From goat feeding to anemone touching, riding the antique carousel and watching training demos, a reopened summer of fun begins July 1 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.


TACOMA, Wash. – It’s time to celebrate! Beginning July 1, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is reopening even more of the up-close animal experiences that guests remember and love while continuing to follow state public health and CDC guidelines.

For the first time in over a year, experiences such as feeding goats, touching sea anemones, riding the antique carousel and watching keepers train animals will be fully available and open. In addition, both aquariums will be fully open with no capacity limits.

Here’s a summary of what’s newly re-opened or expanded:

  • Summer hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily (including July 4 and Sept. 6)
  • Goat feeding open daily
  • Tidal Touch Zone in Pacific Seas Aquarium open daily
  • Paul Titus antique carousel open daily ($1.50 member/$2 general)
  • All seats open at Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater for daily keeper training demos
  • Playground and splash pad fully open
  • Members no longer require online tickets; Member Express opens at front gate
  • Timed online tickets continue for non-members with expanded capacity
  • Face coverings are required for non-vaccinated guests aged 5 and over and encouraged for fully vaccinated guests

Keeper Chats and Animal Encounters will still happen at unscheduled times throughout the zoo. Stingray Cove will be open for touching for limited hours each day while the stingrays become re-accustomed to guests. Budgie Buddies will remain closed. The zoo will also begin booking private events, and staff and volunteers will be roaming zoo grounds to answer questions and offer animal tips.

Special events are also restarting, with the summer calendar including Pride Celebration (July 10-11), Sharks & Rays! (July 17-18), World Tiger Weekend (July 31-Aug. 1) and Members’ Access Nights (July 8, Aug. 12 & 26, and Sept. 9).

There are also new animals for guests to meet, including endangered Sumatran tigers Raja and Indah in the Asian Forest Sanctuary. The pair bring the zoo’s tiger total to five.

“We’re excited that we can safely reopen so many of our popular animal experiences,” said director Alan Varsik. “Although we’ve always offered ways for our community to connect with nature and animals, including during the pandemic, we know people have missed getting up close and personal with many of our animals and experiences. We look forward to welcoming everyone this summer!”

For more information about the new zoo experience, go to pdza.org/open (from July 1).                 


Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Northwest’s only combined zoo and aquarium, practices and promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s resources. A member of the Metro Parks Tacoma family, the zoo creates a legacy of sustainability for future generations through education, conservation, research and recreational opportunities; it also embodies Metro Parks’ mission of creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).


Whitney DalBalcon: 253-278-6343 or whitney.dalbalcon@pdza.org

Tessa LaVergne: 253-686-6927, or tessa.lavergne@pdza.org




Individual seats on Keeper Adventure Tours, Zip Wild zipline and in-person events open summer of fun at wildlife park from July 1.


Eatonville, Wash. –  It’s time to celebrate! In keeping with Washington state and CDC guidelines, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is fully reopening on July 1 with extra opportunities to connect with nature and Northwest animals.

Individual tickets on daily Keeper Adventure Tours, a reopened Zip Wild zipline, no capacity limits, summer hours and in-person events are just some of the changes coming to the park. Here’s the full list:

  • Summer hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily (including July 4 and Sept. 6)
  • Individuals may now book seats on Keeper Adventure Tours around the Free-Roaming Area, now running daily (10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., $80 member/$90 non-member per person)
  • Wild Drive self-drive tours around the Free-Roaming Area continue to run multiple times a day ($70 member/$90 non-member per vehicle)
  • The popular Photo Tours are scheduled throughout summer, with Elk Bugling Tours to follow in September
  • The Zip Wild zipline will reopen July 10 with three courses: Adventure, Sensation and Aerial Runway
  • Keeper Chats will happen twice daily – check the front noticeboard for the schedule
  • Summer in-person events include Pride Weekend (July 10-11), Zookeeper Academy (July 17-18) and Feeding Frenzy (Sept. 4-6), all free with admission or membership
  • No capacity limits on park entry, which is free with any tour purchase (Wild Drive, Keeper Adventure Tour, Photo Tour)
  • Online tickets are no longer necessary, though encouraged
  • Face coverings are still required for non-vaccinated guests and encouraged for vaccinated ones

The Kids’ Trek playground and central walking paths will continue to be open, although trams remain paused while the wildlife park builds a new tram tour station.

Health and safety measures remain in place, such as numerous sanitizer stations throughout the park.

“We’re pleased we can continue to reopen Northwest Trek Wildlife Park this summer,” said director Alan Varsik. “We know our guests and members have missed some of their favorite activities at the wildlife park. We’re excited to bring those back and offer our community that connection to nature, which is so vital.”

For more information, go to nwtrek.org/open (from July 1).


Northwest Trek, accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is a 723-acre zoological park dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and their natural habitats. The wildlife park is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma and is located 35 miles southeast of Tacoma off State Highway 161.



Whitney DalBalcon, 253-278-6343 or whitney.dalbalcon@pdza.org
Tessa LaVergne, 253-686-6927 or tessa.lavergne@pdza.org