Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

What's New: Summer at the Zoo


The glory days of summer are right around the corner, and Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is gearing up to make them special for visitors of all ages. Not only is there the brand-new Assam Rhino Reserve, but Memorial Day weekend marks the reopening of the Molbak's Butterfly Garden, and Evening Zoo starts on June 21. 


Molbak's Butterfly Garden


This seasonal exhibit reopens to the public on Friday, May 25, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 30. Visitors to the garden can walk among almost 500 free-flying butterflies and 15 species that are native to North America. Kids can learn about the life cycle of butterflies and watch new butterflies emerge from chrysalises before flying free around the 3,000-square-foot garden.

Located just behind the garden is the year-round Microsoft Pollinator Patio, featuring pollinator-friendly plants. This garden is full of ideas and actions to inspire visitors to help attract pollinators like hummingbirds, beetles, bees and flies, to their own backyards.

Lastly, the nearby Silverspot Butterfly Lab offers a peek into how the zoo’s animal keepers and volunteers hatch and raise endangered Oregon Silverspot butterflies for release.

Free with zoo admission.


Evening Zoo


The Zoo will host six nights of after-hours fun throughout the summer months (June 21, June 28, July 5, July 19, July 26, August 1). Whether you want to make it a fun date night with your other half (there will be a beer and wine garden on the North Meadow for guests 21 and over) or a special night for the whole family, visitors will be able to experience the zoo until 8:30 p.m. Roam the gardens and check out ambassador animal presentations, animal-keeper talks, storytelling and discovery stations and nature-inspired activities. Zoomazium, the zoo's indoor nature play area, will also be open during the evening hours. 

On July 5, “Zoo for All” will be a special Evening Zoo for people of all abilities and backgrounds. From 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., special programs will be tailored to guests with disabilities and differing sensory needs, including a sensory-friendly program in Zoomazium.

Evening Zoo is included with regular zoo admission or is free for zoo members.


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