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Help Out for Half Off: Visit Animals and Feed the Hungry

Bring food donations and get half off admission at Pierce County zoos

Nancy Chaney

Published on: November 01, 2017

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 taking place Nov. 3–19, 2017.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) are offering a special discount for visitors this month called Help Out for Half OffGuests who visit Nov. 3–19, 2017 are invited to bring at least two non-perishable food item donations per person to receive half off the price of regular admission.

Food donations collected will go to the Emergency Food Network, a nonprofit organization that serves local food banks, soup kitchens and shelters. Items particularly needed this year include canned tuna, chicken and salmon; peanut butter; canned stews; canned or dried fruits and vegetables; baby food and infant formula. Please note the program cannot accept cash donations in lieu of food donations to access the discount. Last year this promotion gathered close to 4000 pounds of food to help feed local families.

Regular admission prices to PDZA range from $7.95 to $17.95 per person, and regular admission prices to Northwest Trek range from $9.25 to $22.25 per person. Children ages 2 and under are free at both zoos. Savings for a family of four could top $35 while food donations help out hungry neighbors.

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.

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

Admission to Northwest Trek 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, plus access to its terrific Kids' Trek playground.

Among PDZA's featured animals are polar bear, arctic fox, Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, muskox, 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. 

If you go...

Cost and hours: 

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park 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. 3–5, 10–12 and 17–19.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium 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. 3–6, 9–13 and 16–19.

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.


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.

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