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9 Wildly Fun Holiday Gift Ideas
November 3, 2023

For the holidays this year, consider gifting those close to you something wildly fun to experience together at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Get up close to a moose, pet a goat (in a holiday coat!) or touch a jellyfish.


1. Enjoy Zoolights

Give a magical evening of holiday wonder with tickets to Zoolights. Your loved ones can explore seas of dazzling lights, be mesmerized by classic animal displays (like a 100-foot-wide giant Pacific octopus!) and warm up with tasty treats. Don’t forget to hunt for Sasquatch. Zoolights runs from Nov. 24-Jan. 1, with a two-night closure on Dec. 24-25.

Cost: Ranges from $7-$18 per person.

View event details

2. Groom the Groovy Goats: Zoolights Edition

Ever seen a goat in a holiday coat? It’s enough to put anyone in the holiday spirit. During this one-of-a-kind holiday-themed private animal encounter, you’ll get up-close and personal with our magnificent herd of goats. Meet Snap, Buckles, Marion, Juniper, and the rest of the herd as you spend some quality time giving them a good grooming. Pose for a photo with your favorite new friend and then reward your buddies with a nutritious and festive treat. After the program, head into the zoo to enjoy the holiday lights. It’s the perfect gift for the whole family!

Cost (up to 5 people): $125 members / $200 non-members

Cost (up to 8 people): $200 members / $300 non-members

Includes: Zoolights evening admission

View Premier Experiences details

3. Go Jammin’ with Jellies

The Jammin’ with Jellies Behind-the-Scenes experience is a fascinating tour through a backstage area that only aquarists usually get to see. Slip through the staff door in the Jelly Gallery and come face-to-bell with moon jellies, see tiny polyps swirling on a microscope screen, and get hands on by touching living moon jellies!

Cost (up to 5 people): $100 members / $200 non-members

Includes: Zoo daytime admission

View Premier Experiences details

4. Go on a Wild Zoo Tour

Grab your phone or camera and get ready to embark on a memorable, one-of-a-kind zoo tour! During this early morning experience, your group will have the zoo to yourselves as you visit selected areas before the zoo opens for the day. You’ll be accompanied by one of our knowledgeable guides as you get a chance to say good morning to some of our resident animals. This unique experience includes a special animal encounter at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater.

Cost (up to 5 people): $250 members / $350 non-members

Cost (up to 10 people): $350 members / $550 non-members

Includes: Zoo daytime admission

View Premier Experiences details

5. Take a Behind-the-scenes Tour of the Aquarium

Ever touched a moon jelly or fed an anemone? On this private tour, you’ll explore the Pacific Seas Aquarium’s backstage areas to see where aquarists work and discover how they care for marine animals. Slip into the mesmerizing world of jellies to see how they grow. See where divers get suited up and submerge into exhibits to clean and care for the animals. Be awed by the massive life support system that sustains these habitats. Peer over Baja Bay to see the graceful swimming of sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, and spotted eagle rays from above water. Try your own hand at being an aquarist by helping feed the animals in the Tidal Touch Zone!

Cost (up to 5 people): $300 members / $400 non-members

Includes: Zoo daytime admission

View Premier Experiences details

6. Adopt an Animal Species

“Adopt” a Zoo animal species to help support animal care, wildlife conservation and the zoo’s educational programs. Each adoption gift comes with a stuffed animal, adoption certificate, animal fact sheet and photo.

Cost: $65.

Learn more about Adopt A Species

7. Take a Wild Drive

Uh-oh! There’s a traffic jam… a herd of bison are in the road! During a Wild Drive, take your own personal vehicle on the paved roads through Northwest Trek’s peaceful 435-acre Free-Roaming Area past dozens of animals native to the Pacific Northwest. Your guided experience includes a live audio narration by a naturalist who will share engaging stories about the species you’re seeing and what makes them special.

Cost: $35 members/$90 non-members per vehicle (up to 8 people per vehicle)

Includes: admission to the wildlife park’s walking paths (see a cougar, grizzly bears, gray wolves and more).

Book a Wild Drive

8. Take a Keeper Adventure Tour

Want to get up close and personal with a bison? Stare down a moose? Then hop in a Jeep with one of Northwest Trek’s keepers, go off-road and experience a 90-minute animal adventure you’ll never forget.

Cost: $40/members, $90/non-members per person

Includes: admission to the wildlife park’s walking paths (see a cougar, grizzly bears, gray wolves and more).

Book a Keeper Adventure Tour

9. Become a Member

This is the gift that keeps on giving, all year long! Gift a membership to either Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Or get a combo-membership to both! Memberships save you money and get you discounts and perks all year long. Quality time for the family, all year long.

Cost: Memberships start at $90 and go up from there depending on the level you’d like to gift.

Become a Trek or Zoo Member