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Become a Member

Henry Vilas Zoological Society Membership

MEMBERS HELP THE ZOO…

  • Provide education about the animal world
  • Support conservation of animals and their native habitat
  • Acquire animals and create and improve exhibits
  • Keep the zoo sustainable and admission-free

For complete membership information, click here for a downloadable PDF of our Membership brochure.

Why Purchase A Zoo Membership?

By purchasing a membership, you are making a difference in our community, as well as, for global species conservation. The support we receive from our members and donors is crucial to our operation. As a Henry Vilas Zoo member, you are able to:

  • Keep our zoo SUSTAINABLE and ADMISSION-FREE for all to enjoy
  • Spread our CONSERVATION message and MISSION to the public
  • Inspire the public to TAKE ACTION through conservation
  • Improve EXHIBITS and acquire ANIMALS
  • RAISE AWARENESS for the challenges wild animals face due to poaching, dwindling habitats and, so much more
  • Foster COMPASSION and APPRECIATION for the wild world

Learn About Our Memberships

Foundation Level Members

Foundation level members ($35) receive all the following benefits:

All Members Receive the Following Benefits:
Members receive information about membership benefits and renewals via email. To ensure we have your email, please call us at (608)258-9490 or email friendsofthezoo@vilaszoo.org.

Invitation to the Member Appreciation Events
This year’s Member Appreciation Night was on May 10th. Stay tuned for details regarding next year’s event!

Priority Registration and Discounts for Zoo Education Programs
Members’ families are permitted to register for our popular Zoo Education Programs two weeks prior to open enrollment and also receive discounted admission (discounts range from $2-$50 depending on the program). Learn more about Zoo Education Programs here. Members receive information about these programs via email. To ensure we have your email, please call us at 608-258-9490 or email friendsofthezoo@vilaszoo.org.

ZooNews Newsletter
Three to four times per year, all members receive a newsletter detailing the latest happenings at Henry Vilas Zoo. Topics include conservation, events, fundraising, projects, and, of course, animals!

Free or Reduced-Price Admission to other Zoos and Aquariums
All members of the Henry Vilas Zoo receive free or reduced-cost admission to many AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums throughout the country. Please call ahead to the zoo you plan on visiting to verify their current reciprocity policies and to present your current membership card to receive discounts. Note that the Milwaukee County Zoo does not offer free admission to Henry Vilas Zoo members.

10% Discount at Zoo Restaurant and Gift Shops
You asked and we answered! Enjoy a treat at our new Glacier Grille restaurant (the only restaurant in the U.S. that overlooks polar bears) or pick up a gift shop souvenir at 10% off!

Henry Vilas Zoo White Faced Whistling Duck

Family Level Members

Family level members ($55) receive all the benefits of Foundation Level Members PLUS the following:

FREE Carousel & Train Rides
Ride the Conservation Carousel (which features a variety of animals from around the world) and the delightful Zoo Train free of charge. Your membership level determines how many free rides you will receive, ranging from 6 free rides at the Family level to unlimited rides for your immediate family at the Protector, Ambassador, and Champion levels. Protector, Ambassador, and Champion members can redeem free rides by simply showing their membership card. For other levels, free ride punch cards will be mailed to you along with your membership cards.

Henry Vilas Zoo Lemurs

Sustaining Level Members

Sustaining level members ($100) receive all the benefits of Family Level Members PLUS the following:

Early Entrance to Halloween at the Zoo
Sustaining level members and above will be granted early access to Halloween at the Zoo for themselves and their immediate family members. Steward level members and above will be allowed to enter early with two guests. Members will receive directions prior to the event via email and must present their membership card for early access. To ensure we have your email, please call us at (608) 258-9490 or email friendsofthezoo@vilaszoo.org.

Friend of the Henry Vilas Zoo T-Shirt
Show your support for the zoo and our animals by wearing your Henry Vilas Zoo member t-shirt! Sustaining level members and above will receive a complimentary t-shirt when they present their t-shirt coupon  (mailed to them along with other membership materials) at the zoo’s gift shop. The gift shop is open from 9:30am – 5:00pm in the summer and 9:30am – 4:30pm in the winter.

Henry Vilas Zoo Parrot

Steward Level Members

Steward level members ($250) receive the benefits of Sustaining Level Members PLUS the following:

Invitation to Quarterly Education Animal Chat
Get to know the zoo’s “education animals”! Members are invited to complimentary presentations featuring live animals and varied, age-appropriate content. Past topics have included animal classification, adaptations, predator-prey relationship, natural history, behavior, and more. Members will receive invitations to quarterly chats via email.

Complimentary Walking Tour of the Zoo
Think you know the Henry Vilas Zoo? Think again! Steward level members and above are invited to attend complimentary group insider tours. Whether you’re a new member or a lifelong friend of the zoo, we guarantee you’ll learn something new during this unique experience.

