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7 Seattle-Area Spots for Kids Who Love Dinosaurs

Puget Sound–area destinations that budding paleontologists will dig

Published on: July 07, 2023

7 Seattle-Area Spots for Kids Who Love Dinosaurs

courtesy Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Where to see living dinosaurs

Wait, aren’t dinosaurs extinct? Yes, but a few creatures survived that mass extinction 65 million years ago. Birds are the only living dinosaur descendants — think about that the next time you’re eating a drumstick! Other creatures living today that are related to dinosaurs include alligators and crocodiles, lizards, snakes and turtles.

Monroe Reptile Zoo

Dinosaurs are in the reptile group, and this zoo is home to more than 85 species of reptiles, including alligators, lizards and snakes. The Reptile Zoo was founded in 1996 by a high school biology teacher and reptile evangelist. You can pet a tortoise here and see critters such as an albino alligator and a turtle with two heads.

Find it: 22715 State Route 2, Monroe
Cost: $9.95 adults, $7.95 for youths ages 3–17, ages 2 and younger free

Woodland Park Zoo

In winter, our favorite spot at the zoo is the large aviary in the tropical rainforest exhibit. It’s indoors and toasty warm, but you do have to watch out for birds pooping overhead. If you’re searching for a more prehistoric-looking creature, check out the Komodo dragons, which also live in an indoor exhibit. They are the world’s largest lizards and distantly related to dinosaurs.

Find it: 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle
Cost: $29 adults, $18 for ages 3–12, ages 2 and younger free 

blue-tongued skink at PDZA
Courtesy Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Sharks have been swimming since dinosaurs roamed the earth, and you can spy the sharks up close at the fantastic Pacific Seas Aquarium exhibit.

If you’re at least 8 years old, you can have a special tour and help feed the animals in the Tidal Touch Zone. Plus, PDZA has some nifty little reptiles and amphibians, including a green iguana, a black and white tegu, some frogs and a blue-tongued skink, among others.

Find it: 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma
Cost: $25 teens and adults, $18 for kids ages 3–12, ages 2 and younger free. Buy your tickets ahead of time online and save a few bucks per ticket. 

Editor's note: This article was originally published several years ago and most recently for 2023.

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