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Seattle for Kids: Woodland Park Zoo

Let the kids “Go Wild” for a day!

seattle for kids_zoo1Kid Tip #1 – Take them to the Woodland Park Zoo!

For over 110 years, Woodland Park Zoo has been a unique urban oasis in Seattle.  Just ten minutes from downtown, in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, the zoo spans 92 acres – 65 of which are exhibits and public spaces.

Go early and spend the entire day.  Pack a lunch or try out one of their many dining spots.  The zoo even has single, double, and wagon rentals available!

Kid Tip #2 – Get them excited ahead of time!

Get the app or print a map!  The Woodland Park website,, is a wealth of information.  Print out the map ahead of time, so you can plan out your route – and make sure you get to see all of your kiddos favorite animals.  It’s always nice to know where all of the bathrooms are (for those “I-gotta-go-noooooooow!” moments!) and it’s nice to be near the food court or picnic tables when lunchtime nears.

On the website, you can download the Woodland Park App which provides a GPS-enabled map, schedule of the day’s events, animal fact sheets, social media connections, a friend finder, video, photos and more!

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Kid Tip #3 – See the Babies!

Little ones are poppin’ up all over the zoo – and there’s nothing cuter than your little “minis” checking out the “mini” animals!  There are jaguar cubs, baby sloth bear cubs, small-clawed otter pups, lion cubs, an endangered red-crowned crane chick, eight penguin chicks, a porcupette, a tree kangaroo joey, and a tawny frogmouth chick!  AND there’s a baby giraffe due at any moment!  Check the website for viewing times.

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Kid Tip #4 – Get Ready for Your Close Up!

seattle for kids_zoo4See a different side of the zoo! Join a zookeeper on a 90-minute guided tour.  You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the heart of the zoo’s operations area – including the greenhouses (with over 900 orchids!) and the commissary (where all of the food for more than 1,000 animals is stored and prepped).  Plus visit the newest residents, the endangered Visayan warty pigs, from a special viewing area.  Additional costs apply and space is limited, so check the website for more details.

Kid Tip #5 Play, Play, Play!

Want to turn animal poo into paper?  Feed an elephant? Go on a bug hunt?  Trade a pinecone for a shark’s tooth?  There are endless opportunities to play at Woodland Park Zoo.  Visit the Family Farm Contact Area where you can brush a goat, play on the indoor climbing structure in Zoomazium, or ride the historical carousel.  Always check with the information desk or your Woodland Park Zoo app for times and availability.

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Kid Tip #6 – Learn Something New and Make a Difference

This zoo is heavily rooted in its conservation efforts, making it an excellent teaching opportunity for parents.  Many of the exhibits have information about endangered species, and how to help.  Plus for every admission, a portion goes to help with conservation efforts.

Want to do more?  Learn about how you can contribute to the new Tiger area (opening in 2014), or adopt an animal – your kids will get an official adoption certificate, and feel the pride of making a difference.

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Check out a Few Recent Reviews

“Five Stars” – posted on

“I love this place.  We have a 3 year old and another one on the way, so this place is a no brainer frequent family event.  We bought the season passes, if you have kids this is the way to go! You just have to go a few times and the season passes pay for themselves.  The Zoo seems to always be adding new exhibits and the scenery is always changing…”

“My Favorite Zoo” – posted on

This zoo is huge, and most of the animal enclosures are large and spacious.  There are tons of things to see and play on, and lots of good food around the park.  Check out the Zoomazium for kids - there is a climbing structure in there and they do science classes at certain times of day.  What I really like is the conservation efforts that they make, breeding endangered animals and saving injured animals from the wild that might have otherwise died.”

“I love the Woodland Park Zoo.” – posted on

“I go there at least once a month with my family.  My brother especially loves the safari section.  He climbs around in the houses and plays the drums every time we go there.  My favorite part is the petting zoo.  I love to go in and pet the goats (remember to wash your hands afterward).  But I think we both love the indoor playground the best!  I like to find stuff like pinecones and quartz before coming to the zoo so that I can trade them in when I get to the trading center for stuff like shark teeth and cool rocks and my brother likes to climb in the tree and on the rock tower.  The Woodland Park Zoo is great for all ages and I think that you should go there with your family.”



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