  •    Stroll through the zoo with your guide and a small group
  •    Learn little-known facts about the zoo’s history and animals
  •    Ask your guide all your burning zoo-related questions
  •    Hear firsthand how Henry Vilas Zoo is working to save species
Henry Vilas Zoo Monarch Butterfly

Protector Level Members

Protector level members ($500) receive the benefits of Steward Level Members PLUS the following:

Exclusive “Drive the Zoo Train!” for Members and up to ten guests
After a quick lesson, adults in your group can become a Zoo Train conductor and drive their friends and family through the Children’s Zoo! Protector level members and above, along with a group of up to ten guests, will have the train to themselves for an hour. On top of that, they will get to enjoy unlimited carousel rides until 11:00am. Drive the Zoo Train can be scheduled from May to October on select mornings at 8:45am. Contact the Henry Vilas Zoological Society office at (608) 258-9490 to schedule your Drive the Zoo Train experience.

Art Piece by Zoo Animal (with Photo)
A few of the animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo have begun to dabble in the fine arts! Members at the Protector level and above will receive a small painting created by one of the zoo’s talented animals. Members will also receive a photo of the animal artist. Both items will be mailed to you along with your membership materials.

$5 off Registration for Zoo Run Run
Protector level members and above will receive $5 off a Zoo Run Run registration per membership. The Zoo Run Run is a fun, chip-timed run for all ages, featuring prizes, a costume contest, and free food and drinks for runners. The $5 off registration can be redeemed by contacting friendsofthezoo@vilaszoo.org for an online discount code, or through the mail during pre-registration.

Henry Vilas Zoo Desert Tortoise

Ambassador Level Members

Ambassador level members ($1,000) receive the benefits of Protector Level Members PLUS the following:

VIP Behind the Scenes Tour
Ambassador level members and above will have the opportunity to meet a zoo animal up close and experience the Henry Vilas Zoo in a whole new way. Whether it’s getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the rhino exhibit, feeding the giraffe, or watching a penguin paint, your tour, led by a knowledgeable zoo staff member, is sure to be unforgettable. Each behind the scenes tour is determined by zoo staff and subject to change in order to protect the well-being of our zoo animals. VIP tours are available only to Ambassador and Champion level members and their immediate families, due to the need to keep the groups small. Members will receive an invitation to each tour (three to four behind the scenes tours will be available each year; members can choose to attend one).

Invitation to Bi-annual Director’s Circle Breakfasts
Enjoy breakfast at the zoo with zoo leadership! These relaxed breakfasts provide the opportunity to learn about exciting happenings at the zoo from zoo leadership themselves: Executive Zoo Director, Ronda Schwetz, and Henry Vilas Zoological Society President, Alison Prange. This experience also gives members the opportunity to mingle with other dedicated supporters of the zoo over coffee and pastries. We host breakfasts twice per year and send invitations one month in advance of each breakfast.

Henry Vilas Zoo Giraffe

Champion Level Members

Champion level members ($2,500) receive the benefits of Ambassador Level Members PLUS the following:

TWO VIP Behind the Scenes Tours
Enjoy not just one, but TWO exclusive opportunities to meet a zoo animal up close. VIP behind the scenes tours are planned with the animal’s well being in mind, so the animals for each tour will be determined by Zoo staff and is subject to change. Due to the need for keeping tour groups small, this benefit is only for members and their immediate family. You will receive an invitation to each group Zoo behind the scenes tour during your membership year until you redeem two encounters (3-4 Animal Encounters will be available per year to choose from).

Complimentary Ticket to Rendez-Zoo Gala
Rendez-Zoo is an annual, zoo-chic gala that takes place in the late spring or early summer. Historically, tickets have retailed for $100, so this benefit represents significant savings that we gladly extend to our Champion level supporters. Please call (608) 258-9490 or email friendsofthezoo@vilaszoo.org to request your complimentary general admission ticket.

Invitation to Annual After-Hours Reception at the Zoo
Join zoo leadership after the zoo closes for a wine and cheese reception in our new Glacier Grille. Receive an exclusive zoo update from Executive Zoo Director, Ronda Schwetz, and Henry Vilas Zoological Society President, Alison Prange, and meet fellow zoo supporters! Invitations will be sent to our Champion level members at least one month in advance of the event.

Reserved Parking Spot
No more worrying about where to park at the zoo! As we all know, zoo parking can be rather limited, especially on busy weekend days. That being said, we are excited to offer our Champion level members the opportunity to reserve parking in advance of their visit! Please call (608) 258-9490 or email friendsofthezoo@vilaszoo.org at least two days before your visit to reserve your spot.

Henry Vilas Zoo Lion

It’s Easy To Become A Member!

You can sign up in the following ways:

  • ONLINE: Fill in your information here and become a member instantly! 
  • MAIL: Complete this brochure and mail to: 
    Henry Vilas Zoological Society 606 S Randall Ave, Madison WI 53715
  • IN PERSON: Visit us and head to our gift shop or visitor center to purchase your membership
  • PHONE: Give us a call at 608-258-9490 to speak to our membership department

NOTE: Contributions are tax deductible as allowable by law.

