If you’re one of our Tacoma area readers with a bright and curious preschooler, you’ll want to know about the unique programs just for young children at the Point Defiance Zoo. Here’s reader mom Julie with a review! Note: Critter Club has resumed for the fall! Dates below!
Critter Club at Pt Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
On a recent sunny day, my son and I decided to head over to Tacoma to visit the zoo. Before we went, I checked online for presentations and any special events and discovered that they have a program called Critter Club!
Have you heard of this great program for 3-4 year olds? They’re on Thursday and Fridays each month (excluding June-August) and feature different animals.
The program we went to was Investigating Invertebrates, and it included a short intro explaining what invertebrates are, hands on biofacts (a moon snail shell, sea stars, and a jellyfish), a story (A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle), and a craft. Plus, after all that, we headed over to the North Pacific Aquarium to dress up as jellyfish and then have some hands on time with the touch tanks.
This is basically the same format for all Critter Clubs: biofacts, a story, craft, activity, and a visit with a live animal! It lasts for about an hour and Teacher Erin struck a perfect balance of giving the program structure and having an easygoing attitude. This was a great way for Venture and I to experience the zoo in a different way than usual. We both learned something and had fun. We’ll be back for sure!
Know before you go:
- This is another area where being a member pays! Fees for Critter Club are $10.00 for zoo members and $13.oo for nonmembers if you register in advance. Registration at the gate is 15.00. There is no charge for grown-ups. It does NOT include zoo admission. Note from SFM: While this is not a bargain, I do think it’s a good value for what you’re getting. It is definitely more than you’d experience at a typical story time.
- Preregistration is recommended but not required. Sessions are limited to 20 children, and more “popular” animals fill up faster. Teacher Erin told me that Fridays are usually more crowded than Thursdays. On our visit there were only 5 kids!
- Parents are required to be present at all times.
- The program begins at 11:00 and lasts for approximately 1 hour
- Think this sounds awesome but you’re kids are too old? If you look under the, “Learn,” tab you’ll find programs for all ages.
- Critter Club dates for 2018 are below!
Remaining 2018 CRITTER CLUB DATES
- September 27 & 28 – Terrific Tails
- October 11 & 12 – Outstanding Octopuses
- October 25 & 26 – Beautiful Bats
- November 8 & 9 – Crafty Crab Lab
- November 29 & 30 – Kelp Forest Community
- December 13 & 14 – Big Ocean
Article and photo by Julie Collins.
Photo courtesy of our writer, and not to be used without permission. We’d love for you to share and link to this post, though! Thanks