Zoo Tours

Zoo Pride Membership

View the Zoo from a Different Perspective

The Milwaukee County Zoo is a fun place to visit. We also have some great ways to learn more about the animals and about the way the Zoo operates. Zoo Pride, the volunteer auxiliary of the Zoological Society, offers several kinds of tours, year-round, to meet your needs.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Tours
  • Walking Tours
  • Zoo Director's Tours
  • Poetry Tour
  • Zoo Art Tour

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

These tours are led by specially trained volunteers. The purpose of these tours is to give the participant a look at what it take to run a Zoo and maintain an animal exhibit. You will be going into areas of the Zoo that general guests do not have access to. For example it could be a kitchen where food is prepared or a holding exhibit where animals are receiving care. None of the areas gives you an opportunity to interact with or care for the animals. The animals are on exhibit during these tours.

Some basic guidelines:

  • Behind-the-Scenes ToursDue to the nature of this tour, participants in school/youth group programs must be at least 14 years of age and accompanied by adult chaperone. Children in private family tours need to be age 12 or older and accompanied by adult chaperone.
  • Cost is $20 per person ($50 minimum) which does not include parking or admission. You may use your Zoo Pass to cover admission and parking as applicable.
  • School groups are given a discount on cost of tours and are encouraged to contact our Education Department about discounted admission prices.
  • Tours last 2 – 2 1/2 hours.
  • One guide will be provided for each group of up to 10.
  • Tours are all walking with some stair climbing – no more than one level at an area.
  • Tours take place rain or shine.
  • Reservations are required to book a tour and we need a 4-week notice to reserve a date.

Please note that not all areas of the Zoo or all animals have a behind-the-scenes opportunity. This is based on availability and the safety and welfare of our guests and animal collection.

Please complete our information request form or call the Zoo Pride volunteer office at 414-258-5667 to receive additional information. The behind-the-scenes tour chairperson will return your call to book a tour or provide more information. Gift certificates also are available for these fun tours.

Walking on the Wild Side

If you enjoy leisurely strolls through the Zoo and have always wanted to learn more about the animals you see, consider one of our walking tours. Tours usually last 2 1/2 hours but can be tailored to meet your needs. These tours are perfect for family outings or adult groups. Specific programs tailored to school groups are available through the Zoological Society's Education Department, and requests from schools will be referred to that department.

The outdoor animal areas are highlighted during late spring, summer and early fall. The animal buildings are the primary focus in late fall and winter. However, in the winter months guides are willing to take your group to see our North American animals that thrive in our Wisconsin winters.

The cost of a walking tour is $10 per guide, not including Milwaukee County Zoo admission and parking fees, with up to 10 people per guide. Tours should be confirmed at least three weeks in advance of the desired date.

To arrange your tour or to obtain additional information, please complete our information request form or contact the Zoo Pride office at (414) 258-5667 and leave your name, phone number and the size of your group as well as the date and time of your requested tour. The volunteer chairperson will return your call.

The proceeds from all of these tours benefit Zoo Pride volunteer programs.

See the Zoo from a different perspective with one of our tours.

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