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Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, Washington

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Submitted by: Michael K.

Zoo Lights: On Friday night, we made the drive down to Tacoma (which was a little ridiculous since I managed to get semi-lost trying to navigate the 99/509 route) to experience the wonders of Zoo Lights.  It was pretty busy but took no time at all to get in and save for a few areas where the path got narrow and caused human congestion, it was a lovely stroll and not over-bearing.  The main 'courtyard' was the key attraction with the Narrows Bridge lit up as well as all the grass covered in blue to look like water.  My favorite, however, would be the statue of the family, as the lights underneat the squatting little boy made it look like he was crapping fire!  Tasteful and wonderful.  Truthfully, though, it's...

Submitted by: Kristin C.

I have been to the Point Defiance Zoo a couple of times. Most recently I went for the Zoo Lights. The lights were all really cool, but I was hoping we were able to see more animals, although I guess it being winter, at night, it makes sense that they were inside where its warm. The only place we were really able to see was the aquarium. The fishies and sharks were cool though. The lights were really nice, but I was kinda sad at how small it all was. It only took about an hour to see everything. Overall though it's a really nice zoo, in a beautiful park. You could definitely make a day out of it. Spend a few hours at the Zoo, go to the park, have a picnic lunch, watch the farries. It's a lot of fun. You can a...

Submitted by: Riss J.

This review will be for the annual ZooLights special exhibit, not the zoo during normal operations. This last weekend, I had the pleasure of taking in a "road trip" to Tacoma with Kristin and Corrina, with the sole purpose of taking in some good food (Southern Kitchen) and checking out the zoo lights. I hadn't been to this annual Holiday event since my kids numbered only 2 and were still stroller bound. And. Well. It was the same. Which, makes me sad. I remembered a huge portion of the light "shows" they offer. The eagle diving for a fish, the various things. And I was, in that respect, disappointed. It's been...10 years? I would have hoped for a few more, a few different, a few upgraded. I knew the zoo itse...

Submitted by: Vivian T.

Its quite a drive through the park to get here but the scenery is really nice. This little zoo and aquarium is pretty stinkin' cool!  We were there today with our baby for his first trip.  It was not very busy which I really liked for navigating around with a little one.  He was also able to run around a bit without too much worry.  The exhibits themselves were also quite neat.  It has been a long time since I have been to a zoo or aquarium but I thought that this zoo was very cool for setting up animal co-habitats so to speak.  They had a few animals from the same area of world together in one big exhibit!  If you're not a fan of crowds or have a child that you are bringing, I suggest going in the off seaso...

Submitted by: Sarah M.

The area around Point Defiance Zoo is beautiful! And once you finally find the zoo, which is a bit tricky since it's in the middle of a big park by the water, it's beautiful around there, too. However, the zoo itself was not quite as nice as I had hoped. Sure there are the ridiculously cute snow leopard cubs. And the awesomely fat walruses. And polar bears. And puffins. Alright, you get the point. There's a ton of really cool animals here - better than Woodland Park Zoo in my humble opinion. However, that being said, when we went on a random Wednesday, NOTHING in the zoo was open. Exhibits were closed, concession stands were closed - it was a bit disappointing. I'm sure they don't open them during the week f...

Submitted by: Stacey P.

I have visited Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium a couple of times and while I agree the price is expensive at $16 a pop it is a rather lovely zoo. It is on the small size, but take the time to enjoy it. It is very well kept, tidy, and clean. Some of the larger enclosures were a bit deceptive because it would appear empty, but then the inhabitant would move in the back. I had to wait awhile for the Red Wolves to come out into viewing distance as well as two of the tigers who were ambushing each other in the high brush in the back of their enclosure. The clouded leopard would make brief appearances when he felt like it. Currently they have two cute baby clouded leopard cubs. See the cubs after feeding. Initiall...

Submitted by: Sam U.

I am from San Diego originally.  I spent my life with annual passes to Sea World, The Zoo, The Wild Animal Park & Disneyland.  When it comes to day trip, destinations I am scrupulous to say the least.   We moved to Tacoma in 2010 from Portland OR where we were annual pass holders to the fabulous zoo there.  I had been to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and didn't find it nearly as enchanting as Portland's.   The Point Defiance Zoo is nested in a windy park of trees.  Lining the striking Puget Sound.  As you enter Point Defiance Park, you pass a grassy field, with a rose garden.  If you proceed (2.5) miles you are at Owens Beach.  A sandy oasis where you can watch the ferries arrive.   The Zoo & Aquarium is ...

Submitted by: Michael M.

I'm probably a little bit biased when it comes to zoos, since my "hometown zoo" would be the Milwaukee County Zoo and it is usually rated one of the best in the country. However, I was pretty impressed overall with the Point Defiance Zoo. Overall, everything was very clean and well kept and I kept thinking to myself that they must have just done a massive renovation, because almost everything looked like it had just been built. All of the exhibits looked well kept after and everything was remarkably clean. We went to the animal show at noon and it was pretty well done. I was hoping they would have a few more animals that would be out for show, but they were going more for a story and entertainment value for ...

Submitted by: Becky G.

This was our first visit to Pt. Defiance and we were pleasantly surprised! The parking was a bit ridiculous, drove around for about 10-15 mins looking for a spot, but it was a rare, beautifully warm day, so it's understandable. The grounds of the zoo are really amazing, there are open fields to have picnics on, hills to overlook various areas from, and...

Submitted by: Dub T.

Love the zoo. If you haven't been then you should definitely check it out. I've been going to this zoo since I was in elementary school and now I enjoy taking my kids. The location is outstanding and if you don't enjoy the animals then you're sure to enjoy the surrounding scenery. I was fortunate enough to receive a family membership to the zoo as a gift and we've been using it often. Their membership packages are well worth the money. This zoo isn't one of the largest in the country but it is well maintained, has plenty of interesting animals, and has a wonderful staff that is always willing to answer questions. The aquarium is great and there are lots of neat sea creatures to be discovered. I would recomme...

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