Woodland Park Zoo Entrance

Woodland Park Zoo Entrance


To answer the question of : what is Woodland Park Zoo, you really need to see it.  This unique zoo is one of the best in the country.  Plenty of room for the animals with wide open spaces.  Walking through the broad paths, is a real pleasure.

The first time I visited Woodland Park Zoo was when I was just a little boy in the Bellevue grade school system.  For a few weeks, our teacher (Mrs. Bennett) sent out permission slips for the parents to sign and bring back the zoo entrance fee for all of us kids.

After several weeks all the permission slips and fees were in.  Onto the school bus we went.   All of us recall entering the zoo grounds through the Woodland Park Zoo gates and immediately realizing that this was almost like a “strange new world” of wild animals.

BoBo the gorilla was one of the main attractions of the zoo.  Sadly though, he is no longer with us.  🙁

Tiger at the zoo

Tiger at the zoo…Taking a “cat nap”

Where Is The Woodland Park Zoo Located

The zoo is easily found.  You can either grab  a local Seattle map and look up the address or just plug it into your GPS.

Zoo Address :

5500 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98103

or you can give them a call at  206-548-2500…

ask for directions, time they are open, and prices of entrance fees…or…you can just read a bit further down and find it for yourself.

By the way, while you are in the area, be sure and take a trip around the Green Lake walking path.

After your walk, why not stop over at Beth’s Cafe for one of their great breakfast, lunch or afternoon snacks.  You’ll love it…



Woodland Park Zoo Hours

Since the zoo is open pretty much every day (except Christmas, Dec. 25), you can count on just arriving at one of their many gates, and entering the zoo.

Jan. 1 through Apr. 30 the hours are 9:30 am till 4:00 pm.  However, since no one else is allowed into the grounds after 4:00 pm, don’t be alarmed that you’ll be locked into the grounds.  The gates for exiting the zoo grounds will stay open till 5:00 pm.

From May 1 through Sep. 30  the hours change a bit.  They are 9:30 am  to 6:00 pm every day.  The zoo grounds stay open till 7:00 pm.

What Is The Cost Of Entrance

At the time of this writing, the entrance fees are $19.95 for adults of 13-64 years of age.

Children from 3-12 years of age is $12.25

Then those little ones under the age of 3 are free.

Don’t forget to ask for the 65 and older discount or the disabled discount.

Another feature that the Woodland Park Zoo has is the yearly pass.  Adults are $49.00 ,  Children (3-18) are $17.00 and then the Flex Guests are $67.00.  If you enjoy the zoo, then be sure and take advantage of these great pass prices!

W.P.Z. Map

Woodland Park Zoo Map – Click For Larger Size

How About The City Pass

Don’t like waiting in lines?  Only going to be in Seattle for a short while?  Then the city pass is for you.  Plus you can cut off an additional 47% of the cost.

You not only get access to the Woodland Park Zoo, but also the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Seattle Harbor Tour, along with either  the Pacific Science Center…or…The Museum of Flight.

Give the zoo folks a call at the number above and find out all the details.

How Did The Zoo Get Started

The Seattle area is know to be a unique location in itself.  However, it is also known to be conservation oriented, especially when it come to a clean city and animal husbandry.

Guy Phinney (1852 – 1893) had a 179 acre estate that was named Woodland Park Estate.  He was a lover of wild exotic animals which he would, from time to time, have brought into this estate.

It included deer, black bear and even African ostriches.

Watch for ferocious animals !

Watch for ferocious animals !

At his death in 1893, this property sat in limbo until the city of Seattle purchased it from his widow in 1899.    From there, it became part of the municipal parks system and was now under the supervision of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

The zoo began to develop slowly.  The Lion House was added, then the Beaver Pool.

However, in 1932, there arose a huge uproar by city dwellers.  Though trying hard, they were destined  to lose the battle at stopping the 6-lane highway (Aurora Avenue) from cutting directly through the center of the park (zoo) causing a separation of the zoo from the lower part of the park on the eastern side.

Why this road system?  In the 1930’s jobs were scarce and times were hard.  City officials could keep a large workforce busy and foresee future growth of the city.

Finally, after WW II, the Woodland Park Zoo got a real financial boost.  Some three quarters of a million dollars (in 1948) and then another four million dollars (in 1968) allowed zoo officials the opportunity to have more natural habitats incorporated into the zoo.


Zebra and Friends

The Lowland Gorilla exhibit was one of the first to reflect this zoological conservation for “as close to a natural habitat” as could be replicated in a city surroundings.

Lowland Gorilla taking a break from Junior

Lowland Gorilla taking a break from Junior

Mom and Junior at play

Mom and Junior at play

Don't Forget Me Too !

Don’t Forget Me Too !

The Woodland Park Zoo Today

The Zoo today has one of the very best, if not the absolute best, reputation for excellence found throughout the entire United States zoo system.   It’s education to all visitors and it’s exhibits are second to none.

The 1,100 plus animals that currently live at the Woodland Park Zoo bring in more than one million visitors from around the world to view this amazing zoo.

Tropical Rainforest Building At The Woodland Park Zoo

Tropical Rainforest Building At The Woodland Park Zoo

How about you?  Have you been to the Woodland Park Zoo?  Leave me your comments below about your enjoyment of this greatly appreciated animal exhibit.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this site