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Pacific Seas Aquarium

Now Open

The new Pacific Seas Aquarium is an underwater delight. Stare at hammerhead sharks or gaze at green sea turtles. Explore Pacific Coast habitats from cold Northwest to tropical Baja California. Find world-class art. Touch a jelly globe. Dive in.

We also have a South Pacific Aquarium, home to massive sharks.

Discover the Pacific Seas

Wander down
in an ocean of discovery.
Start eye-to-eye with sharks, turtles and eagle rays. Wander down the ramps - perfect for strollers and wheelchairs - to find pulsing jellies, touchable tidal creatures, giant Pacific octopus. Descend into underwater magic.
Through shimmer
into deep blue sea.
Pass through shimmers of light art. Touch sea stars under a watercolor seascape. Enter the deep blue of Baja Bay, then pledge to protect our ocean under giant glass jellyfish. Here, ocean and imagination meet.
All our art
Be wowed
over and over.
Our new aquarium is already stunning, but there's much more to come. We'll keep adding animals and finishing touches. Come back again and again to see what’s new.
Read our blog

Explore Habitats

Baja Bay
Northwest Waters
Tidal Touch Zone
Coastal Kelp Forest
Jellies
Giant Pacific octopus
Under the Narrows
Tidal Surge
North Puget Sound Color
Aquarists care
It takes dedication to be an aquarist, as well as training and time.
Our aquarists spend hundreds of hours getting to know our animals.
Feeding sharks
Using objects the animals have been trained to recognize, each gets its own portion.
It can take awhile! But the aquarists work patiently until everyone is satisfied.
Water is life
Water in the aquarium is pumped straight up from Puget Sound, filtered and warmed through a complex web of pipes.
After it washes nutrients over our animals, it’s treated and flows back into the Sound – no pollution, no waste.

Protecting the Ocean

It takes all of us.

THE THREAT: Our oceans are beautiful – but they face many threats, from plastic pollution to chemicals, oil, overfishing and acidification. Many of the animals in our aquarium are threatened in the wild.

TAKE ACTION: But we can help – the ocean is in our hands. Find out what you can do by visiting the Waves of Change gallery inside the aquarium, or exploring our Protecting Wildlife pages.

Aquarium Stories

Halloween in the Aquarium

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the zoo, we bring you – Halloween in the Aquarium! Arms covered with suckers. Backs covered with eyes. Lumpsuckers, tentacles, vacuum mouths and just plain scary faces. (Plus a white crab nicknamed “Casper.”) If you’re looking for weird, cool or slightly icky, our Pacific Seas … Continued

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Sculpting Sand Species

UPDATE: Now over. Thanks for visiting! Q: Where in the world would you find an elephant, a sea turtle and an axolotl all together? A: In Species in the Sand, the new sand sculpture this summer at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Beginning mid-May, our sculpting team led by Tacoma native Sue McGrew will return … Continued

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X-ray Vision, Underwater

It’s magical enough to stand inside the Pacific Seas Aquarium and gaze at shimmering scales, cruising sea turtles or impossibly long wolf eels. But with x-ray vision, a whole new underwater world reveals itself. Thanks to our veterinary team, who regularly take radiographs of our Pacific Seas Aquarium animals to check on their health and … Continued

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Our Other Aquarium!
We're lucky to have two aquariums here at the Zoo! Our South Pacific Aquarium is home to massive sharks, plus touchable stingrays and a tropical lagoon. Come explore, or book a shark dive.