Milwaukee County Zoo#5 in Best Things To Do in Milwaukee
Spotted hyenas, camels, and three species of penguin are just some of the animals you'll see if you visit the Milwaukee County Zoo. Opened in 1892, the once-small space has expanded to nearly 200 acres containing more than 2,000 animals. But this zoo offers more than just animals. There are also a number of rides and attractions (additional fees apply) like a carousel and a safari train, as well as special events that occur throughout the year, such as breakfast with Santa Claus and an elephant appreciation day.
Of all of the zoo's offerings, previous visitors especially enjoyed the Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo, and the Sunset Zoofari, which gives patrons evening access to the animals alongside live music. (However, according to some travelers, steer clear of the zoo's free days. Hordes of people visit during these days, so lines for attractions tend to be long and views of the animals can be poor at best.)
In addition to animals, attractions and events, the Milwaukee County Zoo also features a cafe, snack shops and several food stands. Bathroom facilities and ATMs are located throughout the zoo grounds, and strollers and motorized carts are available to rent. There are also two gift shops located inside of the property, one at the West Entrance and one at the U.S. Bank Gathering Place.
The Milwaukee Zoo is located 8 miles west of downtown Milwaukee just off of the Interstate 94 and Interstate 41. On top of the zoo's admission fee ($16.25 per adult from April through May; $16.75 per adult from June through October; $14.25 per adult from November through December; $13.75 per adult from January through March), visitors should expect to pay for parking ($12) and most of the property's rides and activities. The zoo's hours fluctuate throughout the year, but on most days, it is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about seasonal hours and special events, visit the zoo's official website.
More Best Things To Do in Milwaukee
#1 Harley-Davidson Museum
Whether you're a diehard biker or someone who just happens to be in the area, many visitors say the Harley-Davidson Museum is worth exploring. Spread across 20 acres of prime Milwaukee riverfront property, the Harley-Davidson Museum continuously wows travelers with its 11 permanent exhibits and rotating special exhibits, including a recovered motorcycle from a tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. Some permanent exhibits include a an engine room and an extensive motorcycle gallery that showcases the evolution of the company's bikes.
For those interested in the nitty-gritty of Harley bikes and history, consider paying an additional $4 per person for an audio headset. Prior visitors said the in-depth narration provided a superb detailed description of everything in the museum. (But if you don't feel like paying extra for a headset, the written explanations provided at each exhibit offer a wealth of excellent context, so you'll still learn plenty, according to previous travelers.)
Explore More of Milwaukee
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.