We had such a great visit to the the Northwest’s premier Zoo, the Woodland Park Zoo, just outside of Seattle’s City Center. We met some extended family there and had a great time exploring the grounds.
Walking around, we felt the enclosures were well-kept and felt that the animals were very well taken care of. Nobody likes to see animals in captivity, especially after you have seen them in the wild roaming free, but this Zoo seemed to do a great job carrying out their mission for conservation and realize that conserving animals is right at the heart of the solution.
The Woodland Park Zoo realize:
We must protect their diversity, abundances and the ecological services they provide by slowing the unnaturally high rates of species extinctions… Zoos are well positioned to reach millions each year with the unique opportunity to connect with nature, learn about conservation issues around the globe, and take action to make a difference for wildlife.
We felt that the Zoo was huge. We spent one day exploring and still did not get the chance to see everything to the extent that we could have liked – it is so big that it really covers the globe. The newest feature at the Woodland Park Zoo is the Banyan Wilds exhibit that explores the diversity of Asia’s tropical forests and welcomes Tigers and Sloth Bears to the Zoo.
The Zoo is also very interactive – everywhere you turn you are presented with something new to learn. We especially loved the trail-side information where staff and volunteers will tell you all about what lay before them. Each trail-side exhibit we stopped at, the volunteers and staff were so knowledgeable and genuinely seemed to be excited to answer your questions, as did the staff that were nearby the animal enclosures. Their excitement rubbed off on anyone they spoke to about the animals.
We found it interesting to learn about why some animals have eyes in front of their heads, while others have eyes on the sides of their heads.
Did you know?
- Predators have eyes in the front of their heads. Most animals that hunt have eyes in the front of their heads because they have to search out their food.
- Prey have eyes on the sides of their heads. Animals that are prey have to look out for attacks and need a fuller view of the world than those that are hunting.
Zoo Tip: Bring your comfortable walking shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking!
We loved the close encounter with the Giraffes. It is so much fun to get up close to these incredible animals. We love seeing their long tongue roll out and back up; it is quite the sight! We loved that Madison was able to take in the experience with her Grandpa. When we fed Giraffes at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona, Madison (at six month old) was scared. This time (at two years old), she was so into it and it was fun watching how excited she was. The cost was $5 per person over five years old, something definitely worth paying to support the Zoo.
Zoo Tip: Show up early for the Giraffe feeding. We lined up a half hour early and had great timing as a couple minutes after we lined up, the line started to grow fast.
The lush bush all around the Zoo helped keep visitors cool on the warm day as well and it made for a relaxing and beautiful stroll between the enclosures. The layout of the Zoo has really been optimized to make the most efficient use of the space. We also admired the thought put into the area design by viewing areas such as having sculpted trees so you feel as if you’re really standing in the forest.
Did you know?: Of the 320 species represented at Woodland Park Zoo, 44 are endangered and 18 are threatened.
We had a good laugh when we saw that even the cockroaches ‘habitat’ in Bug World was a kitchen setting, complete with what you would find in a typical old-school kitchen.
Zoo Tip: The Woodland Park Zoo was super busy when we were visiting. Arrive early to try to see what you are excited to see most before the crowd grows.
The kids also enjoyed the family farm area in the “Petrified Forest”. We liked that the farm area teaching went beyond just the animals and there was an area to learn about healthy eating and supporting local farmers, which are both so important. Also in the area of the “Petrified Forest” is an excellent kids play area with a giant rope spider web to climb, slides, you can climb between a turtle shell for a fun photo, and more.
Take a look at some of our other photos from our day at the Woodland Park Zoo:
We can honestly say that we were impressed with their facilities. They are clearly a zoological society that is trying to do right by their animals and we have absolutely no qualms about supporting their efforts. If you’re in Seattle, we urge you to take a look for yourself.
Our visit was sponsored by the Woodland Park Zoo, but as always, our opinions are our own.
Where is a Zoo you like to visit?