The animals were ready for their close-ups. The staff was geared up for an amazing weekend of fun with guests, and families were excited to come to Kids ‘n’ Critters at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park over President’s Day Weekend.
And then it snowed. The weather brought icy roads and pathways to the wildlife park and made it difficult for visitors to get there. So what to do but schedule an encore. Kids ‘n’ Critters 2 is scheduled again the weekend of March 10-11 at the wildlife park near Eatonville. Up to four children 12 and under will be admitted free with each paying adult the entire weekend. Plus, discounted admission is available for senior citizens, Pierce County residents and members of the military.
Northwest Trek’s ticket windows will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each of those days, with the last tram scheduled at 3. Visitors will have until 4:30 to say their goodbyes for the day to the animals and make their way out to the parking lots.
“We’re excited that we’re able to offer another weekend of Kids ‘n’ Critters this year because we know a lot of families missed out on this wonderful experience due to weather,” said Education Curator Jessica Moore. “Just like earlier this month, our staff will be eager to welcome hundreds of families with children and get them acquainted with our awesome animals and the ways in which they inspire us to protect wild species and conserve natural resources.”
All tram tours through the Free-Roaming Area will be 30 minutes long during Kids ‘n’ Critters Weekend. This allows Northwest Trek to accommodate as many people as possible – and shortens the tour time a bit for those sometimes fidgety youngsters. During this special event, the tours will be available to the first 1,500 visitors each day on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Free-Roaming Area is home to American bison, Roosevelt elk, bighorn sheep, moose, deer and other animals, all wandering at will through meadows, wetlands, and forest. Many are easily spotted from the slow-moving – and comfortably heated – trams as they roll through these animals’ pastoral homes.
In addition to the tram tour, visitors to Northwest Trek can walk forested pathways to see wolves, foxes, bobcats, Canada lynx, river otters, beavers, fishers, raccoons and other animals in natural habitats.
Also, children from tots to tweens will enjoy expending a bit of energy at Kids’ Trek, the half-acre, nature-inspired play area. Here, parents can unwind while children construct forts, play in tot-sized log cabins, scramble up and down ladder nets, balance on an “eagles’ nest” constructed of taut strands of rope, create forts from logs and participate in other activities.
The tram tour, Kids’ Trek and exploring exhibits and trails are all free with admission or membership. For more information, visit www.nwtrek.org.
For family-friendly lodging near Northwest Trek Wildlife Park click here.