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Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook
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Woodland Park Zoo

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5500 Phinney Ave. N (at N.E. Fifth St.)
Seattle, WA 98103
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(206) 684-4800
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Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA
Woodland Park Zoo - Seattle, WA

Reviews

( 39 )
( 34 )
( 4 )
( 4 )
( 1 )

Best

Great zoo. Perfect for kids

Worst

I agree with the other poster on the potential for injury with the "cliffs" of the Zoomazium. I just wanted to add a few more observations in the "what the heck were they thinking...

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Very nice zoo 6/3/2016

Great zoo. Perfect for kids more

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great 11/9/2012

great more

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great zoo 8/27/2012

best zoo in seattle more

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It's the Zoo 3/8/2012

My Kid loves coming here. They have activities and things to do year round, even when it's raining. more

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Animals/Habitat 2/22/2012

Animal Lovers will enjoy and really have fun here in Woodland Park Zoo. WPZ where you can see different animals, you can bring you kids but don't leave them alone. Because as we all know animals are friendly but wild to attack. But Overall you enjoy seeing those animals doing their stuff. more

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Editorial Review 10/28/2011

The woodland park zoo is a 92 acres and features natural habitats ranging from rainforests to deserts. The Northern Trail displays the Alaskan Tundra habitat that features brown bear, elk, snowy owls,bald eagles etc . The African Savannah , the tropical rainforest and asia zone are fun too where you will see jaguars, gorillas, giraffes, orangutans and huge Asian elephants. The zoomazium is a popular nature themed play space for kids ages toddler -8 years. more

So much fun! 9/12/2009

I always have a fun trip to the zoo! more

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In Seattle, the one and only Woodland Zoo 10/4/2007

After a hiatus of about five or six years, as a member of the Woodland Zoo, I had some catching up to do. So I made a trip back on the second day of October 2007 to see what had changed. A new jaguar and one for the gorillas at the beginning of the Tropical Rain Forest were two of the most important additions. Also a "night" exhibition hall for those critters that tolerate very little light (I saw nothing myself, as I have poor night vision. Supposedly it takes 10 minutes to acclimatize to the darkness). Other than not, not that much had changed in terms of animals. Maybe it's my appreciation of the sheer beauty and fascination of the animals, that has changed. October 1 through April 30 constitutes the "winter" season for the Zoo, so I was able to wander about in serenity without having tons of screaming kids and their parent-chaperons. But the zoo closes early (4 p.m.), at which time all the indoor exhibitions are locked down. Visitors can apparently stay until about 5:30, depending on the mood which zoo staff they happen upon. Actually, it was better than when I used to remember it, mostly because it was the off-season. It felt like I had it to myself and a few other interested adult "naturalist"-types. Plus a few families ("o-o-h, see the jaguar. He is lonely. He doesn't have a mate"), a few tourists. The grizzly bears in the Northern Trail section were to use the too-often used adjective, "magnificent" in a way that makes Steven Spielberg seem all too Disneyland-ish. The Monorail, Columbia Tower, etc. seem strictly utilitarian, clunky, and boring by comparison with any of the denizens of this species. Nature wins hands-down. The giraffes, with their impossibly long, thin legs were still there, passing back and forth between their aluminum sheds and the very smallish, narrow quarters outside behind the wire fence. And in the African Savanna--probably the best of the "natural environments"--no rhinoceros, but, instead, I was able to catch a fleeting close-up glance of a male lion, truly regal, before he trotted back into the savanna. I suddenly had an insight as to how obscene hunting is, especially as it is considered a "sport" (?!) and has nothing to do with meeting real human needs, other than that of sheer (mistaken) ego. And a couple of Malayan sun bears were frolicking without self-consciousness in their own miniature neck-of-the-woods. With the improvement of the "natural habitats" of the past ten years (less of the "animals-trapped-in-cages" of earlier times), a trip to the zoo every year or two brings a kind of natural bliss. Just go in the off-season so that the families don't become the principal show. My main criticism of the Woodland Zoo remains the same, and could be directed probably at most zoos: the animals, though housed in relatively "natural" environs, are still, largely, part of a "show," without enough attention being directed towards providing a learning experience. The destruction of 1/3 of the Amazon River Valley in the past few years, the sharp declines in populations, as well as their natural habitats, along with their imminent or probable extinction is not stressed enough. Going to the zoo becomes a family outing no different from other entertainment: going to the movies, to the circus, shopping at Pacific Place, skiing, etc. On the other hand, admission, or a membership, to the zoo is at least a way of showing a little appreciation for all the other members of the Natural World that we take so often for granted and have as much right, if not more, of living on this increasingly crowded (by homo sapien!), polluted planet. more

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The Zoo 11/30/2006

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle has been around for a very long time but they have managed to change the exhibits in the zoo to make it more humane and accessible. The African village provides a great learning experience for little children with limited experiences of any world outside of Seattle. While the nocturnal house is a favorite for kids of all ages with its simulated dark jungle. The zoo is the perfect size for a preschooler who will be able to make it through most of the zoo but will be ready to take a nap by the time you circle back around to the gate. The zoo also offers zoo tunes concerts in the summer and they always have a great line up. http://www.zoo.org more

