Shalom Wildlife Zoo (also known as the Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary) is a working farm that is also a licensed zoo. They call themselves "Wisconsin's Wildest Zoo", and are now open for visitors to walk through the three-mile loop of wooded land. Golf cart rentals are also available (and come in handy when your kids' little legs get tired!).
Masks are not required for entry. Social distancing is easy to maintain, and the experience is all outdoors.
Along the four miles of trail, you'll see large enclosures of elk, sheep, camels, ostriches, bears (yes, bears), zebra, and dozens of other types of animals. There are learning centers and port-o-potties along the way.
There is educational signage along the way that teaches visitors about the natural environment and Native American culture. You'll also find picnic areas throughout the trail.
Where: This hidden gem can be found a bit off the beaten path. The address is 1901 Shalom Drive in West Bend, WI 53090, United States. Plan for a 40 minute drive from Milwaukee.
Hours: Open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Check their website for the most updated hours as they change throughout the year.
Cost of admission: Adults ($12) / Child ages 3-12 ($8) / Child ages 0-2 (Free)
Additional fees: Golf Cart rental ($30 for two hours) / Bucket of feed ($5)
Tips From A Fellow Parent:
If you have young children, rent the golf cart or bring a stroller or wagon. It can be a long three miles of trails without one. (We had a great time driving them, too!)
If you need to wait for a golf cart, no worries. Take a short walk west of the gift shop to the Play and Picnic area. You can feed and pet the animals, and play on the playground equipment.
The Grizzly Grill is a new restaurant located near to the entrance/exit. They offer wraps, sandwiches, and more, plus there are clean bathrooms. (Update for 2021: The Grizzy Grill is currently walk-up only, and the restrooms are not available for use. You can use the port-o-potties throughout the grounds.)
To save money, there are picnic tables near the "Native American Artifact Museum" and in the Play and Picnic area where you can eat your packed lunches.
Purchase a bucket of feed when you purchase your tickets so that the animals love you.
Caution! Pay attention to the signs about which animals you can feed and which ones to keep your distance from. (We had an ostrich-biting and horse-biting incident that is sure to become part of our family lore.)
Note: We share many reader's concern about the welfare of the animals who reside at Shalom Wildlife Zoo. We encourage you to check out their Facebook Page to get to know the awesome folks who run the Zoo. They provide frequent updates about the care and well-being of the animals who live there.
Shalom Wildlife Website: shalomwildlife.com
You may also be interested in our Quick Guide to the Milwaukee County Zoo.