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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma

Categories: Zoos & Aquariums, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 650+ reviews on the web
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. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Tacoma Edition.
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  • It is not a large zoo to to start with and with 20% of the exhibits closed for expansion it really was not worthwhile. We endorse the practice of animals having a large enough space to not always bein...  read more »
  • I would skip this zoo and take the 5 mile loop drive instead. You can enjoy the friendly raccoons, deer, squirrels, and the beautiful views and trails with your picnic lunch all for Free admission ins...  read more »
  • We realized it was September but really thought it would be better than it was. They sure advertise on TV a lot. We saw maybe 5 animals. Many areas were closed including refreshment areas. Aquarium sm...  read more »
  • Lovely little zoo! We love zoos around the world, and this one in our own back yard will get repeat visits. We saw the "Indiana Bones" animal show, and while the storyline was silly, it had some really fun animal parts that even my teenager laughed at. Smaller children will really love it. The aquarium is beautiful, we enjoyed the Puget Sound portion, it really showcases the diversity right off the coast. We visited on Labor Day Weekend and while there were plenty of people, it wasn't extremely crowded. Take a picnic lunch and either eat at the zoo or drive to one of the lookout spots on the Point's 5-mile drive.
  • Went to a wedding here. It was the first time I had ever been to point defiance. The grounds were well kept. I can only promote the aquarium since the Zoo was closed though they did bring out an aardvark and a sloth for the guests! Catering was well done and it was a real party! The aquariums are beautiful and they have some really neat fish. I would highly recommend this place as a venue for weddings or to bring the family. Not sure if they do night events but the stargazing up there is probably the best in that area.
  • Hosted a wedding at the Zoo 07/23/2016 Wonderful setting for a ceremony and reception. we opted for an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception. Onsite catering (Lancer's) for turnkey event were really easy to work with and helpful with planning all the details. We had 2 animals visit prior to the ceremony and 2 during the reception after the ceremony The animals were a big hit with the guests and the zoo keepers were very informative. We had the reception in the aquarium with the food and beverage service set up in front of the Jelly fish tanks which is really fabulous. The catering staff and zoo keepers were great and everyone really enjoyed themselves.
  • The Zoo and Aquarium was amazing! Typically I don't care for zoos because I pity the poor animals "locked up". But I must admit that this place really seems to take care of the animals, and they aim to protect and help endangered animals, etc. Clean, professional, and beautiful surroundings. Lastly, the "Dr Bones" show was totally fun for the kids, and me! A special shout-out for Keilani, the Eye-to-Eye Shark Program manager. She went out of her way to accommodate our family. We were visiting from out of town, we only had one day that we could do the Shark Dive. Long story short, Keilani helped us so that all 3 of our children could dive together at the same time. We so appreciated that! Thank you! Highly recommend!
  • This is a great zoo it was well kept, easy to navigate, and handicapped accessible. The employees are super friendly, knowledgeable, and truly care about the animals. It's awesome to see the conservation efforts to save the red wolves and the numerous breeding programs!! We went during midmorning on an overcast day and we saw all the animals in 4 hours plus went on a tour of the elephant's barn. Its awesome to have the aquarium there as well. We will be back in 2018 when the expanded aquarium opens up if not sooner!!!
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