April is all about aquatic astonishment at Pacific Seas Aquarium

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 2:00 PM by Matt Wakefield

Juvenile Hammerhead Sharks. More than just a great band name, they have also been one of the main draws to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's new Pacific Seas Aquarium in its first six months in operation.

To celebrate that six-month anniversary, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is going all-out with a month-long series of events and activities that include a speaker series with renowned storytellers, special feeding sessions with scuba-diving aquarists (fun fact: zoo is to zookeeper as aquarium is to aquarist), hands-on art-making activities and artist lectures. In short, if you've been waiting for the right time to visit the Pacific Seas Aquarium, just find the right event for you in April and make that trip.

The events include:

Dives and Feeds on Mondays and Wednesdays. Guests can watch aquarists dive inside the 100,000-gallon Northwest Waters habitat and the 280,000-gallon Baja Bay, as they care for animals and do some cleaning.

  • April 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 - Dives and Feeds

Ocean Voices speaker series on Tuesdays. Hear local and global scientists and ocean experts speak about crucial issues confronting our ocean. Ocean Voices venues, all in Downtown Tacoma, include Alma Mater, The Grand Cinema and University of Washington Tacoma.

  • April 2, 2019 - Ocean Voices: Lightning Talks
  • April 9, 2019 - Ocean Voices: Our Ocean and You
  • April 16, 2019 - Ocean Voices: Sharkwater Extinction
  • April 23, 2019 - Ocean Voices: Uncovering Ocean Mysteries

Storytelling Thursdays. Zoo guests can gather at the Baja Bay habitat to hear Tacoma children’s author Ben Clanton, participate in two Critter Club animal story times, or enjoy a Spanish language story time hosted by students from Tacoma Public Schools’ Science and Math Institute. 

  • April 11 - Storytelling: Ben Clanton
  • April 18 - Critter Club: Under the Sea
  • April 25 - SAMi Spanish Storytime

Art Fridays.  Meet and hear from three renowned artists who created commissioned pieces for the Pacific Seas Aquarium. Kait Rhoads created the huge, hanging “Salish Nettles” out of blown glass; Gordon Huether brought “Shimmer” and “Shoal” to life with lights simulating a sun-dappled ocean and a wave of metal schooling fish suspended from the ceiling; Maria Jost painted “Where the Land Meets the Sea,” a glorious watercolor behind the hands-on Tidal Touch Zone. There also will be opportunities to participate in hands-on art projects and listen to talks about the aquarium’s jellyfish, and more.

  • April 5, 2019 - Art Friday: Kait Rhodes
  • April 12, 2019 - Art Friday: Gordon Huether

Weekend Wonders. The exciting lineup includes Vashon Island musical sculpture-performance duo Lelavision, Portland filmmakers Sisbro Studios, behind-the-scenes tours and the City Nature Challenge.

  • April 6 - Weekend Wonders: Lelavision
  • April 13-14 - Weekend Wonders: Sisbro
  • April 20 - Weekend Wonders: Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Ocean-themed community events. There will be a Sea Stories night at the Slater Museum and a Gordon Huether Art+Sci Salon at the University of Puget Sound.

  • April 25 - Storytelling: Night at the Museum

“Turtle Wave.” Zoo guests and community members won’t want to miss the opportunity to participate in a city-wide Metro Parks Tacoma community art project. “Turtle Wave” will become a floating sculpture of colorful paper turtles that raises money for ocean conservation.

  • April 26-28 - Art Weekend: Turtlevision

For the full lineup of events, visit PDZA.org.


Author: Matt Wakefield

Matt is Travel Tacoma - Mt. Rainier's chief marketing and data officer. He's a Pacific Northwest native and outdoor enthusiast. He's also a minimalist, so we'll stop here.