Open Today: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Complete Hours

Zoo Facts

Official Opening: • 1892 – Washington Park Location
• Late 1950s – Bluemound Road Location
Location: 10001 West Bluemound Road
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226

January & February / November & December 2019
Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

March 1-May 25, 2019
Daily 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

May 26-September 2, 2019
Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

September 3-October 31, 2019
Daily 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Open 365 days per year

January 1-March 31, 2019
Adult: $13, Child (3 to 12): $10, Child (2 and under): FREE, Senior Citizen (60+): $11.50, Bus Parking: $16, Parking: $12

Milwaukee County residents with I.D. receive $1.75 off regular Zoo admission every day.  Every Wednesday, Milwaukee County residents with I.D. are admitted at a reduced rate of $9.25 for adults and $6.75 for juniors.

April 1-October 31, 2019
Adult: $16.25, Child (3 to 12): $13.25, Child (2 and under): FREE, Senior Citizen (60+): $15.25, Bus Parking: $16, Parking: $12

November 1-December 31, 2019
Adult:  $13.75, Child (3 to 12): $10.75, Child (2 and under):  FREE, Senior Citizen  (60+):  $12.25, Bus Parking:  $16, Parking:  $12

Beginning April 1:  Milwaukee County residents with I.D. receive $1.75 off regular Zoo admission every day.  Every Wednesday, Milwaukee County residents with I.D. are admitted at a reduced rate of $10 for adults and $7.50 for juniors.

Operating Status: • County owned and operated
• Supported by the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County
Attendance: 2018 – 1,146,045
Economic Impact: $156 million
Personnel: 134 full-time, 300 seasonal employees
Specimens: 2,100+ specimens representing 348 different species
Administration: Divisions include: Animal Management and Health, Administration and Finance, Marketing and Communications, and Grounds and Maintenance
Handicapped Accessibility: All animal buildings and exhibits are accessible to the handicapped. The Zoo adheres to the ADA.
Education: The Zoological Society's Education Department provides guided and self-guided tours to school and youth groups, day camps for individual youth, family programs and adult workshops.
Acreage: 190 acres
Architecture: The original Zoo was designed by the following: the Milwaukee County Planning Department (now called Architectural Engineering), the Milwaukee County Landscape Architect, the professional Zoo staff and private architecture firms.
Mission Statement: To inspire public understanding, support and participation in global conservation of animal species and their natural environment by creating a unifying bond between our visitors and the living earth.
History / Present Site: The Milwaukee County Zoo began in the 1890s as a miniature mammal and bird display in a barn at what is now Washington Park. By 1902, the Zoo had 23 acres of land and 800 animals. In 1937, when all parks went under the jurisdiction of the Milwaukee County Park Commission, the Zoo had grown to 38 acres. In 1958, the Zoo was moved to its present 190-acre location bordered by Highway 45, Bluemound Road, Highway 100 and Interstate 94.
Funding: The Zoo receives funding through a cooperative effort of Milwaukee County and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee.
Volunteers: Zoo Pride is the volunteer auxiliary of the Zoological Society.  Its members serve as goodwill ambassadors at the Zoo and in the community. Started in 1975, Zoo Pride shares a deep commitment to the Milwaukee County Zoo and its residents.
Zoological Society of Milwaukee County:

It began in the 1890s, as an informal group of clubs and associations. The Society started by purchasing animals and securing Zoo animal donations.

Today, the Society helps Milwaukee promote one of its finest assets by funding animal acquisitions, fundraising campaigns for building renovations and improvements, new exhibits and financial support for research and educational programs.

Membership in the Zoological Society is open to everyone. Individual, family and corporate memberships are available year-round. Members receive special daily admission benefits to the Zoo, a 10% discount at all gift shops, advanced notice of special events, invitations to members-only events and other special programs.
Zoological Society's Animal Sponsorship: This program began in July 1982 as a fundraiser. Donations from the annual "sponsorships" are used for exhibit improvement and enhancement for all of the animals at the Zoo.
Restaurants: The Flamingo Lake Café, and newly renovated Gift Shop are open year-round.  Other concession and rest areas are open in the spring/summer months.  The new Nourish 414, situated in the heart of the park, is scenically located across from Lake Evinrude. Located inside the U.S. Bank Gathering Place, the menu at the Coffee & Snack Shop offers a mix of coffees, bakery and salads. The Bear Garden, featuring an “adult-friendly” menu of beers, is a popular addition to concession offerings, as is the OOZ Food Truck -- a cheese-lover’s dream!  The Husk Haus satisfies any beer, brat or corn craving, and completes the selections.
Special Events: The Zoo hosts unique activities and family-oriented events throughout the year.
Group Sales: Large formal seating rooms, wooded picnic areas and various animal buildings are available for group rentals.  The Zoo offers advanced, discounted tickets in groups of 15 or more.  Arrange your next "get together" at the Zoo.  Convenient, inside-the-park picnic areas also are open for bookings.  The Peck Welcome Center offers large groups a spacious, scenic venue with an expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows for a light-filled natural setting, and the Zoofari Center offers a contemporary atmosphere suitable for larger functions.
Small Mammals: This unique building features both day and night animals.  With a flip of a switch, day can turn into night, allowing red fluorescent lights to illuminate nocturnal animal exhibits - giving the animals the impression of night.  In 2018, a female southern three-banded armadillo was born to mother, Mona.  Named Mira (for miracle) she developed metabolic bone disease, but due to the hand-raising care of her keepers, vet staff and a nutritionist, she is now thriving.
Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country:

The Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country provides large and natural looking exhibit spaces for our magnificent felines and enhances their quality of life.  The exhibits showcase residents such as jaguars and African lions.  In 2012, we welcomed two male jaguars, born to mother, Stella, and father, Pat. This marked the first jaguar cubs born here since 1975. The offspring are highly valuable, as father Pat is a wild-born animal, and brings new genes into the captive population. In 2014, we welcomed male snow leopard, Asa, as a companion to our older female, Tomiris.

In 2016, our collection grew with the birth of three Amur tiger cubs (one male and two female) born to mother Amba and father Strannik.  In 2017, we added a male serval; a species last displayed in 1993.  In 2018, the Zoo welcomed its first red panda cub, a female named Dr. Lily, to parents, Dr. Erin and Dash. The first-time birth became a huge attraction for guests.
Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary: Hundreds of colorful birds, towering palms and lush foliage transform this building into a vibrant tropical paradise.  Birds from all over the world move freely in naturalistic surroundings.  Featured in the Island of Guam Exhibit is one of the world’s rarest birds, the Guam Rail. In 2014, the Zoo’s Gentoo population increased from seven to ten with the birth of three chicks. Also in 2016, we were the only Zoo in North America to breed spangled cotinga.  In 2016, we added a new species to the collection with a pair of Hamerkops and a Shama thrush.  Shama thrush are known for their rich and melodious voice.
Stearns Family Apes Of Africa: Apes of Africa is an exhibit of Western lowland gorillas and bonobos.  Designed to closely represent the West African rain forest, it provides gorillas and bonobos with surroundings similar to their natural environment.  In 2011, the Zoo opened a new outdoor public exhibit area for our group of bonobos. These highly endangered apes now enjoy 500 feet of elevated mesh passageways in the Zoo’s forest to simulate their native African habitat. In 2014, a western lowland gorilla was born to first-time mother, Shalia.  The male gorilla named Sulaiman continues to be a big attraction for our guests.  Western lowland gorillas are a critically endangered species in the wild.
Primates of The World:

The primate building, fondly called the Monkey House by many, was the Zoo's first building.  In the mid-90s, the building reopened to the public after extensive renovation as Primates of the World.  It houses many of the most popular residents at the Zoo, including orangutans, siamangs and spider monkeys. 

The Primate Complex was a $10.7 million project equally funded by the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County.
Aquatic & Reptile Center (ARC): The Aquatic & Reptile Center (ARC) displays a fascinating underwater world including a 28,000-gallon Pacific Coast Aquarium housing a wide variety of fish. Don’t miss the 30 species of Wisconsin fish swimming in our center exhibit, Lake Wisconsin.
Macaque Island: This is the official residence for a charming group of Japanese macaques (also known as snow monkeys).  The lush island features enrichment items, waterfalls, hills, shrubs and vines.
North America:

A stroll down the hill and around the bend from the Small Mammals Building brings visitors to Lake Evinrude.  Sloping upward from its grassy perimeter are rocky ledges, cliffs and woods where representatives of many of North America's largest animals roam.  See caribou, grizzly bears, elk and black bears.  Across the path are harbor seals and a Zoo favorite – polar bear, Snow Lilly. 

At the Zoo’s new West Entrance, guests are welcomed by a playful colony of North American river otters, splishing and splashing in their outdoor habitat.  The exhibit has become one of the Zoo’s most popular attractions, as these lively animals can be seen swimming, sliding and playing alongside one another through all four Wisconsin seasons.
South America: One of the Zoo's most diverse exhibits; alpacas delight visitors, while Brazilian tapirs cool themselves in a waterhole and rheas look on.

