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Fully Reopening the Zoo

It's time to celebrate - we're fully reopening!

From goat feeding to anemone touching, riding the antique carousel and watching training demos, a fully-reopened summer of fun begins July 1 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.


TACOMA, Wash. – It’s time to celebrate! Beginning July 1, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is reopening even more of the up-close animal experiences that guests remember and love while continuing to follow state public health and CDC guidelines.

For the first time in over a year, experiences such as feeding goats, touching anemones and sea stars, riding the antique carousel and watching keepers train animals will be fully available and open. In addition, both aquariums will be fully open with no capacity limits.

Here’s a summary of what’s newly re-opened or expanded:

  • Summer hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily (including July 4 and Sept. 6)
  • Goat feeding open daily
  • Tidal Touch Zone in Pacific Seas Aquarium open daily
  • Paul Titus antique carousel open daily ($1.50 member/$2 general)
  • All seats open at Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater for daily keeper training demos
  • Playground and splash pad fully open
  • Members no longer require online tickets; Member Express opens at front gate
  • Timed online tickets continue for non-members with expanded capacity
  • Face coverings are required for non-vaccinated guests aged 5 and over and encouraged for fully vaccinated guests

Keeper Chats and Animal Encounters will still happen at unscheduled times throughout the zoo. Stingray Cove will be open for touching for limited hours each day while the stingrays become re-accustomed to guests. Budgie Buddies will remain closed. The Zoo will also begin booking private events, and staff and volunteers will be roaming Zoo grounds to answer questions and offer animal-watching tips.

Special events are also restarting, with the summer calendar including Pride Celebration (July 10-11), Sharks & Rays! (July 17-18), World Tiger Weekend (July 31-Aug. 1) and Members’ Access Nights (July 8, Aug. 12 & 26, and Sept. 9).

There are also new animals for guests to meet, including endangered Sumatran tigers Raja and Indah in the Asian Forest Sanctuary. The pair bring the zoo’s tiger total to five.

“We’re excited that we can safely reopen so many of our popular animal experiences,” said director Alan Varsik. “Although we’ve always offered ways for our community to connect with nature and animals, including during the pandemic, we know people have missed getting up close and personal with many of our animals and experiences. We look forward to welcoming everyone this summer!”

For more information about the new zoo experience, go to (from July 1).

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Northwest’s only combined zoo and aquarium, practices and promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s resources. A member of the Metro Parks Tacoma family, the zoo creates a legacy of sustainability for future generations through education, conservation, research and recreational opportunities; it also embodies Metro Parks’ mission of creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo Society, a 501(c)(3) organization, is an instrumental partner in the conservation, animal-welfare and education initiatives.


Media Contact

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