Are you a class, scout group, day care group, summer camp group, 4-H group, science club, home school group, or church group looking for something fun and unique to do at the Zoo?
Groups visiting the Zoo can enroll in our Bleacher Program. 30 minute presentations ($1 per person) feature live animals and a variety of age-appropriate content including: animal classification, adaptations, predator-prey relationship, natural history, and behavior.
Presentations are year round. Bleachers (outdoor) seat up to 100 people. The Education Classroom (inside the Discovery Center) seats up to 30 people. Availability of indoor/outdoor seating is weather-dependent.
Please call the Zoo Office at (608) 266-4732 to schedule your presentation today! (Please allow a minimum of two weeks advance notice for scheduling. Presentations are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.)
Please arrive at the Zoo with enough time to ensure you and your entire group are at the Education Pavilion by your reserved time in order to take advantage of your presentation in its entirety. Unfortunately at such a busy time of year, it will not be possible to accommodate late groups.
Need transportation assistance?
Nature Net's Nature Express bus funding program can help!
The program works in one of two ways:
- Nature Connections: Schedule two thematically related field trips to any Nature Net site/s and receive funds towards your second bus trip.
- Nature Mentor: Recruit a fellow teacher to join your class for their first Nature Net field trip, and share a bus fee!
Click the highlighted link above to apply to receive up to $80/bus to offset the bus expense for your second trip (or your shared mentor trip). Funds are limited, so apply now!
Nature Express is made available through a grant from the American Girl Fund for Children and Alliant Energy Foundation.Bus Parking
There is no charge for bus parking, but parking is very limited. We ask that buses do not block entrances or gates. Parking at the Henry Vilas Zoo is managed by the City of Madison. Buses are restricted from parking in single vehicle parking areas within Vilas Park. All parking regulations will be enforced and citations may be issued without warning. Bus drivers are encouraged to drop passengers off and relocate to the rear parking lot at Bowman Park (no charge). Click here
for more information about bus parking.
Presentation staff are scheduled specifically for individual presentations. 24 hour notice of cancellation is required and greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Additional deals for school groups:
Meal #1: $5.00 (hot dog, apple, animal crackers, water)
Meal #2: $5.00 (peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple, animal crackers, water)
Meal #3: $8.00 (6" sub [turkey or ham], apple, bag of chips, bottle soda or water)
*Please email email@example.com at least 48 hours in advance to place your order.
**Space in the picnic area under the tent can be reserved (based on availability). Call 608-258-9490 for availability and pricing.
Prepackaged gift shop grab bags can be purchased for $5.00/each.
*Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with grade level and number of children at least 48 hours in advance to place your order.
Train and carousel tokens
Groups can pre-order and pre-pay for Train and Carousel tokens for pick up at the Gift Shop before or on your trip day.
*Please call 608-258-9490 on a weekday at least 48 hours in advance to place your order