Events Calendar

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Events Calendar

World Ocean Weekend

June 2 - June 3
9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Dive in to experience the magic of ocean life as we celebrate World Ocean Weekend. Watch marine animals receive special enrichment treats and discover how you can help the ocean and its glorious creatures.

Sand, Sand, Sand

Humphead wrasseBut wait - there's more! We're bringing in international sand sculptor Sue McGrew to create a mammoth ocean scene made of sand on our Hub lawn.

Sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, fish, jellyfish - all the animals coming soon to our brand-new  Pacific Seas Aquarium will be there, sculpted in sand.

Learn from Sue - and find out how to protect our ocean

Sue's an accomplished sand artist who has created enormous sculptures around the States, Europe and Asia. And on opening weekend she'll teach Zoo visitors how to make their own sand-sculptures - watch this space for workshop times.

Kids can play, shovel and sculpt to their hearts' delight in our special Beach Zone, complete with sand, shovels, buckets and more.

And everyone can find out how to  protect our ocean animals from plastic, pollution and more with Zoo staff at activity stations.

sueBut how does Sue do it?

The sand sculpture at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will be one of the biggest Sue McGrew's ever created, with around 20 cubic yards of sand. But her process is always the same. She starts with a design concept, then stacks wooden forms (like produce crates) to support the sculpture. After her team shovels and compacts specially-sourced sand onto the forms, Sue starts sculpting. When she's done (a big sculpture can take weeks) she preserves the sand with a special glue that holds up even in the rain.

And she's local!

Sue grew up in Tacoma, and was inspired to sculpt sand at a Maritime Fest event. She started traveling the world, juggling college and her amazing art, and most recently joined the team on the Travel Channel's reality TV show "Sand Masters." Welcome back, Sue!

What else is on that weekend?

Don't miss our other breath-taking ocean creatures.

Whistle with a walrus, spin with a sea otter and meet other marine animals at the Rocky Shores habitat, see sharks and tropical fish in the South Pacific Aquarium and more.

All activities and special experiences are FREE with paid admission or membership. Skip the lines and enjoy a discount by purchasing online!