Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Animal Lovers - Visit Rainier
Bison during Keeper Adventure Tour at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Animal Lovers


Go beyond the typical Mother’s Day gifts and give mom a memorable experience she can enjoy with the whole family this year.

Swim with sharks, get up close to a moose, or touch a jellyfish! She won’t soon forget these experiences at sister zoos Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium!

1.      Swim with Sharks

Experience the thrill of getting up close to more than a dozen massive sharks underwater while learning about their biology and how we can protect them in the wild. Up to 4 people from the same household can dive together at the same time. Sign up for an Eye-to-Eye Shark Dive and see who’s the bravest: you or mom? Prove it!

2.      Meet a Moose
“Mom Meets a Moose on Mother’s Day,” sounds like the perfect title for a children’s book or the start of a great story! Jump aboard a Jeep with a keeper at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and go off-road and up close to animals like moose, mountain goats, bison, Roosevelt elk, and more! Up to 6 people from the same household can take a Keeper Adventure Tour together. 

3.      Go on a Wild Drive
Uh-oh! There’s a traffic jam… a herd of bison are in the road! This Wild Drive is bound to be much more exciting than rush hour on I-5. Take your own personal vehicle on the paved roads through Northwest Trek’s peaceful 435-acre Free-Roaming Area past dozens of animals native to the Pacific Northwest. Your guided experience includes a live audio narration by a naturalist who will share engaging stories about the species you’re seeing and what makes them special. Up to 8 people per vehicle allowed.

4.      Hand-feed Sea Stars
Go behind-the-scenes for a 75-minute tour of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s state-of-the-art Pacific Seas Aquarium. Touch jellyfish, feed sea stars and anemones, learn how green sea turtles and hammerhead sharks are fed and cared for, and say hi to real aquarists as they pass by doing their work. This popular experience is coming back in June- so get your tickets now! Want a shorter tour? Book Jammin’ with Jellies instead, for a 30-minute tour focused all on moon jellyfish! Up to 5 people per tour.

5.      Groom a Goat
Did someone say spa day?! Errr.. kind of! Mom is getting a different kind of spa day this year… she’s giving one to the goats! Brush them, pat them, scratch their ears and watch them soak up the attention! Learn about their personalities and what they like to eat and do. Pose for a photo with your favorite goat, then hand-feed them pellets. Goats love the social interaction, just like humans, so everyone’s day gets a little brighter! Up to 5 people. 

6.      Have the Zoo All to Yourself
Get to the Zoo before it opens to the public for a Wild Zoo Tour and experience animals in the early morning with a knowledgeable guide, without the crowds. If you’re lucky, you’ll even hear the siamangs or gibbons sing their morning songs to each other! This unique experience culminates with a one-on-one animal encounter at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater. Talk about making mom feel special! Up to 5 people.

7.      The Perfect Angle
Does mom love photography? Does she always want the perfect angle for the perfect shot? Gift her a Photo Tour at Northwest Trek. A naturalist guide will take her on a tram and look for views of moose, caribou, elk and more that will take her breath away!

8.      Trek to the Wild Side
Bid on a collection of unique items and experiences, like a margarita basket, a grown-up game night basket, Adirondack chairs, tickets to the movies or a night away at a hotel in the first annual Trek to the Wild Side Online Auction hosted by the Northwest Trek Foundation. Not only will you find something great for mom, you’ll be helping out an awesome program too! Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Online Wildlife Academy, a virtual nature science education program focused on connecting students ages K-8 with native Northwest wildlife.

9.      A Day at the Zoo or Northwest Trek
Sure, swimming with sharks or getting up close to mountain goats sounds fun, but so is a leisurely stroll around the Zoo! At Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, see Sumatran tigers, red wolves, a polar bear, an Asian elephant, lar gibbons, sea otters, hammerhead sharks and so much more! At Northwest Trek, walk past bobcats, lynx, a cougar, gray wolves, grizzly bears and eagles.

10.   Become a Member

Gift your mom a membership to either Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek. Or, get a combo-membership to both! Memberships save you money and get you discounts and perks all year long. Like that shark dive we mentioned before? Save $45 when you’re a member! Or the Wild Drive? You save $20! Quality time for the family, all year long. ​