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Botanical Garden Tours

Take a Tour

Cacti. Bamboo. Leaves, trunks, flowers. Did you know the Zoo is also a botanical garden, home to hundreds of varieties of plants from decorative to functional? Zookeepers use some of the plant growth, such as banana leaves and bamboo shoots, as food or skill-building tools for the animals. The plants also create a stunning botanical paradise.

Take a botanical garden tour with our horticulturalist Bryon Jones and be awed by the power of plants at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

When: 10 am on the first Sunday of every month

Where: Meet at Pacific Rim Plaza, just inside Zoo front gate

Cost: Free with admission or membership

Private tours: Bring a group for your very own private tour (fee applies). Booking required.

NOTE: Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, all garden tours are canceled.

2020 Schedule

Jan. 5
Soils! What Lies Beneath?
Get up close with the important stuff that grows our plants - soil - and the environment it creates.
Feb. 2
Vanishing Flora
Plants drive the planet's ecosystems. Learn about the Zoo's endangered and rare plants.
Read the story
March 1
Plant Journeys
Where do garden plants come from? All over the world! Learn about our plants' journeys.
April 5
Urban Giants
Focus on trees, big and small! They provide shade, shelter and food, and shape the landscape. - CANCELED
Read the story
May 3
Living Fossils
Ferns, conifers, cycads and gingkoes - they all date to prehistoric times. Discover ours! - CANCELED
Read the story
June 7
Deserts & Baja
Explore plants that have adapted to dry landscapes like Baja California - and how they save water. - CANCELED
July 5
Backyard Pollinators
Find out how to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds at our Pollinator Garden. - CANCELED
Pollinator Gardens
Aug. 2
Plants gone wild
Take a tour of vibrant, leafy plants that bring the jungle to the Pacific Northwest. - CANCELED
Sept. 6
Leafy and Fruity Hors d'Oeuvres
We reuse and recycle our plants! Learn about plants that zoo animals eat or play with. - CANCELED
Read the story
Oct. 4
Savage Garden
Thorns, spikes and zig-zagging stems, oh my! Find all the eerie plant species around the Zoo. - CANCELED
Read the story
Nov. 1
Sensory Garden
Touch and smell as we explore nature's shapes, patterns, scents and textures! - CANCELED
Read the story
Dec. 6
Create a Bamboo Paradise
The Asian Forest Sanctuary is home to many varieties of bamboo, elegant and tasty for animals. - CANCELED

Private Garden Tours

Bring a group.
And dive into our landscape.
Love plants? Got a group? Book a private botanical garden tour, and our horticulturalist Bryon Jones will take you on a deep dive of the lush Zoo landscape! NOTE: Not currently available.
Private Garden Tours