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Event Policies

Policies and payments

(Yes, you need to read this.)

Rental confirmation and payment process

Once an initial confirmation notice is provided, 100% of room or site rental fees and a signed confirmation letter are due by the confirmation deadline date. If we do not receive your payment by the confirmation deadline date, we regrettably will cancel your reservation and make the date available to new requests.


Payment methods

Rental payments may be made by cash, credit card (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX and Discover Card), cashier’s check, or money order.


Rescheduling a rental

An event may be rescheduled within one year of original event date. The rental fee may be applied to the new date. We will make every effort to accommodate your new request; however, we cannot guarantee that a facility or meeting room will be available.


Canceling a rental

A 50% refund will be allowed if cancellation notice is received 151 days prior to the event. No refunds will be made with less than a 150-day notice or due to inclement weather conditions. If a rental is cancelled by PDZA because the renter has failed to provide all of the necessary information or fees, PDZA shall retain the rental paid unless the facility is rented by another group.


Inclement weather

PDZA shall make every effort to open a facility when a rental is scheduled. However, if severe inclement weather or other acts of nature (ice storm, snow storm, damage caused by weather) prohibit the opening of the zoo and facilities, the renter will be notified ASAP. The renter will be provided the opportunity to reschedule to another available date. No refunds will be made if event cancellation is due to inclement weather conditions.


Alcohol (liquor)

Liquor arrangements must be made between licensee and Lancer Catering. All liquor activities must end 30 minutes prior to the event end time as listed on the contract.


Use of building

If licensee leaves prior to designated time, rental fees paid for this time will be forfeited. If rental goes over designated time, an hourly rate of $150.00 will be charged. Only restroom facilities and areas designated on contract are available for licensee usage.



Sound level limits will be strictly enforced for events utilizing the aquariums. Loud noises and vibrations from sound amplifiers have an adverse effect on marine life. Live band music and sound amplifiers are prohibited.


Set up/Clean up/Equipment Usage

Arrangements for the room setup and dismantle of event banquet tables, chairs, catering service tables and catering equipment are made between the licensee and Lancer Catering. PDZA has limited banquet tables and chairs available on a first to contract basis. When the limited quantity of tables expires, banquet tables and chairs may be rented at the client’s expense; and are not included in room rental fee. It is the responsibility of the licensee to return the rental space to the condition in which it was found. If facility is left in unacceptable condition, cleaning fees will be charged at the rate of $150/hour.



No tacks or tape on any building/exhibit surface (walls, beams, windows, fences, trees, etc.) or tables, chairs. Confetti, glitter, rice and balloons are prohibited. ALL decor brought in by licensee or outside vendor contracted with licensee must be removed from zoo grounds at end of event. Additional fees will be assessed if decorating facility (including set up, removal, disposal of decorations) requires additional facility hours (over and above contracted event hours), use of PDZA equipment, and PDZA staff; fees will be assessed at $150/hour.

The Tacoma Fire Department regulates the use of flammable material. In compliance with City Fire Codes and under the City of Tacoma Fire Marshal, the use of candles is acceptable if enclosed in glass. Any other type of open flame is strictly forbidden unless pre-approved by the Fire Marshal.



A certificate of insurance may be required naming Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as an additional insured with respect to your event. Insurer should have a minimum per occurrence limit of $500,000, and $1,000,000 for bodily injury & property damage liability.


Release of Liability

The Licensee shall indemnify and hold harmless Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Metro Parks Tacoma, its elected Board of Commissioners, employees, agents, and volunteers and the City of Tacoma, from and against any and all claims, demands, suits, actions, payments and judgments as a result of injury, death or property damage arising from, resulting from or connected with the use of the premises and/or participation in the rental event.



Security may be required at the discretion of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for any event renting space at the Zoo & Aquarium. Security service fees are paid directly by the licensee to the security agent.



Copies of any advertising are subject to PDZA Management approval and must be submitted to PDZA Group Sales no less than 15 days prior to rental date. Forms of advertising for public events include, but are not limited to; radio, flyers, etc.



All catering services are provided exclusively by Lancer Catering. Outside caterers and outside food and beverages are prohibited in leased areas in the zoo. For catering information please contact the catering sales manager at (253) 404-3823.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is a non-smoking facility.