Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will be open daily beginning April 1, just in time for Spring Breaks across the region. Of course, animals like the tigers, red wolves, hammerhead sharks and harbor seals can be seen, but there’s so much more to do at the zoo, too. Take a look at our top five activities to do at the zoo this spring.
It’s all the buzz. The new Nature Play Garden opens April 1. Young children can immerse themselves in a garden filled with plants pollinators love (did you see that butterfly land on that flower?). Tucked into nooks along the path, children will discover kid-sized, nature-inspired play features. Designed especially for 3–5-year-olds, the play elements inspire creative exploration and activate imaginations. Kids can climb through giant hollow logs, construct their own animal habitats, and nestle into a larger-than-life bird’s nest.
“Nature play is not only fun, it’s extremely beneficial for children as they build connections to their environment using all of their senses,” said conservation engagement curator Wendy Spaulding. “Being creative through unstructured play within natural spaces develops confidence, curiosity, and motor skills. And kids love it!”
The Nature Play Garden is free with paid admission to the zoo. The presenting sponsor of the Nature Play Garden is TAPCO Credit Union.
The goat herd loves attention and is waiting for you to visit. Who will you meet: Sugar? Spice? Buckles? Marion? Pet them and feed them daily. Free (to pet) with paid admission to the zoo. 50 cents to feed.
Or, for an add-on experience, book Groovy Goats. Meet the herd up-close in this one-of-a-kind private animal encounter. Give them a good grooming: brush them, pat them, scratch their ears (we all need a spa day every once in a while!) and reward them with a nutritious and delicious treat.
When: 10am-10:30am Thursday-Mondays. Book here.
Play at Kids’ Zone
Kids can explore how animals move at the Kids’ Zone Magical Movement playground. Watch as they get their wiggles out and try to hop like a wallaby, crawl like a corn snake or climb like a lemur. Free with admission to the zoo.
See a Muskox Calf
Charlotte the muskox is pregnant and is due this spring. Keep an eye out for the birth announcement. If all goes well, the calf should be able to walk and keep up with Charlotte within a few hours of being born. A calf typically weighs 22 to 31 pounds when it’s born and rapidly gains weight.
Take a spin on the vintage Paul Titus Carousel and add some sparkle to your zoo visit. Ride on a horse, zebra, tiger or a Pacific Northwest banana slug. There are 30 large and four small animals, a sled, and space for guests in wheelchair.
Tickets: $2 per ride ($1.50 members).
Stay tuned for more fun activities happening at the zoo this spring. Starting May 7, the Budgie Buddies Aviary reopens to the public. Watch colorful birds fly all around you, and even feed them with a seed stick. See if you can find the five chicks born this winter. Also on May 7, the debut of the new Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater show. The theme is magic and wonder. Watch as “wizards” (keepers) and majestic animals fly, hop and run across stage and learn how Point Defiance Zoo provides exceptional care for its animals.