Seattle’s weather is still often warm and sunny, with crisp blue skies, but we all know that fall and winter will ultimately bring drizzle, rain, clouds, and chill—and that those soggy days can lead to cabin fever especially if you share that “cabin” with energetic kids.
Woodland Park Zoo provides a variety of indoor/outdoor options, however, to act as a safety valve for kids’ energy (and parents’ nerves!).
First and foremost, on November 1, 2011, the zoo will debut a new animal-feeding experience: You can feed the Humboldt penguins a handful of fish for a $5.00 charge from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. This opportunity will be available through April 1, 2012.
Many more programs will get underway starting October 1, 2011, and will run through April 30, 2012. Except where noted, these programs are free with zoo admission. (Please note that foul weather or changes in animal availability may lead to cancellations or rescheduling.)
Zoomazium, the zoo’s indoor nature-play space, features daily programs and special events geared toward toddlers and older children (with caregivers in attendance) up to age 8. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Zoomazium will be celebrating its fifth birthday on Saturday and Sunday, November 5-6, 2011, with special events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other Zoomazium programs and activities throughout the season include the following:
- Creature Feature at 10:30 a.m. daily (includes meeting live animals, puppet shows, and designing a play space for a featured animal)
- Shake, Rattle, and Roar at 11:30 a.m. daily (singing, dancing, and instrument playing for toddlers and caregivers)
- Nature Exchange from 1:00-3:00 p.m. daily (children are invited to share drawings, photos, found natural objects, and observations with staff and can earn points to trade for natural-history items)
- Puppet Shows at 3:45 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (puppet shows starring animal characters)
Keeper Chats offer zoo visitors an opportunity to hear firsthand what it’s like to care for different animals at the zoo:
- Penguin Keeper Chat: 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays
- ElephantKeeper Chat: 2:00 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays
- Willawong Station Chat (birds): 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays
- Quarters for Conservation Staff and Keeper Chat: 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays-Fridays (topics and locations vary)
In addition to year-round features such as the historic carousel, discovery carts, and the like, zoo fans can also take advantage of this season’s special offerings such as Parent’s Night Out, day camps for children ages 4 through 9, Bug Club for 5- to 11-year-olds, and a wide variety of classes for adults and children. More information about these fee-based programs can be found on the zoo’s website here or by calling 206.548.2424. You can also call this number to find out about Zoo Overnight and Evening Adventures or visit the page dedicated to these events here.
As of October 1, zoo hours change to 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the last tickets sold at 4 p.m.