Point Defiance Zoo Nature Play Garden | TAPCO Credit Union - Tacoma & Pierce County

Nature Play Garden

Presented by TAPCO Credit Union


Crawl, Balance, Investigate & Explore

The Little Explorers Nature Play Garden opened April 1 2022 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The immersive nature play garden is designed to cultivate a sense of belonging and excitement for nature along with an appreciation for plants, pollinators and other small creatures. It’s a playing place and a learning space.


Nature Play Elements

Designed for children ages 3 to 5, the garden has nature play elements that encourage curiosity and wandering discovery, like stumps for hopping and logs to crawl through. Kids can build and experiment at a “Builder’s Deck” with natural components like sticks, wood blocks and giant bark chips. A low balance course offers a series of several low logs for kids to practice balancing motor skills and provides a sense of adventure and accomplishment for young children. Children can help build a hummingbird nest made of sticks and moss and crawl inside, encouraging role-play.

While the play elements are for the younger crowd, the garden is meant to be enjoyed by guests of all ages and abilities. The garden is filled with native and exotic plants that attract pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. Everyone can appreciate the garden’s beautiful, engaging landscape of shrubs, flowers, grasses, rocks, logs and places to watch tiny creatures at work.

Learn More


Deck of Dreams

Now Open at Point Defiance Zoo

Included with general admission & membership

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