Zoo visitor tips

Our zoo fans know all the best tips for making the most of a zoo visit: prime animal viewing times, great picnic areas, best exhibits for little kids…you name it!

Now you can share those tips with fellow zoo visitors and members, plus pick up some new tips for your next visit.

How to share your tips and respond to others:
1. Post a reply to this page to leave your best tips or to reply to other tips.
2. Tips are moderated and will appear once approved by a blog editor.
3. Any tips containing inappropriate content or suggestions will be subject to non-approval or deletion. Keep it family-friendly and respectful please!

Remember: these are visitor-generated tips. The zoo cannot guarantee, endorse or verify all tips—we’re simply aggregating them for your convenience. For up to date zoo information, go to http://www.zoo.org/ or call us at 206-548-2500.

24 comments:

  1. Get $2 off zoo admission tix when you buy them at participating Ivar's restaurants through Sept. 30.

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  2. Best time to go is first thing in the morning. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the keepers crossing the giraffes from the barns into the savanna, which gets you really close up to the animals.

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  3. Don't forget that the zoo remains open after its official close date by an hour (though interior spaces are closed). For that hour, the zoo is virtually empty.

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  4. Get there early and check out the animal you want to see the most active. Check out the new Meerkats exhibit, they are super cute and fun to watch. My 2 year old loves the burrow to play in.

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  5. Cloudy, drizzly days are awesome! We dress like a good Seattle family, and get to see more active animals and less crowds! When we get cold, we stop indoors for a bit, then head out again.

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  6. Come on a winter snow day! The zoo stays open year round and being from the Pacific NW cold isn't an issue if you dress snuggley. Its the best time I've ever had at the zoo, and the northern trail exhibits are breath taking!

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  7. Get a zoo membership and encourage yourselves to visit often enough to take your time and be flexible with each visit. Sometimes we go all day and sometimes we make an impromptu, late afternoon visit for less than an hour. We take our time to see different animals each visit, knowing we'll be back soon. One time, after we arrived, it was obvious our kids were just not having a good day, so we rode the carrosel and then left.

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  8. No matter how cute & cuddly some of the animals look, everybody needs to remember that all of them are "wild" animals. Please do not climb over/under the rails; make sure your children know that it is not safe to go beyond the rails that are meant for people to stand behind & enjoy looking at the animals.

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  9. My husband bought us a membership for my wedding gift.He took me there the thursday after our wedding it was amazing and nices as a newly wed.We go there as much as we can now and ill always remmber that frist time going.its a great gift .

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  10. come early if you want to see the wolves. They are easiest to see early in the morning.

    don't forget about the temperate forest. there are some really awesome animals hidden in there.

    Be patient when looking at exhibits. You may not see the animal right away. Think about where it lives, that is a pretty good indicator of where in the exhibit it might be.

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  11. Especially if you have small children, remember that while the peacocks are not in an exhibit, they are still wild animals and they will bite. If the peacock is surrounded by a large group of people and is displaying its tail, STAY AWAY.

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  12. If you're having trouble spotting the arctic foxes, try standing next to the drinking fountains and looking underneath the walkway. The female in particular seems partial to this area.

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  13. Don't dash through the large aviary in the Tropical Rain Forest. Even if no birds are visible at the moment, many are very active and will likely fly into view, sometimes just inches from you, after just a couple of minutes.
    Also, stay silent and listen. The bird calls can be amazing. The yellow-rumped caciques have a song I like to call, "Every Sound Ever Made by a Bird in Under Two Minutes".

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  14. Our family has a tradition of going to the zoo on Christmas Eve. When the kids were young, their excitement was so intense that running around the zoo for a few hours helped them settle down later on. And the place is pretty empty, so no waiting anywhere. Of course, we'd dress for wet and cold, and follow up with hot chocolate. We still go now that they're teenagers.

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  15. If you see a volunteer or keeper by an exhibit, stay and chat with them for a few minutes. What better way to learn about the animals, especially their names, than from the people who work with them or around them? I have never once experienced a keeper unwilling to answer my many questions and it's one of my favourite parts about going to the zoo. Thank you Woodland Park Zoo for having such friendly employees who obviously love their jobs and are willing to share their knowledge!

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  16. If you're having trouble spotting an animal, you may not be staying at an exhibit for long enough! Most people only spend about 10 seconds looking into any particular exhibit. Be patient and you'll see much much more!

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  17. If you are lost, go ahead and ask a zoo person. They know their way around, and are especially helpful if you have a map. They can also recommend a really cool way to find the animal you are looking for, maybe by going through an area you may not have thought about going to before.

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  18. Megan in WallingfordApril 8, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    If the wolves are feeling shy, you may have better luck standing behind the shrubbery as you start to head down into the Northern Trail, before you get to the main viewing area(s). I often see Zoo personnel standing there, and you can see an area closer to the wolves' enclosures where they frequently have some treats. Wolves can also be weird about loud noises, so if has been a noisy day, give it some time until things have quieted down.

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  19. If you have waddlers or toddlers there is so much for them to do! Take breaks every hour or so to let them run around. The grass areas are great for this and the Zoomazium! Plus they hold special activities for free: this week we played with bubbles!

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  20. Don't be afraid to wait for photos. Sitting still for several minutes while waiting for an animal often yields great results. Check the "borders" of an exhibit-- sometimes shy animals are lurking there until it's quiet enough for them to come out. And if you don't get it the first time, don't be discouraged-- some animals take several visits for great photos, and sometimes their behavior can surprise you.

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  21. Even though the Contact Area is closed for the season, Zoo volunteers socialize the goats evry day from 1:30 to 3:00. This is a good opportunity to learn some interesting facts about some of the zoo's most charismatic residents.Come learn all their names and where kinder and Pigmi goats come from.
    Also, although it is tempting, please do not fead the goats leaves that are on the ground. Some plants are poisonous to them.

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  22. If you left a stroller at the northeast corner of 49th & Evanston on 2/12 or 2/13, check with the South Entrance guest services; I turned it in today.

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  23. Don't walk by an exhibit too fast. Often the animal takes time to spot or is "wandering" and if you stand there a while you get to see them:)

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  24. Don't try to take it all in on one day. Get a membership so you can go several times and concentrate on one area per visit.

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