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Milwaukee County Zoo Reopen – Phase 2

Frequently Asked Questions

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Admission & Ticketing

Are reservations required to visit the Zoo?

Advance online tickets are no longer necessary when visiting the Zoo. Attendance will continue to be monitored and limited; to adhere to safety and physical distancing guidelines.

Please note: Some events, such as October, November and December Family Free Days will require advance reservations in 2020.

What are the daily hours the Zoo is open?

The Zoo is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Zoo admission gates will close at 2 p.m.

What entrance do I arrive at when visiting?

Only the Zoo’s main entrance will be open, along with the walk-in entrance.

What do I need to bring with me for my visit?

All visitors are required to wear masks. Upon arrival, you and your party will be asked if everyone has a mask. A limited quantity of masks is available for purchase at the Gift Shop. Masks can also be purchased before your visit at our online store.

Zoo Pass holders will need a photo I.D. and membership card for admittance.

What if I’m feeling ill before visiting?

We ask that you do not visit the Zoo if you’re feeling ill.

Your Zoo Visit

In general, what will be open during Phase 2?

  • Fly River turtleThe outdoor animal habitats
  • All public pathways to the outdoor animal habitats
  • The Train and Carousel are open through the November 7 Family Free Day; the Sky Glider open weekends only in October and open on the November 7 Family Free Day, weather permitting.
  • The “Dinosaurs Unearthed” exhibit through November 7
  • The Flamingo Café and The Coffee Shop
  • Gift Shop, with limited capacity, and Dino Store
  • A limited number of restrooms
  • Animal buildings open at a capacity of 25%:
    • Apes of Africa
    • Aquatic & Reptile Center
    • Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country
    • Giraffe Building
    • Aviary
    • Dairy Barn
    • Elephant Care Center / Conservation Outpost
  • Family Farm: Playground

What outdoor animals can I see?

The animals on exhibit may change from day to day, based on weather conditions and necessary veterinary procedures. In general, a variety of animals will be in their outdoor habitats including elephants, giraffes, tigers, flamingos, caribou, grizzly bears, harbor seals and alpaca, among others.

Even though exhibits are limited during initial phases, your visit supports the Milwaukee County Zoo – its animals, special exhibits, and conservation programs, as well as its respected place in the community. The Zoo continues to serve as a cultural asset and resource for all who visit.

Fly River turtleWill any of the animal buildings be open?

Yes: Apes of Africa, Aquatic & Reptile Center, Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country, Giraffe Building,
Aviary, Dairy Barn, Elephant Care Center / Conservation Outpost

What should I bring with me?

It’s a good idea to have comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and water.

Can I purchase food?

Yes, the Flamingo Café and The Coffee Shop are open with limited menus.

Can I still bring in my own food?

Yes, you can bring in food and non-alcoholic beverages. No glass bottles are allowed.

Will the water fountains and water bottle refill station be open?

No, water fountains will not be open. The water bottle refill station in the Gathering Place will be open. Bottled water will be available for purchase.

Will the rides or attractions be open?

The Train, Carousel, Sky Glider and “Dinosaurs Unearthed” exhibit are open.

Will the playground/play structures be open?

The playground in the Family Farm will be open.

Will the Gift Shop be open?

The Gift Shop, with limited capacity, will be open. Top-selling merchandise is also available for online purchases through the Zoo’s website.

Can I bring in my own stroller/wheelchair?

Yes. Strollers, wheelchairs and motorized carts are also available to rent. Units will be sanitized after every use and additional wipes will be available for guests.

Will the restrooms be open?

A limited number of restrooms throughout the public pathways will be open:

  • The U.S. Bank Gathering Place
  • Behind the Zoo Administration Office
  • West Entrance; including Family Restroom
  • Nourish 414 Concessions
  • Elephant Care Center
  • Giraffes
  • Family Farm Entrance
  • Maple Cove Picnic Area

Open restrooms are subject to change.

How long can I stay?

The Zoo closes at 3 p.m.

Safety Measures

Do I have to wear a mask?

Yes, visitors are required to wear masks (age 3+), providing additional safety for themselves, other visitors, employees and Zoo animals. If necessary, masks are available for purchase before your visit, through the online store.

Face shields are not considered a replacement for masks.

Will Zoo staff be wearing masks?

Zoo staff working directly with the public will be wearing masks.

What if I forgot to bring a mask?

If you would like to purchase a mask, a limited number of masks will be available for purchase at the Gift Shop, located just past the U.S. Bank Gathering Place.

Is hand-sanitizer available for visitors?

Hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park, including entry and exit areas, in animal buildings, restrooms and concessions. Sanitizers contain at least 60% alcohol.

How will high-touch areas be cleaned?

We are reducing the risk for exposure by enhancing our already-stringent cleaning protocols and frequently sanitizing high-touch surfaces including ride seats and armrests, tables, chairs, railings and more.

Because the Zoo is open a limited number of hours, this allows for extensive commercial-grade pressure washers to clean larger surface areas with a disinfectant additive.

Will I be able to physically distance while waiting in ride lines and boarding?

Yes, floors will be marked with the appropriate distance in queue lines for the Train, Carousel and Sky Glider. The same process will be used for food locations that are open.

For the Train, only every other compartment of each coach will be occupied during the boarding process; the Carousel, only every other row occupied.

What if visitors are not following the appropriate physical distancing guidelines?

Staff will be reminding visitors to follow a 6-foot physical distancing. Signage along the pathways will also serve as reminders.

We kindly ask that visitors respect the physical distancing guidelines in order to help us keep the Zoo open and accessible to everyone.

What if I need medical attention during my visit?

If you feel ill once you are at the Zoo, go to the First Aid station near the Zoo Administration Office or call 414.771.3040 for assistance. You and your party may be asked to move to a special area within the Zoo for further assessment.