Eatonville, WA: Sure it’s been cold and snowy, but take heart, we’re halfway through February, and spring is just around the corner.
Better still, so are daily openings at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Plus, the popular premier Keeper Adventure Tours will soon resume at Northwest Trek, and an all-new Photo Tour program for youths is nearly ready for its debut.
- Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s hours change on March 1. The zoo will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The new schedule will be in effect through May 3, when longer daily hours take effect. (The zoo continues its winter closures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Feb. 28.)
- Northwest Trek’s hours change on March 16: The wildlife park will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through June 30, when longer summer hours begin. (Northwest Trek continues its winter hours through March 15.)
- President’s Day openings: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park will both be open on President’s Day, Feb. 18. Zoo hours on that day are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Northwest Trek hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Visitors to Northwest Trek also have some exciting adventures awaiting.
The popular premier Keeper Adventure Tours, in which guests can get up-close views of bison, Roosevelt elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, deer and other animals, resume on March 15. The tours take guests into the 435-acre Free Roaming Area in small groups aboard a specially outfitted ‘safari-style” vehicle.
The 90-minute tours, available to ages 5 and up, cost $80 for Northwest Trek members and $90 for nonmembers. The fee include admission to the wildlife park and the regular 40-minute tram tour through the Free-Roaming Area.
The tours will be available at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from March 15 through April 28 and then daily from May 1.-Sept. 30.
Guests may register for them online at https://www.nwtrek.org/visit/tours.
Plus, by popular request, Northwest Trek has added a new slate of Youth Photo Tours for children from 10 to 15. Young shutterbugs will participate in student-paced photo activities followed by a 90-minute private tram tour of the Free-Roaming Area in which to practice their skills. A naturalist guide will help set up breathtaking animal photo ops and the windows will be removed from the tram for the best possible view.
Cost for the Youth Photo Tours is $88 for members and $93 for nonmembers. The fee includes a required parent chaperone, plus admission to Northwest Trek and a regular public tram tour.
The hours and dates for the Youth Photo Tours are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on April 7, June 8, June 30 and July 13.
Northwest Trek, accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is a 725-acre zoological park dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and their natural habitats. The wildlife park is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma and is located 35 miles southeast of Tacoma off State Highway 161.
Kris Sherman, 253-226-6718 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitney DalBalcon, 253-404-3637 or email@example.com