Zoos can often seem sterile and a bit sad. But you won’t feel that way at the Northeastern Wisconsin (NEW) Zoo in the woods near Green Bay. Strolling the paths and looking at the animals, it seems you’re in their natural habitat. Well, maybe not the lions and the new stars, the giraffes, but certainly the moose, wolves and foxes. And it helps that peacocks roam freely, sometimes joining you on viewing platforms.
The zoo has several areas: a petting zoo featuring sheep, goats, llamas and deer; Australia, starring an emu, snow leopard, macaw and snow macaque; Africa, with the giraffe, lions (one of which often roars, especially near the end of the day) and a really cool albino alligator; North American Plains, with bison and elk; and Wisconsin/Northern Trails, with a mountain lion, red panda, bobcat and more.
Visitors can sometimes watch animals treated at a clinic. There's a new cafeteria on the grounds, as well as picnic areas, an amphitheater, a visitors center/gift shop and a carousel with endangered animals. Admission is free the last two hours on Wednesdays, but it's affordable any time thanks to a flat-rate family fee.