Summer in Seattle--Woodland Park Zoo

Hello again all you Seattleites, Suburbians, and Sailors upon the World Wide Web! I return to the bonfire to tell you tales of wonder and mystery during my Summer in Seattle!

This time, I went to the Zoooooo~

Which is pretty cool, actually. My Dad came up to visit for the weekend, and the fine folks at the Woodland Park Zoo gave TWIF a couple of complimentary tickets on my behalf, so off to the zoo we went!

I have seen many a zoo in my time. There are a couple in Louisiana (though ouraquarium is our claim to fame), and I have, of course, visited ones in other states as well. Having that experience, there are certain expectations I have of zoos:

1. The “zoo smell”. You know the one I’m talking about.
2. Laughably overpriced everything
3. All of the animals will be asleep or hiding
4. The best stuff with be the furthest away.

So how does Woodland Park Zoo stack up? Well, let me just say that this is probably the best zoo I’ve ever visited.

First and foremost: no zoo smell! It was glorious. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the excellent staff, but I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to walk around the entire zoo breathing through our noses. This detail is pretty huge as far as I’m concerned.

Everything is still overpriced! (with one exception I’ll mention in a bit) But it’s a zoo, so this was expected. They gotta keep the lights on somehow, and I can’t blame them.

Animals are awake? Crazy, I know! Maybe it’s because I’ve visited most other zoos during high 90s or sub 100 degree weather, but I’ve never seen more than one or two exhibits in most zoos where the animals were actually up and about. Not so at Woodland Park. I daresay that most of the exhibits we saw had active denizens.

Everything good is far away! Yes, but there is plenty of good stuff closer to the entrance too.

(disclaimer: this goat is not close to the entrance)

I’m convinced that zookeepers know I will walk any distance necessary to see otters.

They are so right.

And they have red pandas here! I’ve never seen one is person, but ever since I did a presentation about them in 3rd grade, the desire to do so has burned brightly within me. I don’t have any good pictures of them, but suffice to say that my 3rd grade sock puppet did them no justice.

I was also given a couple of tickets to the Special Dinosaur exhibit which is currently in place at the zoo. The exhibit is small, but fun, and at only $3 extra it’s totally worth it.

The Derpasaurus!

You should get as close as possible to this one. No reason.

The Woodland Park Zoo gets a big thank you and a big thumbs up from me! Go check it out for sure while the weather is still nice. You won’t be disappointed.

Also, they have penguins.


Come back soon to read about more of my curious excursions during my Summer in Seattle!

-Patrick Killen