State Trunk Tour Podcast talking about the Milwaukee County Zoo

New Podcast: all about the Milwaukee County Zoo and upcoming Zoo A La Carte!

The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the nation’s largest and most complete zoos, with 190 acres of largely parkland hosting over 2,100 animals from elephants and gorillas to otters and arachnids. It’s a wonderful place to learn about animals, how they interact with humans and their native habitats, and how we can all better interact for their good, and the good of our environment.

Plenty of reasons exist to visit the Zoo year ’round, but coming up Thursday, August 15th and running through Sunday the 18th is one of their biggest events of the year: Zoo A La Carte presented by Meijer. This event brings 27 Milwaukee area restaurants and food trucks to the Zoo grounds, scattered about the many areas

Find out more about Zoo A La Carte on their Facebook Event Page or the Zoo’s website.

And learn more about the Milwaukee County Zoo in general with my latest State Trunk Tour Podcast. Here, I talk with Jenny Diliberti from the Zoo about its history, the animals and their care, design changes to exhibits over the years including the newer Adventure Africa exhibit, new homes for the otters, elephant pedicures – we get into a lot of things here. Listen here, stream it below, or check it out anytime on your free iHeartRadio app!

Irishfest is also coming up in Milwaukee, Oconomowoc is about to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the premiere of “The Wizard of Oz” in a big way, and the height of road trip season around Wisconsin is upon us. We’ll have more on that coming up!

Irvine Park & Zoo, Tiger

Irvine Park & Zoo

Chippewa Falls has an amazing place to play, relax, and observe animals in the beautiful 318-acre Irvine (pronounced “ER-vin”) Park.  the Irvine Park Zoo opened way back in 1909 with a bear exhibit. Today, the Zoo features tigers, bobcats, cougars, deer, bison, and other wildlife. Summer months also offer the Red Barn Petting Zoo, and an extensive lighted holiday display – we’re talking over 100 displays and 100,000 lights – makes the holiday season sparkle. Historical displays include the Sunny Valley Schoolhouse and Pioneer Norwegian Log Home on the weekends, which are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Irvine Park Cave on the grounds runs about 20 feet long, with natural springs running through.

Cave in Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

Rumble Bridge in Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

The Rumble Bridge (above) is a pony truss style bridge that spans a ravine in Irvine Park. It got its name from its design that features wood planks that were only nailed down on one end. It allowed for flexing and stress relief, plus expansion and contraction with the seasons. It also created a rumbling sound when cars would drive over it, hence the name of “Rumble” or “Rumbly” Bridge. The Rumble Bridge carried vehicles all the way to 1981; it’s now for pedestrians and bicyclists in the park.

Sunny Valley School in Irvine Park, Chippewa FallsThe Sunny Valley Schoolhouse (right) was originally built in 1903, standing about 8 miles west of Chippewa Falls to serve the nearby Town of Wheaton. This one-room schoolhouse was heated with cord wood and slabs in a box stove, and lit with kerosene lamps. Almost all of the children who attended back then walked to school, as there were few automobiles and no snow plows (of course, they told their kids and grandkids it was uphill, both ways.) Sunny Valley School stayed an operating school until the early 1960’s, when the growth of Chippewa Falls and its school district took over. It was donated and moved to Irvine Park in 1965, where you can explore it – in season.

Irvine Park & Zoo is located on the north side of Chippewa Falls, near the Leinenkugel Brewery and Northern Wisconsin State Fair Park. Just off Highway 124, Highway 29 and U.S. 53 also bring you close.

The Zoo is open year ’round from 7am to sunset, with extended hours during the holidays. Admission is free.

Irvine Park & Zoo Address:

125 Bridgewater Avenue (Highway 124)
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
(715) 723-0051

Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

GO Chippewa Falls

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Lincoln Park Zoo

This free zoo just north of downtown Manitowoc features over 200 animals, ranging from black bears and snow leopards to eagles and a prairie dog town that can occupy you for a while (they’re pretty cute.)

The Lincoln Park Zoo is open seven days a week except in winter, when it’s closed on Sundays.

1215 N. 8th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 683-4685