A Day-trip to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma (part of our summer staycation in Seattle)


July 16, 2014 by Terumi

aardvark at Point Defiance Zoo where kids can get close up to animals

I can barely count how many trips I’ve put into my trip-finder in Expedia for this summer and then not booked my cart.  Cabo San Lucas, Alaska, Costa Rica, Belize, San Diego and the Bahamas have all been super tempting, but the weather here in Seattle is just so beautiful, I can’t imagine leaving and going anywhere else!

So we’ve made a point of doing things in the Pacific Northwest this summer so we make the most of it and today that adventure brought us to Tacoma, where we’ve become members of the Point Defiance Zoo.  We are already long-time members at the Woodland Park Zoo and we are so lucky that we have such a great zoo in our neighborhood.  But Point Defiance Zoo is an especially great zoo for young children and it’s only about an hour away from Seattle which makes it an exciting adventure.

Now if you’ve been to this zoo ( have you? I’d love to hear!) you’ll know it’s in a spectacular location on a five mile drive of beach and forest. I need to get down to the beach one day but we just spend too much time at the zoo to do anything else.

meerkat at the point defiance zoo

Like, I LOVE their meerkat area and could stay there all day. And I literally could because there is a playground right next to it, so the kids can climb and I can take a zillion pictures of these adorable little creatures.  Today the meerkats were mesmerized by a crow on the edge of their enclosure and it was interesting to watch their behavior and just think about what it might be like being a meerkat watching a crow.

shark feeding at the point defiance zoo

My guys weren’t thrilled with the meerkats but they loved watching the shark-feeding.  And the stingray touch pool is a big hit.

stingray exhibit at the point defiance zoo shark feeding at the point defiance zoo

puffin at the point defiance zoo

My other favorite spot is the puffin enclosure, because I think these birds are amazing and it is totally fun to watch them go up and down their little puffin ramps. And thankfully we all enjoyed the puffins.

at the dr bones show at point defiance zooaardvark at the point defiance zoosloth at the point defiance zoo

And I didn’t know what I was going to think about the Indiana Bones show, but it is something we’re going to come back and watch again.  I’m not usually a fan of making animals do ‘show’ things, but this one was so well done and the animals looked like they were respectfully treated, so I was totally able to relax with my kids and I had a great time.  (We’ve been to the Shamu show at Sea World and a pyro-technic filled show at the Georgia Aquarium that really bothered us.).

kids watching the Dr. Bones show at Point Defiance Zoo

My guys’ faces were filled with wonder for the whole production and I was so excited that we saw a sloth, an aardvark and a huge bald eagle among a bunch of adorable animals stars.

pick quick in Fife

After the zoo we headed out to a late lunch at a cute little burger drive-in I found in Fife called Pick Quick.  They remind me a little of In-n-Out burger that we used to go to when we lived in California, but we loved that this place had veggie burgers and their grilled onion topping was delicious!  Because it’s strawberry season we had a fresh strawberry milkshake and I love that Pick Quick uses ingredients from local farms.  The outside picnic table eating area was adorable too!

We had such a great trip in Tacoma, we’ll definitely head here again.

(PS. another eating option in Tacoma that we found yummy was the MSM Deli where we had some fabulous sandwiches a few weeks ago!)

Are any of you stay-cationing in the Pacific Northwest this summer?  I’d love to hear about what you’re up to too!




  1. Rene Young - Together we roam says:

    Looks like an amazing zoo! Staycations are awesome too 🙂 xo

    • Terumi says:

      I’m realizing that they really are! If you’re ever in the area, this zoo is definitely a perfect one for young kids:) Thanks for stopping by:)

  2. majl says:

    Baby aardvark toooo cute!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before… might have to plan a zoo trip soon 🙂

  3. […] It is so gorgeous here and we found this out with this year’s summer staycation. […]

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