Zoo Reopening FAQs

We are so happy that the Milwaukee County Zoo reopened on Saturday, June 13. To help us manage the pandemic and be in compliance with Milwaukee County and CDC guidelines, the Zoo is open on a limited basis. To begin, only outdoor exhibits will be open and capacity is limited as Zoo staff analyzes the best way to keep visitors, staff and animals safe. Visitors must obtain timed reservations on the Zoo’s website, We understand that many of you have questions, and we are here to help. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

I tried to buy a ticket but they were sold out. Can I still get one?

Due to the health crisis and recommendations from local lawmakers and the CDC, the Zoo’s capacity is limited at this time. As a result, the Zoo allotted tickets for members and non-members based on average member attendance throughout the year. As a public institution supported by taxpayer money, the Zoo wants to make sure that reservations are available for members and non-members alike. So far, reservations have been opened for the last two weeks in June, but we expect them to open for July soon. If non-member tickets aren’t all claimed, those tickets could become available for members as well. Keep checking and keep in mind that capacity will increase as the Zoo moves through its reopening phases.

Will my Zoo Pass be extended for the time the Zoo was closed?

Yes! We have extended Zoo Passes. If you had a valid Zoo Pass during the closure or renewed your pass during the closure, it has been extended four months. That covers the three months the Zoo was closed as well as an additional month as the Zoo gradually increases capacity. For example, if your pass originally expired at the end of May, it will now expire at the end of September. If you renewed your pass during the closure, it will still be extended for four months. If you purchased a new Zoo Pass during the closure we have extended it to ensure you get a full 12 months. Because of printing and mailing costs, we will not be mailing passes with the new expiration dates. You should be able to see the new expiration date by going to your MyAccount on our website. The Zoo’s gate staff also has the updated expiration dates.

Some of you have said you wish to decline your Zoo Pass extension as a way of supporting the Zoological Society’s mission. We are grateful for this support! Click here if you’d like to decline the extension.

Why do I have to wear a mask at the Zoo?

Visitors to the Milwaukee County Zoo are required to wear masks except while eating. Milwaukee County and the Zoo are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control as well as from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, which states: “It appears several exotic animal species may be susceptible to COVID-19, not just big cats.” Children 2 and under and people in the following categories are exempt from wearing masks:

  • 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

We are so thankful for our members during this difficult time. Remember that when you buy a Zoo Pass, you not only get to visit the Zoo, but you’re also supporting our mission to conserve wildlife and endangered species, educate people about the importance of wildlife and the environment, and support the Milwaukee County Zoo. We can’t wait to see you again soon!