Who doesn’t love a good family trip to see—even pet and feed—your favorite animals? Luckily, there are a variety of different zoos and aquariums in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. The following list includes zoos, aquariums, animal farms, and wildlife parks that you can visit in the Puget Sound region.
Keep in mind that zoos and aquariums accredited by Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) have met the associations standards for animal welfare to ensure the animals are properly cared for and humanely treated, as well as wildlife safety, conservation, and education
Unless otherwise stated, the following zoos and aquariums are open, with safety measures in place such as timed entry, limited capacity, face mask requirements, and social distancing. Last updated September 4, 2020.
Seattle Zoos & Aquariums
Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA 98101. The largest aquarium in the Seattle area, the Seattle Aquarium received a major expansion in 2007 that added 18,000 square feet to facility, including an impressive 120, 000-gallon exhibit, a gift shop, café, meeting space, and more. Currently, the aquarium features six major exhibits: Window on Washington Waters, Life on the Edge, Pacific Coral Reef, Birds & Shores, the Underwater Dome and Marine Mammals. Admission is free for children 3 and under, $24.95 for youth ages 4-12, $34.95 for adults ages 13 and over. Parking is paid, but reduced if you are an aquarium member.
- Why go: This AZA accredited aquarium is in the heart of the Seattle waterfront, offering an array of animals and some great hands-on educational experiences.
- When to go: The best time to avoid crowds are weekdays and weekends after 2pm
Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103. Founded in 1899, this is Seattle’s premiere zoo and the area’s most long-standing. Woodland Park Zoo offerx 1,100 animals and 300 species for you to enjoy as well as great on-campus eateries, a one-of-a-kind gift shop, and a community access program. Admission is free for infants (0-2), $13.95 for children (3-12), $20.95 for seniors (65+), and $22.95 for adults. Lot parking is $8 a day per car.
- Why go: This AZA accredited zoo is comprehensive and offers access to some really rare and uncommon animals and insects. The butterfly exhibit, in which you get to walk through a greenhouse of thousands of butterflies, is reason enough for the entrance fee.
- When to go: The best time to visit is a rainy day. Summer is the zoo’s busiest times, as are other sunny days throughout the year, according to the Zoo’s visitor tips.
Tacoma and South Sound Zoos, Aquariums & Wildlife Parks
Highline College Aquarium
(Highline Campus remains closed until further notice.) Highline College Marine Science and Technology Center (MaST), 28203 Redondo Beach Dr. S., Des Moines, WA 98198. Located four miles south of the Highline College Redondo Beach campus, the MaST Center is the marine biology and aquarium facility of the college. Admission is free on public Discovery Days.
- Why go: In their 2,500 square-foot facility there are classrooms, laboratories, and a state-of-the-art aquarium that’s open to the public. The aquarium’s 15 tanks display over 250 marine species native to the Puget Sound.
- When to go: Public aquarium hours are Saturdays, 10am-2pm (Year-Round), and Thursdays 4pm-7pm (June to August).
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, 11610 Trek Drive East, Eatonville, WA 98328. Sister zoo to Point Defiance. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is about 30 miles southeast of Tacoma. This park is dedicated to showcasing, conserving, and teaching about the wildlife specific to the Pacific Northwest region. Admission costs are as follows: Adults aged 13-64 are $22, Seniors (65+) are $20, youth ages 5-12 are $14, tots ages 3-4 are $10, and infants under 2 are free.
- Why go: This AZA accredited park has a sizable amount of acreage. The park’s wildlife is kept in habitats that are as natural as possible. Guides bring you to the animals via tram tours and nature treks.
- When to go: If you want to see baby animals, late spring. If you want to hear the sounds of the bugling elk, late summer.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, 5400 North Pearl Street, Tacoma, WA 98407. This zoo and aquarium, operated by Metro Parks Tacoma, rests on a 700-acre plot, surrounded by vies of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and off in the distance, Mount Rainier. Admission is free for infants (0-2), $12 for tots (3-4), $16 for children (5-12), $19 for seniors (65+), and $20 for adults. Military discounts available, and parking is free!
- Why go: Bang for your buck! This AZA accredited facility is the Northwest’s only accredited combined zoo and aquarium.
- When to go: Rainy days are less crowded.
Other Puget Sound Zoos & Animal Farms
The Reptile Zoo, 22715 U.S. 2 Monroe, WA 98272. This reptile zoo, located about 30 miles northeast of Seattle, has an extensive collection of reptiles including turtles, alligators, lizards and many types of snakes. Admission prices are as follows; infants (0-2) are free, toddlers ages 3-4 are $4.50, youth ages 5-17 are $5.50, and Adults ages 18+ are $7.50.
- Why go: If you love reptiles, this is a great place to have a stellar hands-on experience with them. Visitors may have the chance to hold some reptiles, but also witness an albino alligator, a turtle with two heads, and the world’s deadliest snake, a black mamba.
- When to go: Any time of year is good for the reptile zoo, as they have both indoor and outdoor exhibits with coverings.
Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 SE 54th Street, Issaquah, Washington 98027. This zoo, about 15 minutes outside of Seattle, is known for its World of Wolves exhibits, one of the largest and most state-of-the-art wolf exhibits in the country. They also boast a popular reindeer festival in December. Admission is $15.50 for adults (13+), $14.50 for seniors (62+), $12.50 for children ages 2-12), and free for kids under 2. Dollar off for Military and AAA members, and parking is free.
- Why go: Along with offering some particularly in depth looks at animals like wolves, tigers, macaws, and lemurs, they have the only Wildlife Tracks Library in the country. Also, you can visit each of the zoos ten “worlds” in a couple hours, making it ideal for small children.
- When to go: Mornings are a nice, quiet time to visit.
Olympic Game Farm Park, 1423 Ward Rd Sequim, WA 98382. The Olympic Game Farm Park is a drive-through game exhibit about an hour south of Seattle, which also offers a seasonal petting zoo and freshwater aquarium. Admission rates are as follows: $17 for adults (ages 15+), $14 for children (ages 6-14), $14 for seniors (ages 55+), and children 5 & under admit free.
- Why go: This is the only game farm park in the area that allows you to drive-on and through the park yourself. This gives you a lot of freedom to explore at your own pace, (but do follow their safety requirements.)
- When to go: The farm has more offerings during the summertime, like tours of the petting farm, aquarium, duck pond, and tours of our reptile house and Historical Studio Barn!
(Closed for 2020.) Everett Forest Park Animal Farm, 802 E Mukilteo Boulevard, Everett, WA 98203. Perfect for kids, the Everett Forest Park Animal Farm allows visitors to see and touch a wide variety of farm animals, including rabbits, ducks, pigs, goats, and ponies.
- Why go: It offers a quaint farm experience only a few miles north of Seattle’s bustle.
- When to go: The animal farm is open from late June through mid-August, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 22.
Outback Kangaroo Farm, 10030 State Rte 530 NE, Arlington, WA 98223. This park features all your favorite animals from down under, with 40 minute tours that feature kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, tortoises, peacocks and other fabulous animals from Australia and New Zealand. Children under 2 are free, children ages 2-12 are $13, $15.00 for adults, and senior tickets are $10. Group rates are also available for parties of 15 or more at $10.00 a person.
- Why go: The tour gives you plenty of time to observe these unique animals and they have many experts on staff that provide great educational moments, particularly for kids and school groups.
- When to go: Outback Kangaroo Farm is open March through October.