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Zoo membership 11/22/2006

Woodland Park Zoo ( http://www.zoo.org ) is a great zoo to have a yearly membership. We have enjoyed the zoo membership throughout the year. A common misconception is not going during the winters. On the contrary, we enjoy inclement weather- well, overcast or light rain, we are guaranteed that it won't be crowded. One perk of having a membership is that we can focus on one area at a time. In doing so, we never get bored of the zoo, there is always something new and fascinating to see. We enjoy the Zoomazium (indoors), the Birds of Prey exhibit, Willabong station (feed the birds), Butterfly exhibit (summers) and the petting farm. more

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Wow... a great zoo! 9/18/2006

Seriously one of the better zoos in the nation (I've been to maybe 10 all over the country). The exhibits are well done- very habitat specific for the animals at hand. I appreciated that areas of the zoo are divided by habitat/continent so as you walk around you feel like you are walking around the world. The nocturnal house is really cool and well done. But my favorite exhibit was the gorilla one. What majestic beautiful animals. I could spend all day watching them. My major complaint about the zoo is the signage. I felt a little cheated on learning the natural history (being the wildlife dork that i am). There were docents (trained volunteers) walking around to answer questions though. The raptor show was a good addition too because it brought a message of local conservation to the public. Since I don't have kids I did skip the petting zoo and the Zoomazium. I see in other reviews that people felt the Zoomazium is unsafe/pointless. I wouldn't be surprised if that was true but why focus on the rides or the Zoomazium when you have all this really neat wildlife to observe! If I had kids I definitely would bring them here. But even if you don't have kids, if you have any interest in animals this is a great spot to stop and check out. more

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More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys! 8/31/2006

My in-laws were in town and our son has reached the age (just under 2) where he would really understand and enjoy the zoo. We had a wonderful time looking at the animals and walking the paths. If you really interact with the zoo, it will take a day to get around to everything. I docked it one star because the food options are not great. more

ZooTunes Concert Series = Great Summer Fun! 8/24/2006

I was already a big fan of the Woodland Park Zoo, but after attending a concert as part of their ZooTunes Concert Series, I love the place even more! With lots of grassy area for seating and food that is reasonably priced for a place of entertainment (come on, you know you've paid a lot more for a hot dog at Safeco Field...), it's a wonderful place to spend a summer evening. And even though the Woodland Park Zoo is located in the middle of the city for the most part, I have never had trouble finding parking. The musical acts that play the zoo are fun too! I saw the Decemberists, but I happen to know that Arlo Guthrie, Dar Williams, and Brandy Carlile also played the zoo this year. Great time! Can't wait for the 2007 summer line-up! more

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Another big "thumbs down" on the Zoomazium 7/2/2006

I agree with the other poster on the potential for injury with the "cliffs" of the Zoomazium. I just wanted to add a few more observations in the "what the heck were they thinking!?" arena. My husband and I went to the ZM yesterday. We brought our son, just over 2 months old. B. (son) is both physically advanced and very careful, so we do not have as many worries as some parents do when bringing children to physically demanding play areas. We do have other worries, though, and this place was absolutely desiged to play on them. First, the center, "toddler" play area was pretty much designed for toddlers only, and not for adults to follow them. This is okay up to a point, unless you are dealing with a toddler who is going through a possessive and/or aggressive phase. There is a cave area under the slides that is no higher than 4.5 feet tall at any place (so parents, you are on your hands and knees all the time). I could not give you the square footage, but there is more than enough room for a kid to disappear into there and not reappear for some time. There are lots of nifty things, like a wide screen TV showing a very compelling image of lava flowing. My son got into his first fistfight yesterday over who was going to view that TV screen up closest - him or another little boy going through a physically agressive stage. The other mom and I had to crawl and claw our way in to get to our sons and drag them out. FUN! The "climbing fig" tree is just plain freaky. The sign says it is for older children, but then the "you must be this tall line" is set at, like 2.5 feet. My son rushed for it when he discovered it, and when I saw that parents could do it with their children, I thought it would probably be okay for him. Just imagine this scenario, if you can, because this space defies my ability to describe well...a narrow (perhaps 4 feet square), vertical, rubber pathway that you climb up (maybe meant to represent vines?), followed by a spiral climing pole, to a slide, or to another spiral climbing pole (we did not go up that one). ALL IN THE DARK INSIDE A SMALL METAL CAGE. Can someone say "serious fire hazard" please? Add to that, when you go down the spiral slide, you are in pitch darkness, and have no idea if other children might be coming up backwards on the slide, ready for you to hit. You HAVE to go down that slide, adult or child, b/c there is no other way out, and if you somehow get separated from your child in that process (as I did while spotting B's climb; thank goodness my husband was there) you can literally be trapped in that claustrophobic metal box until the inflow of kids slows down enough to let you climb and follow. Needless to say, the staff supervision was nonexistent. As my husband put it, the staff responsibilities seemed to consist of noticing when trouble happened (as in bottlenecks and/or screaming matches) and looking on, very intently and with great disapproval. B. had a great time there, though. Gotta admit that one. We dragged him out screaming. Chalk it up to experience. I, on the other hand, felt like I was going to faint by the time I left. more

