Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma

4.2
#2 of 10 in Parks in Tacoma
Covering nearly 12 hectare (29 acres) on the shores of the Puget Sound, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium houses more than 9,000 animals. Explore the park's wide variety of exhibits divided into themed areas, such as the Asian forest sanctuary, Arctic tundra, red wolf woods, and rocky shores. The 367 different species of zoo residents, many of which originate in the regions surrounding the Pacific Ocean, have lush living areas designed to replicate their natural habitats. Don't miss the multi-level aquarium exhibits, devoted to creatures of the North and South Pacific, including sharks, tropical fish, and a giant octopus. Check the zoo's website for information on special talks and events. Plan your visit to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Tacoma trip itinerary planning website .
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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
849 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • So, reviews were a little mixed we still decided to give it a try but most of the unfavrable reviews were correct. 2 adults, $30 with a discount. the parking lot has more ground then the zoo or so it ...  more »
  • Grew up in this area and the zoo is undergoing another renovation. It now feels like a place where you want to be. Excited for the aquarium to reopen in September.  more »
  • This zoo was a bust. Expensive for one, Half the sites were empty and the service at the food stands were ridiculously slow. Don't recommend this place  more »
Google
  • Fantastic zoo! We try to take our kids a couple times a year and it's always fun for all of us. We are really excited about the new aquarium coming soon. Lots of up and down walking - so be prepared. Really awesome kid zone/play ground with two separate areas. They offer fun animal exhibits where kids can learn more and even touch some of them.
  • A great place for the family. For years our family has been going to the Woodland Park Zoo (which is another zoo we love) in Seattle. It wasn't til last year that our family decided to try the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma and I'm glad we did. First getting to the Point Defiance is so it's much easier than getting to the Woodland Park Zoo. Especially if you're staying on the south side of Seattle. The price is about the same as the Woodland Park Zoo and the selection of animals is just as good. The park itself is smaller and if you have little kids that makes it much easier for them to get around. The shows that are provided involve some of the animals at the zoo and are very well done and very entertaining for the kids and adults alike. If you're going to make a day of it the best suggestion I can make to you is to take a picnic lunch. You can go in and out of the zoo as many times as you want during the day and the zoo is surrounded by Point Defiance Park, with plenty of picnic spots to choose from, including ocean views and woodlands.
  • Highly recommend. Parking fills up by about 10 a.m. After that you circle for several minutes. Great cultural experience. Good sized zoo. Staff is friendly. Would recommend during non tourist season.
  • Always a fun day here. If you live nearby, definitely look into getting a membership, as it pays for itself in only a couple visits. Make sure you bring your own bags if you plan on visiting the gift shop, Tacoma has a city ordinance (a nickel per plastic bag). Penguins, puffins, polar bears, walruses, elephants, and more. Plenty to see and do. The Budgies close for the winter so be sure to come back in warmer weather.
  • Nice presentation at the zoo. I like how they include conservation topics with the normal information about the animals. Over summer, they had sculptures built from plastic debris that is typically found in the Puget Sound, that also included a "Where's Waldo"-type game for children (can you find the plastic flip-flop hidden in the sculpture?). Creative and informative. Love the Red Wolves. And the Zoolights display over the holidays was wonderful.
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