Free Days at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Residents of Tacoma can enjoy free admission to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium on certain days. The remaining dates for 2013 are:

Wed, April 10
Wed, May 8
Wed, September 25
Wed, October 9
Tue, October 29
Thu, November 7
Thu, December 5

According to Kris Sherman, Public Relations Coordinator, for the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, there are 12 Tacoma resident free days a year. Kris explained, “These are for residents who have proof that they live in the city of Tacoma. Photo ID is required for guests 18 and over.

“Acceptable identification is a photo ID listing a Tacoma address. If the photo ID does not have a Tacoma address, a photo ID and utility bill or other legal document showing the Tacoma address will be accepted.

“The free days are offered as a thank you to Tacoma voters, who in 1999 approved a $35 million bond issue to pay for Zoo improvements. The money has funded several new additions to the zoo over the past decade, including the Kids’ Zone and Animal Avenue, the Asian Forest Sanctuary, Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, animal hospital, new front gate, education center, gift shop and café.

“The Zoo also rewards Pierce County residents with discounted admission prices every day. That discount recognizes the support of Pierce County voters, who approved a sales tax in the year 2000 that contributes to Zoo operations.” This information can also be found here:

Kris discussed more details on the history of the Tacoma resident free day program, “This is a years-long program that continues to thank Tacoma residents for their steadfast support of their zoo & aquarium.

“The facilities generously paid for by Tacoma residents are used every day by the animals and staff members at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Visitors have a much fuller, richer experience because of the support the community has shown to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium over the years.

“The facilities built with funds from the 1999 bond issue allow zoo staff to offer a great experience for children and families, provide state-of-the-art care for the animals at the zoo and promote conservation and education.”

Kris stated, “The Tacoma resident free days allow city residents to see firsthand the facilities and good works derived from their bond issue money.

“When visitors come to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, they might want to look into every corner of the zoo grounds. Everyone has favorite animals they always want to see. One great tip is to try on every visit to see at least one animal you haven’t seen before. It could take quite a while to work your way through the entire, amazing list of animals that range from small insects to half-ton elephants. That will enrich your zoo experience – and you’ll learn a lot in the process.

“Also, be sure to catch the daily zookeeper talks, aquarium events and animal Close Encounters. They’re packed full of information, and you have an opportunity to ask keepers questions about the animals for which they care. You can get a list of the daily presentations at the main gate when you come to the zoo.”

For more information, please visit: or call 253-591-5337.

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for

2 thoughts on “Free Days at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium”

  1. I LOVE this place. Went there years ago. I wish that I was in the area. This is a great place for the family w/out the traffic woes of the ‘other’ zoo just north of here. Good article,Carly and keep it up. Tacoma is a nice city.

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