Featured image: The new Pacific Seas Aquarium under construction at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington (photo by Cheryl Landes)
The new Pacific Seas Aquarium opened at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma on September 7, 2018, but the staff has been adding more animals and preparing for sharing interesting stories about the new residents to the public. Now they’re ready to welcome everyone to a grand community celebration the entire month of April.
The 35,000-square-foot aquarium is the largest capital project in the zoo’s 114-year history. It was funded mostly by bonds approved by Tacoma voters in 2014; the rest came through grants and donors.
Every day throughout April, different activities are featured at the aquarium.
- Dives and Feeds, Monday and Wednesday—Watch aquarists dive inside the 100,000-gallon Northwest Waters exhibit and the 280,000-gallon Baja Bay exhibit to care for the animals and clean the tanks.
- Ocean Voices, Tuesday—Learn more about issues threatening our oceans during this speaker series at several downtown Tacoma venues, including the Alma Mater, The Grand Cinema and University of Washington Tacoma.
- Storytelling Thursday—At the Baja Bay exhibit, hear stories from children’s author Ben Clanton, participate in Critter Club animal story times, and hear stories in Spanish by students from the Tacoma Science and Math Institute.
- Art Fridays—Attend presentations from aquarium public artists Kait Rhoads, Gordon Huether, and Maria Jost. Participate in hands-on art projects and learn more about the jellyfish.
Other activities around Tacoma during the celebration include:
Sea Stories Night at the Slater Museum of Natural History on Thursday, April 25, 6-7:30 p.m. The Slater Museum is in Room 295 of Thompson Hall on the University of Puget Sound Campus. 1500 North Warner Street.
Gordon Huether Art+Sci Salon at the University of Puget Sound on Thursday, April 11, 6-8 p.m.
And there’s a Metro Parks Tacoma community art project called “Turtle Wave“. When it’s finished, it will be a floating sculpture of origami turtles that will raise money for ocean conservation.
View the full community celebration schedule. April hours at the zoo are 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
The celebration is included with admission to the zoo. Buy tickets online or at the zoo’s entrance gate.
The Point Defiance Zoo is located at 5400 N Pearl Street, at the northern tip of Point Defiance Park (get directions). Parking is free.
For more information, visit the zoo’s website.