Seattle Woodland Park Zoo Review + Recap – Lily’s Irrelevant Vacation Slides


Every good city needs a good zoo and the Woodland Park zoo is our little slice of nature. Everyone’s miles may vary but it took us about…6 hours to rush and we skipped a few exhibits. I think at the speed we were going, it would take a good 7 to 9 hours. including lunch to enjoy it.

Another friend said she was able to do it in 2 hours but I couldn’t believe that. It’s not possible. I don’t think they saw or uncovered much except just walked around thinking it was done.

The place is HUGE, lots of random paths, and full of things to see after things to see.

I went the second time and found more things I hadn’t seen like the bug exhibit, the red pandas, and a giant playground we totally missed the first time!

It would take over an hour just to walk around the parameter and nothing else. TAKE A MAP and follow the map!

We didn’t interact with the staff much but everyone was nice, smiling, and ready to help if we had questions or wanted our photos taken.

As frugal people, we did not partake in any face painting, cotton candy eating, or carousel riding, caricature drawing. I’m sure they’re tons of fun for kids but as adults, it’s less attractive so we skipped all that.

Admission prices are very fair, adults are $20.95 and kid fare is $13 without discounts.

The Woodland Park zoo membership is a great deal. It can pay for itself after just 2 visits or less, I’m glad they didn’t overprice the memberships. If you are a Seattle resident, live or play here often, I would recommend a membership. My hubby and I are getting a membership with guest passes when more of our friends come to town.

Parking was ample, regular parking is $6. I recommend it’s better to take the E bus line and walking a few blocks. We also took an Uber there the second time since it was free and had no issues with the driver not being able to locate us or get to us.

My chicky order with waffles and fries for $16, just OK!

Food was…it was zoo food. There was nothing that really drove home and the prices were overpriced (or average for zoo cafeteria food). The concession stands are expensive and offered very little places to sit and rest. The food was probably the biggest con about the zoo I had. But they do have Dippin’ Dots and served ice cream in the Rain Forest Pavilion.

Citrus pulled pork, beans, rice, slaw with maduros. – $11

Not zoo food! It’s Bongos cafe, or as Cynthia said, it’s gentrified “white people version of islander food” but it was still delicious. They use to cook the beans in lard I recall…but I guess they went healthy on that so it’s not as addictive.

Trinidad steak, rare – $16.

I would recommend packing a picnic or going out of the zoo to a few eateries outside of the zoo like Bongos Cafe or Zeek’s Pizza. The food is much, much, much better for the same price inside the zoo.

The gift shop was OK. I wish they had more practical merchandise but I don’t think I’m their target audience so it’s OK. I had more fun in the gift shop of the San Francisco zoo, where I wanted to buy at least 2-3 things!

Cute stuffed toys.

My husband rushed me through the store because he didn’t want me to buy anymore stuffed animals than the bunch we already have on our bed headboard.

The cutest thing at the zoo store. If you look closely you will notice they added details like pink blush to the cheeks, awww. 😊😊

I had a lot of fun on both the days I was here. They change things up sometimes, the second time I was there, they had a series of campers to go in. It was like 4 really retro vintage campers and RVs staged for display…or maybe people living in them loaned it to the zoo. It smelled authentic, it smelled like someone was living in them 😛 I thought it was a cool touch, I’ve always wanted a mini camper.


Related: Is It Worth it? – Seattle CityPass Review



Hippo Lot entrance on the south side.

Part of the zoo map.

Like the San Francisco Zoo, Woodland Park has free roaming peacocks. Someone threw this birdy some delicious crackers.

Little African Savana Exhibit

This is a small exhibit of 5-6 real African village structures. I absolutely loved it. The details are remarkable. This was an excellent, excellent start to the trip if you are going in from the Hippo Lot.

The teacher’s house (I guess if you were a primary school teacher in Africa, this would be your house.)

Pee-a-boo! The African school teacher house was cool. Everything is “furnished” as you would see in a real house. There’s a little wok, bed, wash basins…even little details like bugs and mosquitos are included. Nicely done whoever did this and thought of the concept!

This large open wooden hut structure was cool.

Banda hut – it’s basically a small African concert hall kind of deal.

Inside the school, there were seats, blackboards…everything you would find in a real African school except one wall had direct enclosure access to everything on the savanna including zebras and giraffes.

Gotta sneak in some education! Depending on the time of day there are also representatives with a tub of stuff you can touch like boar hide, elephant horn, zebra fur etc.

Soooo…the Hippo on the left POOPED in the water…a cloud of green emerged right next to the face of the Hippo on the right. It kind of reminds me of how you’re in bed with hubby and he lets one rip under the covers and you wanna strangle him.


Birds of Prey Exhibit

Go to the Birds of Prey presentation. It’s a free show that plays every half an hour or so. It’s so very cute and well done! Plus one lucky person gets a chance to go up and have a real falcon land on them.

This is us taking a photo with Annabelle, the pig that wanted to be a bird very badly. She’s adorable, I loved that show.

Cynthia (on the left) was that lucky person. She was invited by a very handsome zoo curator (on the right) to go up and hold a falcon. Lucky!

I would have a video to show you but a recording incident occurred (no fault of mine) and we had to kill the cameraman for completely missing this amazing once in a lifetime chance to see my friend hold up a falcon next to a hot zoo dude.