Membership Breakdown

MEMBERSHIP LEVELS:
Champion
Ambassador
Protector
Steward
Sustaining
Family
Foundation
10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
Discounted admission at over 150 AZA-acredited zoos & aquariums
Invitation to member appreciation events
Family +2 guests
Family +2 guests
Family +2 guests
Family
Family
Family
Member Only
Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
Discounts on zoo camps, day classes, & zoo sleepovers
FREE Carousel & train rides
Unlimited Rides
Unlimited Rides
Unlimited Rides
24 Rides
12 Rides
6 Rides
Early entrance to Halloween at the Zoo
Family +2 guests
Family +2 guests
Family +2 guests
Family +2 guests
Family
Henry Vilas Zoological Society membership shirt (different designs each year)
Invitation to quarterly education animal chats
Guided walking tour of the zoo
$5 off Zoo Run Run entries
Original artwork painted by a Henry Vilas Zoo animal (with photo)
Exclusive 'Drive the Zoo Train' experience (member & <10 guests)
Invitation to bi-annual Director's Circle breakfast
Exclusive animal encounter (4 total scheduled per year)
Attend 2
Attend 1
One general admission to the HVZ annual gala, Rendez-Zoo
Reserved zoo parking zpot
Invitation to after-hours reception at the zoo with zoo leadership

Membership 2018

Champion
$2500
  • 10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
  • Discounted Admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums
  • Invitation to member appreciation events (Family +2 guests)
  • Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
  • Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
  • Discounts on zoo camps, day classes & zoo sleepovers
  • FREE carousel & train rides (unlimited rides)
  • Early entrance to Halloween at the Zoo (Family +2 guests)
  • Henry Vilas Zoological Society memberships shirt (different designs each year)
  • Invitation to quarterly education animal chats
  • Guided walking tour of the zoo
  • $5 off Zoo Run Run entries
  • Original artwork painted by a Henry Vilas Zoo animal (with photo)
  • Exclusive “Drive the Zoo Train” experience  (member & <10 guests)
  • Invitation to bi-annual Directors’s Circle breakfast
  • Exclusive animal encounter (4 total scheduled per year) (Attend 2)
  • One general admission to HVZ annual gala, Rendez-Zoo
  • Reserved zoo parking spot
  • Invitation to after-hours reception at the zoo with zoo leadership
Ambassador
$1000
  • 10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
  • Discounted Admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums
  • Invitation to member appreciation events (Family +2 guests)
  • Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
  • Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
  • Discounts on zoo camps, day classes & zoo sleepovers
  • FREE carousel & train rides (unlimited rides)
  • Early entrance to Halloween at the Zoo (Family +2 guests)
  • Henry Vilas Zoological Society memberships shirt (different designs each year)
  • Invitation to quarterly education animal chats
  • Guided walking tour of the zoo
  • $5 off Zoo Run Run entries
  • Original artwork painted by a Henry Vilas Zoo animal (with photo)
  • Exclusive “Drive the Zoo Train” experience  (member & <10 guests)
  • Invitation to bi-annual Directors’s Circle breakfast
  • Exclusive animal encounter (4 total scheduled per year) (Attend 1)
Protector
$500
  • 10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
  • Discounted Admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums
  • Invitation to member appreciation events (Family +2 guests)
  • Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
  • Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
  • Discounts on zoo camps, day classes & zoo sleepovers
  • FREE carousel & train rides (unlimited rides)
  • Early entrance to Halloween at the Zoo (Family +2 guests)
  • Henry Vilas Zoological Society memberships shirt (different designs each year)
  • Invitation to quarterly education animal chats
  • Guided walking tour of the zoo
  • $5 off Zoo Run Run entries
  • Original artwork painted by a Henry Vilas Zoo animal (with photo)
  • Exclusive “Drive the Zoo Train” experience  (member & <10 guests)
Steward
$250
  • 10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
  • Discounted Admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums
  • Invitation to member appreciation events (Family)
  • Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
  • Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
  • Discounts on zoo camps, day classes & zoo sleepovers
  • FREE carousel & train rides (24 rides)
  • Early entrance to Halloween at the Zoo (Family +2 guests)
  • Henry Vilas Zoological Society memberships shirt (different designs each year)
  • Invitation to quarterly education animal chats
  • Guided walking tour of the zoo
Sustaining
$100
  • 10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
  • Discounted Admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums
  • Invitation to member appreciation events (Family)
  • Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
  • Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
  • Discounts on zoo camps, day classes & zoo sleepovers
  • FREE carousel & train rides (12 rides)
  • Early entrance to Halloween at the Zoo (Family)
  • Henry Vilas Zoological Society memberships shirt (different designs each year)
Family
$55
  • 10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
  • Discounted Admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums
  • Invitation to member appreciation events (Family)
  • Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
  • Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
  • Discounts on zoo camps, day classes & zoo sleepovers
  • FREE carousel & train rides (6 rides)
Foundation
$35
  • 10% Discount at zoo restaurant & gift shop
  • Discounted Admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos & aquariums
  • Invitation to member appreciation events (Member only)
  • Subscription to the ZooNews newsletter
  • Priority registration for zoo camps & day classes
  • Discounts on zoo camps, day classes & zoo sleepovers

Join or Renew Your Membership

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