

MJ the orangutan

There are few better ways to celebrate mom’s special day than with a trip to the Zoo on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11! All mothers receive free admission, courtesy of Lifeway Foods, and can enjoy all the Zoo has to offer! Lifeway Foods will also offer free samples, while supplies last.

In recognition of a significant species at the Zoo, the Bornean orangutans, primate zookeepers and volunteers will host special outreach areas in the Primates of the World building, called “Project M.O.M.” Activities are designed to raise the awareness of the perils these animal face in the wild, and the need to conserve the species.

Our Zoo partners with other zoos across North America, along with Orangutan Outreach, to present outreach activities entitled “M.O.M. – Missing Orangutan Mothers.”

Orangutan mothers and babies have an incredibly close relationship. Because of the growing demand for palm oil, more and more orangutan mothers are being killed every year in Indonesia. 

Their rainforest homes are being wiped out to make way for palm oil plantations – leaving hundreds of orphans.

Visit the outreach booth to learn how you can help the plight of these beautiful red apes – featuring fliers, info sheets, games, quizzes and T-shirts which are available for purchase to benefit wild orangutan rescue and rehabilitation.

New this year! Join special Kohl’s Wild Theater presentations throughout the day. Actors will perform “A Climb through Time with Clues and Rhyme!” Visitors will help clue-finding “Kiddo” on a time-travel adventure to save orangutans. Pay close attention because some clues in this 15-minute musical aren’t always what they seem and the future of orangutans may depend on what Kiddo learns about the present. See shows at 10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and noon.

Kohl’s Wild Theater will also present strolling puppetry and short theatrical skits in the Primates of the World building from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., as part of the day’s events.

See a part of the special art installation, “Person of the Forest,” by New York artist, Alina Bachmann. The exhibit, designed to raise awareness of how we contribute daily to the extinction of the orangutan, consists of several large collage tree forms, some as high as 8 feet. The trees are constructed from product packaging and ingredient labels for items containing palm oil and backed with canvas.

Intertwined within the collage are inkjet prints containing facts informing viewers about how consuming these items directly impact the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.

Watch orangs MJ and Tommy interact with iPads as part of their ongoing enrichment. These sessions will be offered at various times for visitors to watch this unique interaction, as our Zoo is one of the first to offer this technology to our animals. 

Artwork painted by our orangutans will be on display and for sale. These creative pieces made by the animals, including ceramics, scarves and magnets, are another way our keepers work with the animals as part of the ongoing enrichment program. 

See our specially-made grocery basket on display with items you can purchase on your next shopping trip. All of the items are made without palm oil. The Zoo’s concessions department will sell a number of items made without palm oil, and palm-oil-free candy also can be purchased at the outreach booth. Orangutan artifacts will be featured, showing how similar these animals are to humans.

Crafts for kids include coloring a picture of an orangutan mother and baby and placing it in a display of the rainforest, symbolic of putting these endangered animals back in their natural forest habitats. Custom note cards featuring the Zoo’s orangutans will be available for purchase.  Activities take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and proceeds benefit Orangutan Outreach.

The Zoo is open on Mother’s Day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Milwaukee County residents with I.D. receive $1.75 off regular Zoo admission. Regular Zoo admission is $14.25 for adults, $11.25 for children ages 3 to 12, $13.25 for seniors age 60 and over, and free for children 2 and under. Parking is $12.

For more details, call the Zoo’s Public Affairs Division at 414.256.5466.

Special thanks to our Mother's Day at the Zoo sponsor:

Lifeway Foods