Seattle is known for a lot of things - coffee, flying fish, needles that point up to space, our stunning geography, tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft, and lots of rain, but not so much our zoo. Nope, our zoo doesn’t get much hype. Well, we are here to hype it up, because although it is no San Diego Zoo, it is a fantastic zoo and a great place to spend an afternoon with friends, family, and kids. It is also on the CityPass so if you are visiting from out of town you can get in at a discounted price, which is a steal!
Here are our top five reasons to visit Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo.
1 - They Have Awesome Animal Feeding Programs - This one is enough to get us to go. For only $5 (be sure to bring cash) you can join a few other people and feed giraffes and penguins at different points in the day. When you stand that close to these animals and get to hear about their traits, likes and dislikes, and stories you feel connected to them.
2 - You’re Supporting Wildlife Conservation Around the World - Zoos do a lot for animal conservation and Woodland Park Zoo is no exception. They have programs around the world to help animals. Much of this you can learn about on their website or through their exhibits and programs at the zoo.
3 - Birds Will Get Up Close and Personal - In Australasia inside Willawong Station for only $2 each you can buy popsicle sticks covered in honey and birdseed and stand in the middle of a room while small parrots come and perch on your hand (or head) to help themselves to your treat. As adults, we have to say - this is SO fun. We bought more sticks than we probably should have before we deciding we should let some of the kids have our space.
4 - You Can Get to Know Gorillas and Tigers - There are several programs to help visitors learn more about the animals. Hanging out to learn from staff about the gorillas and tigers are our two favorite spots for obvious reasons. These animals are incredibly smart, beautiful, and also struggle for survival in the wild. It’s good to learn about what we are doing to protect them and also get a more up close view while they are fed and played with by staff while they educate the audience.
5 - It’s a Wonderful Way to Spend an Afternoon Outside - With the main loop being about .8 miles around this is a super approachable and easy zoo to visit. We always find ourselves amazed by the easy way-finding to all the animals. You can easily see everything and spend ample time at each exhibit in an afternoon. And, in true Seattle fashion much of the zoo is covered so that visiting on rainy days is still enjoyable and allows you to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and incredible animals!
Honorable Mention: The carousel is super old and cool - in the northwest corner of the zoo sits a beautiful carousel from 1918 which the zoo restored and opened in 2006. There are only 150 hand carved carousels (yes, we said HAND carved) left in the world. So this one is definitely worth checking out, even if you don’t go for a ride. Obviously if you have kids this is a pretty great stop in the day!
We hope this gets you excited to visit the zoo! Let us know your experiences at Woodland Park Zoo if you are a local or visitor!