By the way, I went the second time and….went backstage and uhh…there’s at least 3 “Annabelles” hahahha. They trained 3 different pigs for each part of the performance, that’s how they did it! Genius! Had me fooled.

She even bought out her resume 🙂 – that is one well-trained hog.


This isn’t the giraffe’s real enclosure! They were here with their babies to receive vaccinations and we caught them at a good time. We were able to get pretty scary close to them. The tallest one started walking towards us and…yeah, they’re really tall.

Warning: Rated R below!!





Our Ancestors

baby gorilla showing butt

LOL! ^0^

This is the baby gorilla doing backflips and playing with her crowd of admirers. Oh boy, was this the happiest little baby gorilla ever. A little girl started imitating the baby gorilla’s every move, playing hide and seek with each other behind the glass. They both got a huge kick out of it and kept playing and playing. It was soooooo adorable. It’s now abundantly easy to see why we are their closest relatives, I mean…besides the fur, that human child could basically be a baby gorilla herself with the way they were both going at it.


What a beauty.

This orangutan (Chinta’s her name I think?) wanted to sleep. Her enclosure was super big and stunning. A lot of the animals had their own waterfall and big play area, including Chinta. We didn’t see another orangutan though. Since they’re social creatures, I think she was a bit lonely.

(Woop, I looked it up, Chinta’s brother Towan passed away in 2016. Awww so she is lonely, I knew it, you can tell because they’re so expressive.)

These lemurs are usually leaping around but this guy sat RIGHT there and posed for us. Oh, how legendary is that photo?! Every single enclosure at the zoo was absolutely stunning. Bravo, honestly.

Sage lemur.

Some Big Kitties & Misc.

We doubled back to see these snow leopards. I think they were out the first time but they conceal so well to their enclosure that we may have just missed them.

This was the wallaby I saw sniffing his own crotch. He plopped down next to a tree and went to town. Why….am I seeing so many animals just focused on their butt this week?

“I have to share my habitat with an ostrich…”

The Australian section was probably the smallest out of all of the exhibits.

It was just a room with a mural of dry grass and skies. I’m thinking it’s more fun underneath the mounds because they were lively and happy.

This guy dropped his phone between the glass and grass. It’s basically like when I drop my phone between my bed and the wall. The struggle is real.

Female lioness, she was right next to the male lion but I couldn’t get a good shot with people in the way.

Leopard! I don’t know if this guy was anxious or bored but he kept going around and around and around in the same circle over and over. Every 30 seconds he would emerge and circle around again.

Petting Zoo

We RUSHED big time because this zoo was huge and one could spend all day there and still have things to see. I was only able to document some of the animals because most of the petting zoo areas were already closed when we got to it.

My friend petting the goat who didn’t let me pet him but let Cynthia pet.

An invention of modern breeding…what the heck is it??

Miniature Donkey! I have no idea what uses they serve but LOOK AT THEIR WEE WOBBLY LEGS!

My burgers waiting for the burner.

This working pig was done for the day. DONE.

The Northern Trail

There were 3 bears in total but this was such a good shot. Once again, the animal enclosure is so beautiful and big!

We missed the elk and caribous completely both times 🙁

The wolves were hard to see so I’m thankful for this shot! What a beauty! We heard them and was about to give up when one beautiful white timber wolf came into viewing. I love wolves!! They get a bad rap when they don’t deserve it. Screw you Hollywood!

This was a very small butterfly exhibit which consists of a trail you can walk through in about 30 seconds to 1 minute. But the butterflies are not afraid of humans so you get into good range with them.

She’s giving me the fingerrrr!

Random pond of harmless ducks.

The flamingos smelled so bad (they always smell bad!) I didn’t feel like staying, holding my breath, and taking shots.

The most ticked off looking bird in the bird exhibit 🙂

Amazon Rainforest Exhibit

There was a tropical rain forest section filled with snakes. I was against going in because…snakes…but in my friends went. It was pretty cool. In a scary “what if it breaks through the glass” irrational way from a person who is afraid of snakes. >_< Once again, the enclosures were nicely done.

I skipped a lot of this…there was another room full of tropical birds but it is really hot and humid in the rain forest exhibit.

These poisonous (super poisonous) frogs came in the color of bright skittles candy. They were really cool looking, in an edible candy way. Nature’s pretty awesome when it’s behind non-porous, 7-inch plex-i-glass with all the security precautions done for you.

Weird Ones

“How you doin’ baaaaby…( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)”

This is a Tapir, they’re weird looking. We rushed through this section too. It’s a 2-day trip kind of a zoo!

We came during penguin feeding time. The curator knew all of those penguin’s names and the penguins knew their own names. He would say to a penguin, “Ray, did you get any fish yet?” and out of the crowd of penguins, Ray would perk up and waddle over, while the rest of the group tries to steal Ray’s fish. Then there was the obligatory seagull and pelican waiting right across the water in case a penguin dropped a fish, they would swoop down and steal it hahaha.

We saw a bunch of red pandas skipping around and chasing in their enclosure. They’re super agile on those tree branches for such a fluffy chunky body.

I missed probably more than half the park so…lotsa of fun, go go go!


For me, the Woodland Park Zoo is a 4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars, depending on how hungry I am 🙂

20 thoughts on “Seattle Woodland Park Zoo Review + Recap – Lily’s Irrelevant Vacation Slides”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.