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Help Out for Half Off at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek

Pierce County zoos invite visitors to bring food donations and receive 50 percent off the price of regular admission

Published on: November 05, 2016

Moose calf with mom at Northwest Trek (2015) | Photo credit: Northwest Trek

Visit some wild, woolly, four-legged or underwater neighbors while helping out some hungry human neighbors — it's a community win-win.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) are offering a special discount for visitors during the month of November called Help Out for Half Off. Guests are invited to bring bring at least two non-perishable food item donations to receive half off the price of regular admission.

Northwest Trek is an open-range zoo and park dedicated to conservation, education and recreation through showcasing and researching Northwest native wildlife and their natural habitats. Many resident animals inhabit an open-range area and are viewed by visitors from a tram. 

PDZA is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest. It occupies a section of Tacoma's Point Defiance Park and defines as its mission the practice and promotion of conservation of wildlife. 

Regular admission prices to PDZA range from $7.95 to $17.95 per person, and regular admission prices to Trek range from $8.95 to $21.95 per person. Children ages 2 and under are free.

The "Help Out for Half Off" discount admission offer applies to all visitors, both adults and children.

“We are extremely pleased to once again team up with our amazing visitors to combat hunger in Pierce County,” Northwest Trek deputy director Alan Varsik said in a statement. “And we are thrilled that our Metro Parks Tacoma team of Northwest Trek and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is doubling that effort for 2016. Our community supports our sister zoos and conservation efforts all year.  It’s a pleasure that we can help families out with an admission discount while they, at the same time, aid their Pierce County neighbors with crucial food donations.”

Kids bring food donations to Northwest Trek | Photo credit: Oona Copperhill

Eagle eyes may spot this season's baby moose calves Spruce and Aspen at Northwest Trek. Admission to the park includes a ride in a heated tram that transports visitors through the 435-acre free-range area to see American bison, Roosevelt elk, bighorn sheep, moose, deer and other native animals.

Among PDZA's featured animals are polar bear, arctic fox, Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, a
months-old muskox calf, jellyfish, sharks and many more.

November's typically cooler, rainier weather might seem more suited to indoor venues, but fall is a great time to visit Northwest Trek and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Fewer crowds mean even better opportunities to get up-close views of animals in their habitats. 

Northwest Trek grizzly bear with cooler
Grizzly bear during Northwest Trek's annual Bear Camp | Photo credit: Northwest Trek

Food donations collected will be donated to the Emergency Food Network, a nonprofit organization that serves local food banks, soup kitchens and shelters. Items particularly needed include canned tuna, chicken and salmon; canned fruits and vegetables; peanut butter; pasta; low-sugar granola bars and cereal; and baby food. Please note the program cannot accept cash donations in lieu of food donations to access the discount.

If you go...

Cost and hours:  Northwest Trek is open Friday–Sunday, 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. The Help Out for Half Off discount with two-item food donation is offered at Trek on these dates: Nov. 4–6, 11–13 and 18–20.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) is open Thursday–Monday, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. The Help Out for Half Off discount with two-item food donation is offered at PDZA on these dates: Nov. 4–7, 10–14 and 17–20.

Each guest must bring a minimum two-item food donation to qualify for the discount. The Help Out for Half Off promotion may not be combined with any other discounts or coupons and applies only to regular admission prices.

Location: Northwest Trek is located at 11610 Trek Drive E., Eatonville, WA 98328. Parking is free. (It's about a 50-minute drive from Tacoma, an hour from Olympia, and an hour and a half from Seattle or Bellevue.)

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is located at 5400 N. Pearl Street, Tacoma, WA 98407. Parking is free.

Tips: Dress warmly, of course, for a fall outdoor outing. At Northwest Trek, the tram ride is heated and makes a nice break from the elements. Check out our Insider's Guide to Northwest Trek, which includes lots of helpful ideas, though note that not all activities described are available during the fall season. And don't miss Kids' Trek, Trek's new playground unveiled earlier this year.

While visiting Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, check out nearby fun spots along Tacoma's newly revitalized Ruston Way. Again, some activities described may be seasonal and not in operation during November.

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