Ostriches, African lions, hyenas, zebras, black rhinos, giraffes and hippopotamus are among the African wildlife featured.

The Zoo simulates nature by seeming to exhibit predator
and prey in the same enclosure.  However, the prey is protected
from its stalkers by invisible dry moats weaved between
the foreground and background exhibit areas.

In the African Waterhole, antelope, Chapman’s zebra, ostrich and stork live in close proximity to the African lions.  Also, the African Savanna displays the cheetah overlooking the Thompson's gazelles, impalas and southern ground hornbills.

The MillerCoors Giraffe Exhibit features expanded indoor and outdoor spaces for the animals, and the rare opportunity for visitors to get face to face with our reticulated giraffes.  The public also can feed these animals for a fee.

Each year, from 2015 through 2018, was marked by a giraffe birth to either mother Ziggy or Marlee, and father Bahatika. All but one of the calves have moved on to other zoos with the hope of future breeding and giraffe families. Both Ziggy and Marlee have proven to be excellent and attentive mothers.
Asia: Living in natural settings, visitors can see Amur tigers, Bactrian camels and red pandas. The red panda exhibit has undergone recent renovation to include an enclosed outdoor space with new platforms, logs and structures for these arboreal animals to climb upon. In 2018, the Zoo welcomed its first ever red panda cub, a female named Dr. Lily.
Idabel Wilmot Borchert
Flamingo Exhibit and Overlook:
Several years ago, the Zoo welcomed a flock of Caribbean flamingos to their new home across from the Maher Family Aviary.  Here visitors can greet these beautiful birds up close, as they roam in their lush yard that includes a pond rimmed with benches for easy viewing. In 2016, we welcomed eight Chilean flamingos to live with the resident group in the outdoor exhibit.
Northwestern Mutual Family Farm:

Formerly known as the Children’s Zoo, this renovated area shows visitors what life is like on an actual farm.  Guests are able to meet native wildlife and farm animals, as educational presentations are offered daily in the Stackner Animal Encounter Building.  A new playground featuring state-of-of-the-art equipment was added in 2015, in addition to the existing walk-through butterfly garden and renovated Kohl’s Wild Theater.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, interactive theatrical performances take place in the Kohl’s Wild Theater.
The Dairy Complex: In the Family Farm’s octagonal barn, you can see six varieties of dairy cattle in the cow barn; discover more about the dairy industry through hands-on experiences in the learning center; and sample and/or purchase various dairy products in the dairy store.
SEASONAL ACTIVITIES (Available during warm-weather months)
Birds of Prey Show: These dynamic presentations now take place in the shaded Kohl’s Wild Theater.
Animals-in-Action: Take a closer look at some of the Zoo's animals at these special presentations. Learn animal facts during a short presentation by zookeepers and Zoo Pride volunteers.

Safari Train,
Sponsored by North Shore Bank:

Relax and enjoy the miniature train ride through the beautiful Zoo grounds. Runs daily, weather permitting.


An interesting guided motor vehicle tour operates daily, weather permitting. Tours generally depart every 15 to 20 minutes. The 30-minute ride gives an excellent overview of the Zoo.

Sponsored by Penzeys Spices:

Experience a ride on an authentic, turn-of-the-century classic carousel. Detailed, handcrafted figures including giraffes, zebras, ostriches and tigers are patterned from originals dating back to the early 1900s.

The carousel is located across from Zoo Terrace near the train station (handicapped accessible).
Sky Trail® Ropes Course, Zip Line and Sky Tykes™ Ropes Course, Sponsored by Tri City National Bank:

This dynamic attraction features a 500-foot zip line and two
ropes courses, one for children and one for adults. These adventure courses are open in the spring, summer and fall.

Sky Safari, Sponsored by
Mathnasium: The Math Learning Center:

Visitors can go above it all and see the Zoo from a new perspective! Guests board the Sky Safari across from the South American Yard and travel round trip above the camels, tigers, Asiatic black bears, and rhinos.

Brick Dinos, Sponsored by Sendik’s Food Markets:

This summer, meet dynamic dinosaurs from the air, sea and land, each one masterfully built using LEGO® Bricks! Zoo visitors become paleontologists and uncover dinop-sized secrets from the Jurassic period!

Come face-to-face with the Masiakasaurus, enhanced by lighting and sound. In addition to visiting many LEGO re-creations of fossils, museum dinosaur skeletons and paleontologist digs, visitors can join in interactive play bases!

The exhibit comes to life in the Otto Borchert Family Special Exhibits Building May 25 through Sept. 2, and is $3 after regular Zoo admission.

January 2019