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Milwaukee County Zoo Reopen – Phase 2

Frequently Asked Questions


Admission & Ticketing

Are reservations required to visit the Zoo?

Yes, during Phase 2, online reservations are required for visitors and Zoo Pass holders. Click here to make your reservation.

Do I have to visit the Zoo at a certain time?

Yes, when reserving your ticket(s) online, you will choose both a day and time to visit. Please plan on arriving at your scheduled reservation time.

How many tickets can I purchase?

Non-member visitors can reserve up to 8 tickets; Zoo Pass holders can reserve up to 8 tickets on one transaction. Multiple transactions may be necessary. Zoo Pass holders can reserve tickets for themselves and up to as many guests allotted for their membership level.

Do kids 2 and under need a reservation?

No, children 2 and under do not need an online reservation and are admitted free.

What are the daily hours the Zoo is open?

During Phase 2, the Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; timed entry for visitors is available from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

During Phase 2, beginning Aug. 2, the Zoo will be open 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; timed entry for visitors is 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

What if I make a reservation and then am unable to attend at the date/time I selected?

Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. Even if you are a Zoo Pass holder, we trust these reservations will be honored at the chosen date/time, so everyone has the chance to visit, as attendance is based on a limited daily total.

What entrance do I arrive at for my reserved entry time?

Only the Zoo’s main entrance will be open, along with the walk-in entrance. Please arrive at your scheduled reservation time.

What do I need to bring with me for my visit after making my online reservation?

Non-member visitors will need their reservation confirmation (printed or on phone) to be admitted. All visitors are required to wear masks. Upon arrival, you and your party will be asked if everyone has a mask. If not, paper masks will be supplied to you. A limited quantity of masks is available for purchase at the Gift Shop Marketplace. Masks can also be purchased before your visit at our online store.

Zoo Pass holders will need a photo I.D., membership card and reservation confirmation (printed or on phone) for admittance.

Both printed and phone tickets will be scanned at a safe distance.

What if I come to the Zoo without verification of an online reservation?

We cannot accommodate non-member visitors or Zoo Pass holders without a reservation.

What if I’m feeling ill before my scheduled visit?

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

Your Zoo Visit

Humboldt penguin WallaceIn general, what will be open during Phase 2?

  • The outdoor animal habitats
  • All public pathways to the outdoor animal habitats
  • The Train, Carousel, Sky Safari (Sky Glider) and the “Dinosaurs Unearthed” exhibit
  • The Coffee Shop, West End Snacks, The Coop Food Truck
  • Gift Shop Marketplace (outdoor)
  • A limited number of restrooms
  • Additions for Phase 2, with a maximum capacity of 50%:
    • Apes of Africa
    • Aquatic & Reptile Center
    • Aviary
    • Dairy Barn
    • Elephant Care Center / Conservation Outpost
    • Concessions: Wild Burger, Leini Lodge, Bear Garden and Dairy Express
    • Merchandise: Lakeview Cart and Dino Store
    • Family Farm: Playground

ElephantWhat 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 Phase 2, 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.

Will any of the animal buildings be open?

Open buildings include Apes of Africa, Aquatic & Reptile Center, Aviary, Dairy Barn, Elephant Care Center / Conservation Station.

What should I bring with me?

It’s a good idea to have comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and water. All visitors (3+) are required to wear masks.

Can I purchase food?

Yes, several food locations will be open, with limited menus: The Coffee Shop, West End Snacks and The Coop Food Truck. Phase 2 additional concessions include: Wild Burger, Leini Lodge, Bear Garden and Dairy Express

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 in Phase 2.

Will the playground/play structures be open?


Will the Gift Shop be open?

No, the main Gift Shop will be closed. However, an outdoor Gift Shop Marketplace will be open featuring our most popular items. Top-selling merchandise is also available for online purchases through the Zoo’s website. Click here.

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.

How long can I stay?

Regardless of your entry time, you may stay at the Zoo until the 3 p.m. close.

Safety Measures

Do I have to wear a mask?

Yes, visitors (3+) are required to wear masks*, 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. If you forget to bring a mask, you’ll be given a paper mask and asked to wear it.

* Phase 2: Mask Policy

We understand that there are underlying circumstances in which not everyone is able to wear a face mask while visiting. Visitors exempted from wearing a mask:

-Anyone with a disability that makes it difficult to put on, wear, or remove a face mask
-Anyone consistently interacting with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and primarily relies on lip reading
-Anyone who has been advised by a medical professional not to wear a face mask because of personal health issues
-Anyone who has difficulty breathing or is incapacitated

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?

You will be given a paper mask when arriving at the Zoo. If you would like to purchase a mask, a limited number of masks will be available for purchase at the Gift Shop Marketplace, 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, 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 physical 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.