Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is one of the oldest zoos on the West Coast. Home to more than 1,090 individual animals and spanning 92 acres, the zoo can surprise first-time visitors with its size. After all, it’s located right in the middle of Phinney Ridge, but well-hidden in over 7,000 trees.
But be warned, the zoo can be a popular place on the weekends, especially during the sunny months. (This is the line at the west entrance.) The zoo’s four parking lots fill up fast. Keep in mind, it’s open every day of the year except Christmas. Admission ranges from $11 to $15 for adults, $8 to $10 for kids and toddlers get in free. Check Woodland Park Zoo’s website for more details.
Once you get inside, you’ll want to grab a map. It’s easy to get lost.
One of the most popular stops is the African Savanna with giraffes and zebras.
Around the corner, you’ll find the hippopotamuses. Don’t inhale.
The African lions napping in the sun.
Another popular stop in the zoo is the African elephants. If you’re lucky, you can catch them in the wading pool.
The twin orangutans, Towan and Chinta, recently turned 40 years old.
This brave little girl gets up close and personal with a python.
The Humboldt penguins are always popular.
The zoo is planning an extensive remodeling project for the penguin pond, which will allow visitors to watch the penguins swim underwater. The 17,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in June 2009.
One of the new additions is the Zoomazium, an indoor interactive play area. Kids can climb a massive tree, explore a mountain cave and cross a rope bridge. Nature instructors provide theatrical demonstrations and storytelling.
The zoo also is home to a wide variety of public programs, from the raptor training session to the elephant talk. You can find the full schedule here.