FAQs

General Questions

  • What are the daily hours?

    The Zoo is open:

    • Now through February 28, 2023 – Monday-Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • March 1 through May 27 – Daily: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

     

    The Zoo will be closed the following holidays:

    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day
    • New Year’s Day
  • Are reservations required to visit the Zoo?

    Advance online tickets are not mandatory, but you may be able to save when buying online instead of at the gate. Please note: Some 2022 individual events may require advance reservations.

  • What entrance do I arrive at when entering?

    The Zoo’s main entrance and walk-in entrance are open year-round. The West entrance is open in the summer when necessary.

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

    Zoo Pass holders will need a photo I.D. and membership card for admittance. For single-time visitors, tickets are required for entry. All visitors are recommended to have comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and water.

  • When are the 2023 Family Free Days?

    Our 2023 Family Free Days, sponsored by Tri City National Bank & WITI FOX6, are January 7, February 4, March 4, October 7, November 4, and December 2.

  • What days in 2023 are the Zoo closed?

    We are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

  • Am I guaranteed to see my favorite animal?

    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 at all times.

  • Can I purchase food?

    Yes, the Flamingo Café and Coffee Shop are open regularly on weekdays and on weekends. Various snack stands and cafés are open throughout the week, weather permitting.

  • Can I bring in my own food?

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

  • Will the rides or activities be open?

    All rides and activities are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day — check their pages for confirmation.

  • Are there nursing suites I can use?

    Yes. Our nursing suites can be found in U.S. Bank Gathering Place, Dairy Complex, and Aquatic & Reptile Center. Call the number on the front of the suite to receive the door code for access.

  • Can I bring in my own stroller/wheelchair?

    Yes, you can bring your own. Strollers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters are also available to rent. These items cannot be rented in advance; therefore; they are available on-site on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Single Stroller: $7
    Double Stroller: $10
    Wheelchair: FREE with driver’s license deposit
    Mobility Scooter: $30

  • Can I carry my registered weapon in the Zoo?

    No. The Milwaukee County Zoo does not allow the open or concealed carry of any weapons in any Zoo building or during any posted special event on Zoo grounds.

  • Can I carry in alcoholic beverages?

    No. Carry-ins of alcoholic beverages are not allowed. No glass bottles or glass containers are allowed in the Zoo for the safety of all visitors.

  • Can I smoke on Zoo grounds?

    The Zoo is a smoke-free attraction (including e-cigarettes and vaporizers). Smoking is allowed only in the Zoo parking lots.

  • Can I bring my pet?

    No. Pets are not allowed in the Zoo or in a vehicle in the Zoo’s parking lot. Service animals that assist individuals with disabilities and comply with the Milwaukee County ADA Service Animal Procedure are welcome at the Zoo.

  • Do you donate tickets for fundraising events?

    Yes. The Zoo donates tickets to fundraising events reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

    Because the Zoo is owned and operated by Milwaukee County, organizations and schools within Milwaukee County are given priority.

    Donations typically include 2 one-day admission passes.

Picnic Area Questions

  • Which areas are available for picnics?

    The Zoo offers seven areas to hold your event. Based on the size of your group, we will recommend the area best suited for you.

  • Why do I have to pay a rental fee and a fee for each guest?

    The rental fee is for the picnic area. The fee for each guest covers Zoo admission.

  • Do I have to pay for parking?

    No. This is included with your picnic pass admission.

  • When do I tell the Zoo how many guests are coming? How do my guests gain admission into the Zoo?

    We send you a Planners Guide approximately a month before your picnic. The Planner’s Guide allows you to tell us how many guests you’re expecting. We ask that you fill out and return the Planner’s Guide at least two weeks before your picnic event. Since children age two and under are free, you do not need to include them in your count. Tickets can be picked up at the Zoo so that you can distribute them to your guests prior to the event. Your guests will present their tickets at the admission gate. You will be billed accordingly.

  • If I reserve a picnic area, is there a discount for the special activities? (i.e. Special Exhibits, Carousel, Train)

    Yes, and you can order tickets in advance. You are billed for what is ordered. Each ticket can be redeemed for only one activity.

  • Can my guests use their family Zoo Pass for a company picnic?

    No. A Zoo Pass is for individual family visits and is not valid when you attend the Zoo as part of a corporate function.

  • Do I have to use a caterer?

    Yes. You can choose the caterer from our Approved Caterers List and contact them directly for pricing information. Your chosen caterer will be charged a commission fee.

  • Does the Zoo provide banquet tables?

    No. The Zoo does not provide banquet tables. If banquet tables are needed, you are required to rent them through the Zoo’s sole source vendor.

  • Does the Zoo provide beverage service?

    You are required to purchase all beverages from the Zoo’s in-house concessionaire, TASTE.

    Please contact Melissa Lopez at 414-256-2527 or melissalopez@thessagroup.com. Deposit and final billing will be provided for you by The SSA Group, d.b.a TASTE.

  • What if I want a tent?

    The Zoo provides a pre-placed assembled 20×20 tent. If additional tenting is needed, you are required to rent them through the Zoo’s sole source vendor.

  • Can I have balloons at my picnic?

    No. Balloons are prohibited at the Zoo for animal safety policy.

  • Do our picnic guests need to register online?

    No. They can simply arrive at the Zoo and present their picnic pass ticket. This process remains the same as past years.

Indoor Facilities Questions

  • Can I have my wedding reception, special occasion, or corporate party at the Milwaukee County Zoo?

    Yes. The Zoo offers two main halls: The Peck Welcome Center, located within the Zoo grounds, and the Zoofari Center, located outside of the Zoo grounds, just east of the Zoo’s main entrance on Bluemound Road. Animal buildings are also available. Each building offers a unique atmosphere.

  • What is included in the rental fee?

    Rental fees for the Peck Welcome Center and Zoofari Center include tables and chairs (for up to 320 guests). Rental fees for the animal buildings do not include tables and chairs. All facilities include parking, set-up and take down of floor plan, custodial services, and an Event Manager during the event. Facilities can be rented for a six-hour time frame, typically 6 p.m. to midnight.

  • Do I have to use a caterer?

    Yes. You can choose the caterer from our Approved Caterers List and contact them directly for pricing. Your chosen caterer will be charged a vendor fee to use Zoo grounds.

  • What do the caterers provide?

    Caterers provide food and can arrange for rentals of linens, plate settings, and if needed, additional tables and chairs.

  • Does the Zoo provide beverage service?

    You are required to purchase all beverages from the Zoo’s in-house concessionaire, TASTE.

    Please contact Melissa Lopez at 414-256-2527 or melissalopez@thessagroup.com. Deposit and final billing will be provided for you by The SSA Group, d.b.a TASTE.

  • How many guests can I invite?

    Peck Welcome Center: 550 guests
    Zoofari: 300 guests

  • Are decorations allowed?

    Flowers and candles are allowed. Candles must be enclosed in glass. The Zoo prohibits the use of balloons, confetti, wish lanterns, fog machines or string guns. Nothing can be affixed to the walls or ceilings.

  • May I have music at my event?

    Yes. You may hire a band or DJ.

  • What forms of payment are accepted?

    Checks or major credit cards. Beverages are billed separately through SSA Group d.b.a TASTE.

  • Can my guests walk around Zoo grounds when renting the Peck, Loft, or other animal buildings?

    Yes, they may walk around Zoo grounds until dusk, but all other buildings are closed.

  • Who do I contact for more information?

    Call to set up an appointment with an experienced sales staff member.

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