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Seattle's kid-friendly zoo

Heather Larson raised two children in the Seattle area, and is now delighting in showing her grandson the sites the city has to offer. She writes from her home office in Tacoma, Washington.

Seattle's kid-friendly zoo

Take a trip to Seattle's Children's zoo and see all it has to offer!

Seattle's kid-friendly zoo

Hands-on for kids

A must-see for kids is the Family Farm, a redesigned version of what used to be the Children's Zoo. Now children have a chance to touch sheep, dwarf goats, miniature donkeys, miniature cattle and other domestic animals.

Seattle's kid-friendly zoo

The nearby Habitat Discovery Loop boasts tunnels, mounds and burrows for kids to play in and around, just like the ones mountain beavers make and use. This trail winds through the Temperate Forest, where kids can climb on a giant web, explore a hollow tree trunk and explore inside turtle shells.

Special summer events

Kids 12 and under are admitted free to festival-style concerts which are held outdoors in the North Meadow section of the zoo. ZooTunes, a family-friendly summer concert series, is a major fundraiser for the zoo to support animal care, zoo maintenance and upkeep, education programs for children and adults, and conservation programs that are helping to preserve wildlife species in our state and all over the world. Concert-goers may bring blankets, low-backed chairs and picnic baskets. Food and beverages are available on the grounds. For more information, call the ZooTunes hotline at 206.548.2500, option #7.

The zoo's newest educational program for preschoolers, called KinderZoo, includes zoo walks, crafts, games and stories surrounding the primates at the zoo or the African animals.

Children can also experience Summer on the Farm as they plant seeds, churn butter and visit the zoo's farm animals. Classes are held on penguins, hippos, bears, gorillas, bats, snakes, cats, butterflies, otters, Komodo dragons and more. If it has to do with animals, you can find out about it at Woodland Park Zoo.

Let's learn

Educational programs abound at this zoo. The Bug Club meets the fourth Sunday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to study cool facts about bugs. Bug Club members publish a newsletter twice a year, and correspond with members of other Bug Clubs.

The scoop

Woodland Park Zoo is located at 5500 Phinney Avenue North, and the telephone number for general information is 206.548.2500.

The zoo encompasses 90 acres, so wear walking shoes and bring the strollers. To plan your zoo visit, log on to www.zoo.org!

Mysteries have been written about spending the night in a zoo, but at Woodland Park Zoo the opportunity actually exists. Children and adults become nocturnal creatures and discover how animals survive when the sun goes down. Special presentations by zoo staff occur throughout the evening. More information about this year-round program can be obtained at www.zoo.org/page.aspx?pid=644.

Zoo details

After paying a fee to park plus the admissions, concessions can be pricey. Selections include hot dogs, chili, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pizza, nachos, ice cream and candy. Bringing your own food is allowed and can save you money.

To plan your zoo visit, log on to www.zoo.org to preview popular exhibits and see what's new at the zoo!

More family fun in Seattle

Be a tourist in your hometown: Visit the Space Needle

Check out the Seattle Children's Museum

CityGuide: Family Activities in Seattle, Washington

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