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Paws & Claws: The Best Kid-Friendly Animal Adventures Near Seattle

Little toddler girl about to pet an alpaca at the Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah, Washington.

If you’re seeking a memorable family outing near Seattle, there’s a fantastic array of places where kids can see, pet, and even feed a variety of animals. From well-known zoos to charming farms, here’s your guide to the ultimate animal adventure. Starting with locations closest to Seattle, the list gradually features destinations that are a bit further away. Here are 16 family-friendly animal spots for your little animal lovers to try.

Table of Contents

Woodland Park Zoo | Seattle

Explore award-winning exhibits at Woodland Park Zoo featuring over 800 animals and 250 species, including some of the world’s most critically endangered. Spanning 92 acres, the zoo is divided into bioclimatic zones that mimic natural habitats from tropical rainforests to the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle Aquarium | Seattle

Dive into the wonders of marine life at the Seattle Aquarium. Get hands-on with the touch pool, marvel at jellyfish, and meet adorable otters, seals, and sea lions. This destination offers both educational and interactive experiences, perfect for young marine enthusiasts.

Kelsey Creek Farm | Bellevue

Located in Bellevue, Kelsey Creek Farm offers a charming farm experience with opportunities to meet ponies, pigs, sheep, goats, and more. The farm also hosts seasonal events and educational programs, making it a favorite spot for families.

Cougar Mountain Zoo | Issaquah

This smaller zoo is ideal for little legs to explore. Meet unique animals like cougars, Bengal tigers, grey wolves, and more. The intimate setting makes it easy for kids to enjoy close encounters with the resident wildlife. You can even feed the animals here—purchase a cup of food at the front gate for an unforgettable experience. And don’t forget to watch the bird show; it was one of our kids’ highlights!

Sammamish Animal Sanctuary | Renton

This non-profit sanctuary provides forever homes for abused, neglected, unwanted, and homeless barnyard animals. Kids can interact with alpacas, goats, mini horses, cows, and more. Animal interactions depend on the animals’ comfort, ensuring a respectful and enjoyable visit.

Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park | Redmond

This unique park in Redmond features a children’s animal farm, horse arena, picnic shelters, and trails. Kids can enjoy orienteering, tire swings, and a nature trail while learning about farm animals.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium | Tacoma

The only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium offers a diverse range of animal species in various habitats. Nestled in Point Defiance Park, it provides stunning views of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound. Enjoy award-winning live animal shows and close encounters with animals and keepers. There’s always something new to see and do at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, making each visit a unique and exciting experience for the whole family.

Olympic Game Farm (Drive Tours) | Sequim

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Sequim, Olympic Game farm offers an immersive driving experience with a variety of animals that you can observe up close, right from the comfort of your vehicle. Explore the diverse wildlife at the Olympic Game Farm, home to animals like llamas, yaks, zebras, and bears. You can even feed the animals here—purchase bread as you enter the farm for a truly interactive experience.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park (Drive Tours) | Eatonville

Experience the Northwest’s natural beauty at Northwest Trek. Take a Wild Drive tour to see caribou, moose, and bison from your car, or walk the park’s paths to meet bears, wolves, and more. Kids will love the nature-inspired play area designed for climbing, jumping, sliding, and splashing.

Tiny Hearts Homestead | Lake Taps

Experience a personal touch at Tiny Hearts Homestead, an animal sanctuary in the Lake Tapps area. Interact with goats, mini horses, mini donkeys, pigs, alpacas, and chickens. Feeding and petting are encouraged, making it a delightful experience for animal lovers.

The Reptile Zoo | Monroe

Discover exotic reptiles from around the world, including an albino alligator and a two-headed turtle. The tortoise petting area and opportunities to touch a snake make it a fascinating visit for reptile enthusiasts.

Fall City Wallaby Ranch | Fall City

Meet wallabies and kangaroos at this licensed breeder’s ranch. By appointment only, educational tours offer a taste of Australia in the Pacific Northwest, providing a unique and interactive experience.

Cascade Rose Alpaca Farm | Carnation

Just 45 minutes outside Seattle, this family farm in Carnation is home to 60 alpacas, making it the Seattle area’s largest alpaca farm. Visitors can meet the herd, learn about these gentle creatures, and shop for alpaca products.

Krystal Acres Farm | Friday Harbor

Located in Friday Harbor, this farm offers a chance to feed alpacas and shop for high-quality alpaca knitwear and gifts. Enjoy the pastoral island views dotted with alpacas grazing. Take a peaceful stroll through the alleys between the pastures to learn about these gentle animals and how they are the most eco-friendly farm animals in the world.

Amaro Farm | San Juan Island

Experience a historic family farm on San Juan Island. Take a sheep tour, feed and pet the sheep, and connect with the island’s history and natural beauty.

Outback Kangaroo Farm | Arlington

This 40-minute tour features a variety of animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, llamas, lemurs, and more. It’s a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

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