The biggest attraction at Point Defiance Park  is the excellent Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (253/591-5335 or 253/591-5337, www.pdza.org , 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily Memorial Day–Labor Day, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily the rest of the year, $7.25 adults, $5.25 seniors, $4.50 ages 4–13, and free for kids under 4), home of beluga whales, polar bears, sharks, walruses, red wolves, and elephants. The real draws here are the ocean exhibits.
You'll discover a tropical reef filled with brilliantly colored fish, a huge cold-water aquarium with fish, jellyfish, eels, and other critters from the Puget Sound area, and the main event: a large tank where you can come face to face with more than 30 sharks, reaching up to 10 feet long. (Get here on Sunday and Thursday at 11 a.m. to watch the feeding frenzy.)
Fascinating displays describe the lives of sharks, stingrays, and skates, and you will even get to see shark egg cases with living embryos. The Rocky Shores exhibit includes tufted puffins, harbor seals, Pacific walruses, beluga whales, and playful sea otters. Another favorite attraction is the polar bear area, which features them swimming in a deep pool; you can watch from behind a thick glass wall.
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium has cafés and gift shops. In August and September, the Friday evening Zoosounds concerts are fun for the whole family. In December, come in the evening to see the twinkling Zoolights.