Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Polar exhibit at Point Defiance

5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, Washington

If you’re looking for a zoo that’s easy to access off the freeway but rivals the big names, stop at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Exhibits and sections include an Asian forest, marine discovery center, aquarium, polar exhibit, and red wolf sanctuary.

The newly added Kid Zone is a great place to let kids run around and explore. From the official website: “The new Kids’ Zone is a bright, colorful environment designed for the way children learn: through touch, exploration and movement. Here, children can explore the Magical Movement area where they can climb and move in ways that mimic how animals move. The kids can then spy on live animals that move in very cool ways, such as wallabies, stingrays and millipedes.”

Recent reviewers at popular parent-travel site Trekaroo have been impressed by all Point Defiance has done to make this zoo on par with the best. Read Trekaroo reviews.

Date last visited: February 2010

Distance off the interstate: Just a few minutes off I-5.

Hours and Admission Prices: Opens at 9:30 am daily. Closing hours vary depending on the season.

Admission:
Adults (ages 13-64) $13.50
Seniors (ages 65 & older) $12.50
Youth (ages 5-12) $11.50
Tots (3 & 4) $7.50

You might consider a family annual pass if you think you might visit more than twice a year! (There is also a AAA discount available.)

Bathrooms: Several located within the zoo.

Food Services: There are three cafes located within the zoo (two only open seasonally). Try the Plaza Cafe for the greatest selection (open year round).

Website: http://www.pdza.org/

Directions: Take Exit 132 (Highway 16 West). Exit at 6th Avenue (exit #3) and turn left. Take the next right on to Pearl Street. Follow Pearl Street into Point Defiance Park. Directional signs will lead you to the Zoo parking lots. Parking is FREE!


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About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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