Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Welcome to the Marine Discovery Center


The Marine Discovery Center has exciting, hands-on activities for children of all ages! Discover firsthand what a sea star or sea urchin feels like. Take part in a squid dissection, try on a costume, make a fun art project and learn how we can all take action in our own backyards to protect Puget Sound habitats for marine critters.

Open Daily from 10:00-3:00.


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Learning about sea urchins, sea stars, and sea cucumbers might inspire you to take a walk on the beach! Join Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium naturalists for Explore the Shore low tide beach walks at Owen Beach, where we will identify tide pool animals and record their presence and location in order to add the information to the scientific NatureMapping database. Explore the Shore is a fun and exciting opportunity to learn about the biological diversity of local beaches and how to protect them.

Touch tank animals

Download this word search to discover some of the animals that live in our touch tanks. Then come in to the Marine Discovery Center to meet them!

Helping Puget Sound

how you can help

We all must help protect Puget Sound waters. What will you do? To get started, print out your own Pledge Card. Bring your completed pledge card to the Marine Discovery Center during open hours to receive a special prize! Visit PugetSoundStartsHere.org for ideas on how you can protect Puget Sound.

Do you love seafood?
Seafood Watch is a program that helps you choose sustainable harvested seafood. Download and print your own foldable Seafood Watch Pocket Guide. You can also download the Seafood Watch app to your smartphone.

Explore the Shore

Explore the shore every day and find amazing creatures and habitats. Take the Pledge! Sign this sheet to remind yourself to trek the tidepools responsibly.