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Reopening FAQ

All you need to know

about our new Zoo experience.
Is it safe to visit the Zoo?

We’ve made many changes to create the safest possible environment for our guests, staff and animals. We ask that you and other guests follow 6-foot social distancing protocols and wash or sanitize your hands regularly. Face coverings are required for everyone (ages 5 and over) during your Zoo visit. Learn more about what we’re doing to keep you safe.

Will it be possible to follow social distancing protocols inside the Zoo?

Yes, we have made significant changes inside the Zoo to allow our guests and staff to socially distance. We are requiring timed ticketing and limiting the number of guests onsite at any one time. You will see signage throughout the Zoo and green paw prints placed 6 feet apart in animal viewing areas to remind you and others to follow social distancing guidelines. We also have created a one-way path around the Zoo to help control traffic flow and eliminate congestion.

Should I wear a mask? Should my children wear masks?

Face coverings are required during your Zoo visit.  Because we care about the safety of our guests, staff and animals, Point Defiance Zoo requires all guests 5 and over to wear face coverings while visiting.
Exception for Children Under 5: 
Children under 5 are not required to wear face coverings.
Children ages 2, 3 and 4 are encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings.
Children under 2 should not wear face coverings.

If guests don’t have a face covering when they arrive, a face mask will be provided to them. All staff members and volunteers are also required to wear face masks while working.

What if I am unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition?

We understand that some people have medical conditions that are affected by wearing face coverings. However, to keep all our guests, staff and animals safe and healthy, we are requiring ALL guests (ages 5 and older) to wear face coverings while visiting — no exceptions.
Tuesdays 3-4 pm are reserved for people with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering. 

What are you doing to keep the animals safe?

Our dedicated animal care team and veterinarians wear face coverings and other personal protective equipment as needed when they work with our animals and their food.

What is the cost of admission?

We’ve modified our admission pricing to make it simpler for our staff to scan in tickets and help people quickly enter the Zoo.
Adults (ages 13 and up): $18
Children (ages 3-12): $14
Infants (2 and under): Free
Members: Free

I’m a Zoo member. Do I have to pay for tickets? How do I reserve my entry time?

Members still receive FREE admission to the Zoo but you are required to reserve tickets and an entry time online.

  • Member reservations and general admission online tickets are limited each day to ensure social distancing.
  • Children under age 3 do not need an online timed ticket.
  • You may reserve a timed ticket for yourself and up to the maximum number of guests allotted on your membership level.
  • You can add paid timed tickets for non-members who are joining you on your Zoo visit.
  • Please bring your timed tickets as well as your membership card or photo ID to check in. We sent all Zoo members an email with their membership ID number. If you did not receive it or cannot find the email, please contact our guest services team at comments@pdza.org
What if my membership has expired?

We automatically extended all memberships by the amount of time we were temporarily closed. If you have questions, please reach out to our guest services team at comments@pdza.org

Do children under 3 years of age need a ticket?

No, children under 3 do not need a timed ticket.

Can I buy timed tickets in person at the Zoo front gate?

Ticket purchases are not allowed in person on site to limit unnecessary in-person contact as outlined in the governor’s public health directive. People without timed tickets will not be able to drive into Point Defiance Park, which is currently closed to vehicles.

Can I use a coupon or other admission discount?

Discounts on admission are not available during this time of required online timed ticketing in order to limit unnecessary in-person contact and keep everyone safe.

What if I have a membership to another zoo with reciprocal benefits?

We are not able to offer discounted admission right now under our timed ticketing system. You will need to buy a timed ticket at the general admission price.

How long can I stay at the Zoo?

You will be prompted to choose an entry time during the ticketing process. This time designates when you can arrive at the Zoo. Once you’re here, you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like.

Are wheelchairs or strollers available for rent?

We are unable to rent strollers, wheelchairs or electric scooters at this time.

Can I buy tickets and food with cash?

Major credit and debit cards are the only forms of payment that will be accepted. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept cash during this phase of our reopening.

What are food and shopping options? Can I pay with cash?

The sit-down Plaza Café near the Zoo entrance is closed temporarily. Grab-and-go food and beverage options are available for purchase at the Pearl Street Grille. Water bottle refilling stations are open but all drinking fountains are currently closed for safety reasons. Gift kiosks are also open throughout the Zoo. Major credit cards and debit cards are the only forms of payment accepted to reduce personal contact.

Are the aquariums open?

Yes, both of our aquariums — Pacific Seas Aquarium and South Pacific Aquarium — are open. Below are the activities and facilities that are closed until further notice:

  • High-touch exhibit areas
  • Carousel
  • Playground
  • Budgie Buddies
  • Goat petting and feeding

See what’s open and what’s not.