Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Discounts

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There are certain ways to save on admission at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. We’ve written about these discounts over the years, and decided it would be helpful to have one source post that compiles these offers.

Point Defiance Zoo Admission Costs for 2019

First, let’s talk about the regular ticket pricing for the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. According to their website, here are the current online prices for a one-day admission (you’ll actually pay more than this at the gate):

  • Adult (13-64): $19
  • Senior (65+): $18
  • Youth (5-12): $15
  • Tot (3-4): $11
  • Under 3: FREE

For a family of four (2 adults and 2 youth), that would run you $68. Let’s talk about ways to get that cost lower.

Point Defiance Zoo Membership

If you plan on visiting the zoo more than once in a year, it may be worth considering a membership. There are a number of memberships for both individuals and families.

We currently have a family membership which costs $145 for 2019 and gives you admission for 2 named adults and legal dependents (ages 3 – 18). After just 3 visits, you’ve more than broken even over purchasing individual tickets!

To learn more about the various memberships and costs, visit the Point Defiance website. You can even become a member online!

Free and Discounted Zoo Days

There are also a number of days you can visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium for discounted and even FREE admission. The key is knowing when these occur and timing your visit to match.

  • Tacoma Free Resident Day. If you are a Tacoma resident, you can visit the zoo for free on a designated “Tacoma Free Resident Day.” Just make sure to bring valid ID proving your residency. For 2019, the remaining Tacoma Free Resident Days are September 25th, October 27th, and November 14th.
  • Half-Price Admission for Mother’s and Father’s Day. We shared last week that moms would get half price admission on the Saturday prior to Mother’s Day. Dads will also enjoy a similar promotion on Father’s Day (June 16, 2019).
  • Free Admission Days for Seniors & Persons with Disabilities. The zoo has special days where free admission is granted for seniors and persons living with disabilities. Also: the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is now a certified Sensory Inclusive facility. This means they are equipped with headphones, lap desks, and other tools to make experiencing the zoo accessible for everyone. Please inquire at check in about options to make your visit comfortable. For 2019, the remaining free days for seniors and persons with disabilities are May 21st, June 18th, July 16th, August 20th, September 17th, and October 15th.
  • Free Admission for Military and Veterans on Veterans Day Weekend. Free admission for members of the military, veterans and half-price admission for their families November 9 – 11.

In addition to this, we have sometimes reported other opportunities for free zoo visits.

Other Point Defiance Zoo Discounts

There are a few other opportunities that pop up for discounted admission to the zoo. Here are a few of them that I’ve come across:

  • Whole Child Pass (Tacoma Public School Students). For kids in Tacoma Public Schools, you can request a FREE Whole Child Pass. One of the benefits of the pass is that it will save you $3 per admission.
  • Local Summer Reading Programs. Last year, the Tacoma Public Library partnered with the Point Defiance Zoo to offer special prizes for kids involved in the summer reading program. I do not know what the prizes ended up being (free admission? reduced admission?), but this is a route worth paying attention to.
  • Zoolights Discounted Tickets. The popular Zoolights holiday lights display at the zoo also has some options for discounted admission. There are certain military nights with discounts, you can purchase at local Fred Meyer stores for discounts, and there’s usually a scout night, too. See our post on discounted holiday light displays for more.

This list is not all-inclusive. It’s possible there are additional discounts and free opportunities that we’ve not covered! If you’re aware of additional discounts, please let us know in the comments below!

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