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Kid in neck brace + unsafe play area = the new Zoomazium 6/7/2006

Let me start by saying I know accidents happen. HOWEVER, we went to the new Zoomazium at the Woodland Park Zoo today and I was very shocked and disappointed by what I saw. Dare I say the mother, calmly hovered over her son who was put in a neck brace and hauled off on a stretcher in an ambulance may have felt the same way? The first thing that struck me was that it is quite a small space. Granted, we're nearing the end of school and it was a busy day, but it is the zoo. Field trips happen! I also felt that the 3 different play areas (one open area for smaller kids, one climbing area with a slide for toddlers/older kids and one climbing fig tree house for older kids) were too close together. The Children's Museum and the Science Center (and even REI) have a much better set up with each specific area being more "self-contained" and separated from the other areas. And now to the aforementioned little boy who was lying on the floor being treated by the medics. Let me preface this by saying I did not see him fall. Let me now assume I can guess what happened. In the middle climbing area, there is a faux rock that juts out and is approximately 7 ft. off the ground. (I'm bad with dimensions, so I'm guessing.) Imagine, if you will, a plank off the side of a pirate ship. There are hand rails where the rock meets the larger climbing area, but they end as the rock begins to stick out over the floor. Unfortunately, the rock (our plank in my story) isn't over a body of water. Safe? I'm thinking no. I have no idea if there is *supposed* to be some type of barrier to keep kids from climbing out there, but as the poor tot lie on the floor below, a volunteer physically stood at the entrance to the "plank" to keep kids from walking out there. If I was a betting woman, I would put $50 down that the designers of this play area don't have kids. I'm sure the zoo, and the zoo's attorney, and the zoo's insurance carrier, are taking a fresh look at the new zoomazium. Maybe they'll make some changes, maybe they'll chalk it up to those "accidents" I was referring to in my opening statement, but either way, I think we'll steer clear of this place and wait for the new carousel to get finished. more

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Woodland Park Zoo 4/23/2006

I like this place because the staff is so helpful and truly seem to enjoy the fact that patrons are happy. Plus, there are free exhibits nearby. Located on 50th - The Rose Garden is cool (when in season) and the War Memorial park is comforting. There usually are good exhibits to see here, and it's fun to watch kids ooh and aah. This place is nice to walk around and enjoy animal watching. Prices are rather high, in my opinion. more

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Zoo animals 4/20/2006

We make a family trip to Seattle once a year and we always go to the Woodland Park Zoo. It's a trip we look forward to as a family. The kids love seeing all the animals up close that they read about in books and see on tv shows. Lots of animals and exhibits to enjoy. Very well maintained and the animals are in natural habitats and very clean and healthy looking. more

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Woodland Park Zoo 4/18/2006

It had been a long time since we had taken the kids to the zoo, so yesterday, when we went; I was reminded of why Woodland Park Zoo is such a wonderful place to take the kids. Of course, we love the animals and the exhibits are well put together, but what really struck me yesterday, was the wealth of educational material and information on conservation of resources and protection of animals. It amazed me to realize how much work the zoological society does to protect our environment and to protect animals. I found that yesterday, as we walked and visited with the animals, my eight year old and I spent a lot of time learning about the animals and their natural habitats as well as their status (i.e. endangered, etc.). more

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Great zoo - we never get tired of it. 4/13/2006

The Woodland Park zoo is really special. It's divided into sections according to the areas of the world that each animal lives in. For example, there's the "tundra" with brown bears, otters, elk, wolves, etc - the "safari" is where you'll find lions, tigers and wild dogs. (Nope, not hyenas, wild dogs.) and so on. I like this zoo because it's small enough to be easily walkable for kids, yet large enough to have a wide variety of animals so you don't get bored. Often with our young kids, we don't "do" the entire zoo in a day - and for this reason, the price of an annual membership is well worth it. The animal enclosures are realistic - I like that they don't look like cages. The zoo really makes an effort to bring to life the animals habitat as it would look in the wild. One of my favorite exhibits is seasonal - the butterfly house is amazing. It does cost an extra dollar or two to get in, but it's well worth it. They give you a color guide with pictures of each species of butterfly. Often the butterflies will land on your shoulder! more

zoo 4/8/2006

This is a great zoo to spend the day at. There are many different exhibits and animals that the whole family will enjoy. The zoo is designed so that there are walkways that connect to one another, so that you are walking in a circle and do not even realize it. I like how they have some animals grouped together in a large open space; almost like their natural setting. more
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Editorial

  • In Short
    On summer nights, the Woodland Park Zoo's North Meadow is a patchwork of blankets sprinkled with families toting picnic baskets. They come out for the Zoo's long-running summer...

  • 11/2/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Northwest Seattle, Northwest, Phinney Ridge

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