Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

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    Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium Visitor Information

    Polar Bear shows off at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma
    ••• Polar Bear shows off at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. Washington State Tourism/Jim Poth

    The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is one of Tacoma's most popular attractions. Visitors and residents love to check out the animal exhibits, which include polar bears, sharks, tigers, meerkat, lemurs, and otters.

    Activities at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

    In addition to watching the animals and their antics, there are other options for learning and fun at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

    • Marine Discovery Center
      Touch tanks and interpretive exhibits covering the Puget Sound ecosystem.
    • Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater
      Animal programs in an open-air theater with both covered and hillside seating.
    • Animal Encounters
      Zoo keepers share information at exhibits throughout the day.
    • Kids' Zone
      Child-friendly combination of animal exhibits, climbing and play areas, and conservation activities.
    • Paul Titus Antique Carousel
      Take a ride on this historic 1917 carousel.

    Events at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

    A number of special events are held at the zoo during the year,...MORE including:

    • Zoolights - colorful lights and decorations make the zoo a festive family experience during the Christmas holiday season
    • Zoo Boo - mid-October Halloween-themed fun with indoor and outdoor activities, costumes encouraged

    Some areas of the zoo are also available for private parties and events.

    Food & Drink the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

    What would a visit to the zoo be without a picnic or some tasty snacks? Here are your options at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

    • Picnicking - there are several areas where you can spread out with your friends and family, relax, and enjoy a meal, including the Red Wolf or Asian Forest picnic areas or one of the picnic lawns.
    • Cafes - sandwiches, burgers, and other fast foods are available at the Plaza Cafe, the Rocky Shores Cafe, or the Pearl Street Sea Grille.

    Facilities & Services at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

    The following facilities and services are available at the zoo for your safety and comfort.

    • free parking
    • first aid stations
    • rentals of such items as wheelchairs, scooters, umbrellas, and strollers
    • lockers (fee)
    • gift shop
    • educational programs for kids and families

    Where is the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

    Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is located within Point Defiance Park, a Tacoma city park that spreads over 700-plus acres.
    5400 North Pearl Street·
    Tacoma, Washington 98407
    (253) 591-5337
    http://www.pdza.org/

     

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  • 02 of 02

    What Animals Can I See at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

    Sea Otter at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma Washington
    ••• Sea Otter at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Getty Images/Ed Reschke

    You'll find creatures from the Pacific Northwest and around the Pacific Rim. The Zoo & Aquarium is open year round. Here is a list of some of the animals you'll see:

    Asian Forest Sanctuary
    A bamboo forest environment where exotic animals rotate from one exhibit to another.

    • Sumatran tigers
    • white-Cheeked gibbons
    • siamangs (primate)
    • Malayan Tapir
    • anoa (small Asian buffalo)
    • crested porcupines
    • Tragopan pheasants
    • Asian small-clawed otters

    Rocky Shores
    Native creatures in an environment that simulates Washington's ocean coast.

    • harbor seal
    • pacific walrus
    • sea otter
    • tufted puffin

    Arctic Tundra
    An exhibit featuring mammals found on the Alaska tundra.

    • Arctic fox 
    • muskox
    • polar bears
    • reindeer

    Animal Avenue
    Animal exhibits with a focus on learning about an animal’s place in the world through families, homes, and communities.

    • meerkat
    • lemurs
    • mole rat
    • spiders and tarantula
    • snakes
    • tortoise
    • frogs and toads
    • insects

    Kids' Zone
    Child-friendly combination of animal exhibits, climbing and play areas, and conservation...MORE activities.

    • goats
    • sheep
    • reptiles

    Aquarium
    Point Defiance's aquariums feature creatures from the North and South Pacific.

    • seahorses
    • sharks
    • tropical fish
    • octopus