Racine & Me: Racine Zoo Centennial Celebration & more

Racine & Me: Racine Zoo Centennial Celebration & more

RACINE, WI (CBS 58) -- The Racine Zoo always has a lot going on, and their Zoo Centennial Celebration approaches! 

Executive Director Beth Heidorn and Animal Ambassador Coordinator, Madison Fales joined us with a special guest! 


  • Saturday, April 8, 2023
  • 10AM – 4PM
  • Gather the little ones and enjoy an Easter-themed day to put a little "spring" in your step! Bring your own basket for a hunt for Cluck-Cluck doors throughout the Zoo to collect candy. Stop by the Trunk Hunt with local businesses handing out goodies. Feeling creative? Check out the cookie decorating, egg decorating, and egg-cellent crafts. Don’t forget a photo with the Easter Bunny (for $5). Activities are included with regular Zoo admission and free for Zoo members.

Zoorific Saturday: Party for the Planet

  • Saturday, April 22, 2023
  • 10AM – 4PM
  • Bring the whole family and enjoy day-long activities including crafts, exciting games, and more. Stop by stations with Conservation Education Specialists ready to educate and inspire guests. This day will revolve around the celebration of our beautiful planet and how everyone can do their part to protect it. Activities are included with regular Zoo admission.


The Racine Zoo is proud to have so many dedicated volunteers as a valuable part of our team. We have our Volunteen Program for teens ages 13 – 19, as well as our Adult Volunteer Program! This is perfect for those who are considering a future career with animals, zoos, education, or for those just looking for a fun volunteer opportunity to do in their spare time! New volunteens and volunteers are accepted in the Spring and Fall of each year. Spring applications are due April 1, 2023.

Racine Zoo Centennial Celebration

2023 is a big year for Racine Zoo—the Zoo is turning 100! Jacob Stoffel, Jr.'s dream for a zoo in Racine became a reality in 1923. President of the Park Commission and soon to be the Racine Zoological Society's first director, Stoffel gave the Zoo a start by presenting the Park Board with a pair of deer in February 1923 and three monkeys in March 1923 to be housed at Horlick Park (also known as Island Park). The fun began that summer as the Zoo opened to the public with lots of visitors! They began to receive donations of funds and animals, and it was decided to move the Zoo to Lakeview Park in August 1923. The Racine Zoological Society was then formed in 1924 as a financial support organization for the Zoo and the Zoo became a nonprofit. By 1925, the Zoo moved to its current location along the beautiful lakefront. Racine Zoo is currently home to over 75 unique species and over 300 individual animals from Wisconsin and around the world.

Racine Zoo encourages the community to share their fondest memories at the Zoo. Photos and stories can be sent to [email protected] with a date and description of media, if possible. These photos and stories may be featured on the zoo’s centennial website, social media platforms, or around the grounds as the celebration continues throughout the year.

The Zoo will be celebrating all year long, but the biggest celebration will be on Wednesday, July 5, around the same time the Zoo opened in 1923. The day will include a multitude of festivities for guests to enjoy and the community to be involved with. More information will be released closer to the event date.

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