Milwaukee, WI – This year will be filled with special activities and fun, as the Milwaukee County Zoo celebrates its 125th anniversary! The Zoo has a long and rich history beginning with its inception in 1892, when the Milwaukee County Zoo started as a miniature mammal and bird display in Milwaukee’s downtown Washington Park.
The Zoo later expanded to 23 acres and acquired 800 animals, eventually becoming an entity of the Milwaukee County Park Commission. In 1958, the Zoo moved to its present location on nearly 200 acres of beautiful parkland, where currently over 3,300 animals – representing 374 different species – reside.
To mark this significant milestone, a variety of activities will be offered to visitors to commemorate the lasting effects the Zoo has had on the Milwaukee community…and beyond!
Here’s a sampling of what’s coming up in 2017:
**A Historical Safari
Journey from 1892 to present day as the Zoo’s historic timeline is displayed with photos,
stories and descriptions of important events spanning 125 years.
It’s all about the animals as you browse through special photo displays in the Front Entrance Mall, the U.S. Bank Gathering Place, Flamingo Café and Lakeview Place giving recognition to the most iconic residents to call the Zoo home.
Over two designated weekends, take a trip back in time and enjoy a special menu item offered at 1892 prices!
**What’s a Party without a Cake?
Have your photo taken with our giant (9-foot tall!) commemorative cake, complete with animal-print frosting and some of the Zoo’s signature species adorning this “almost real enough to eat” towering treat! Stay tuned for real sweet treats to celebrate the anniversary in July!
** Zoomobile Tour
Hop aboard our Zoombile tram, sponsored by Meijer, and reminisce with new facts and trivia highlighting our storied history.
**A Trip Down Memory Lane
Share your favorite Zoo memory on our Memory Board during Behind the Scenes Weekend sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy (March 11 and 12), and reminisce with fellow Zoo visitors!
For 125 days at 1:25 p.m., a lucky visitor will be chosen by our “Prize Patrol” to receive exciting giveaways, such as free tickets for the North Shore Bank Safari Train, Oceans of Fun Seal & Sea Lion Show, free concessions items or even Zoo merchandise from Karibu Gift Shop!
**Official 125th Anniversary Party
Our main bash will be held in July 2017, when we celebrate our 125th anniversary by entertaining guests with live music, activities, special treats and more! Stay tuned for more details!
**A Sight to Behold
Enjoy special aesthetic features around the Zoo grounds, such as stunning floral designs created by our Horticulture Department, special pumpkin displays during our Halloween events and festive ice carvings during the holiday season.
**Social Media Contests Galore!
Be on the lookout for numerous social media contests throughout the year, in which we will award great prizes like 125 free admissions to the Zoo!
Today, the Milwaukee County Zoo is an accredited institution of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and ranks among the top zoos in the nation. The Zoo has become increasingly involved in the propagation and conservation of endangered species, and currently participates in several significant breeding programs, including bonobos, Grand Cayman blue iguanas and Humboldt penguins.
The Milwaukee County Zoo serves not only as a site for special events, holiday celebrations, summer concerts and temporary exhibits, but as a resource to educate, entertain and inspire. We hope to see our visitors in 2017 at the many events celebrating this important milestone! For more information, please contact the Zoo’s Marketing and Communications Division at 414.256.5466.