Woodland Park Zoo, located in Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood, is an award-winning home to animals from around the world. See over 1,000 animals at the 92-acre (37-hectare) zoo, including more than 70 endangered or threatened species.
The zoo is famed for pioneering the concept of immersing visitors in naturalistic exhibits. These naturalistic environments, with hidden barriers and building structures, make you feel as if you’re actually walking through the animals’ wild habitats. They also are mentally and physically healthier for the animals. The gorilla exhibit, which opened in 1979, is widely considered the world’s first immersion exhibit. The zoo’s largest exhibits have won numerous awards.
Visit jaguars, ocelots, gorillas, poison dart frogs and colorful birds from Central and South America in the Tropical Rain Forest. Go eye-to-eye with orangutans in an open forest canopy. Northern Trail is home to grizzly bears, wolves, elk, snowy owls and other animals from the cold, rugged North. African Savanna offers sweeping views of giraffes, lions, zebras, patas monkeys, hippopotamus and other wildlife of the plains. See penguins fly underwater along a stunning desert coast. Take a journey into the world of Malayan tigers, sloth bears and Asian small-clawed otters at the new Banyan Wilds and learn how you can help save tigers.
Children love Zoomazium, an indoor nature play space. Bring your kids to play and explore in a nature-themed setting or to enjoy a Creature Feature program. Let them thrill to the opportunity of crossing a rope bridge high in the tree canopy and exploring a mountain cave.
Throughout the year the zoo is host to many community events for all ages. There are also events especially for the 21 and older crowd too. In late November to early January, WildLights transforms the zoo into a festive winter wonderland as 600,000-plus LED lights illuminate the paths through dazzling displays of wild animals and exotic destinations. WildLights is held in the evenings nightly and is closed December 24 and 25. From June to August, the popular summer concert series, ZooTunes, showcases top artists and singer-songwriters outdoors in the zoo’s North Meadow.
Through seasonal programs and keeper talks, discover the important role the zoo is playing in wildlife conservation.
The zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. Expect to pay a reasonably priced entry fee, with discounts for senior citizens and children. There is on-site parking for a small price. Alternatively, walk or bike to the zoo from most parts of downtown Seattle. It is also a stop on several bus lines. For more information on the zoo's events and conservation activities, see the official website.