Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo
by Jonathan Smallwood
I should start by saying that I support our local events and attractions as much as the next parent; however, if you are looking for a little family adventure, think of our friends down south and try out the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo.
A mere 2 hours from the PeachArch boarder will put you in the middle of a completely different world. Situated in a quiet residential area, about 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, is this world of wonder. With over 1,100 animals representing 300 different species, I guarantee you’ll see something you’ve never seen before. Everything from a wide range of butterflies, to a colony of penguins to the large African elephant with everything in between. This Zoo is very well laid out with excellent viewing opportunities of each animal.
For those of you that have ventured out to Aldergrove to visit the Greater Vancouver Zoo, you will remember the vast open viewing areas provided for most of the animals. The Seattle Woodland Zoo, while still providing excellent viewing platforms, has a layout designed with the beauty of nature in mind. It is near impossible to prevent your imagination from wandering as you walk through these “Hansel and Gretel” inspired paths; only to find a family of Orangutans, not a Witch, at the end.
It is very apparent that the care and wellbeing of the animals is the forefront for the Zoo’s owners and workers. Coming in at a close 2nd, is ensuring every child leaves with a smile on their face and an abundance of knowledge in their mind and heart. Personally, I opted to rent the “little blue wagons” and pull my daughter most of the way. This allowed her to soak in the full experience of the Zoo without drawing to an early end due to exhaustion from a long day of walking. The half way point provides a little carnival fever, as kids get to climb on their favorite animal and ride a well designed carousel. Just when you think the journey has come to an end, the Zoo provides a well placed and entertaining petting park that allows your child to get up close with the animals.
The perfect end to a perfect day….watching your child “bear-hug” a pack of baby goats.
Next time you’re looking for something different for your family to experience, give the Woodland Zoo (just outside of Seattle) some consideration. I promise it won’t disappoint.
Jonathan is a single dad living in Panorama Ridge with his beautiful 3ry old daughter – Hannah. Always looking for something different to experience and avoid the repetitive – yet important – bike rides and local parks. Future possible posts may include Surrey’s Bear Creek Park, the excitement of Go-Bananas and Vancouver’s best outdoor pools.
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