Annual event Dec. 29 and 30 is the perfect way to end the year with nature

Eatonville, Wash. – People aren’t the only ones to receive holiday gifts at this time of year. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s creative keeper staff is as busy as Santa’s elves, creating special treats for the resident animals.

And it will be a most wonderful time for all at Winter Wildland on Dec. 29 and 30.

The animals will receive their holiday gifts in the form of interesting things to eat and enrichment items that stimulate their senses and heighten their activity levels. Who wouldn’t get sweaty dragging a holiday tree around in their exhibit?

That is, if animals got sweaty. But we digress.

The real fun here is in taking a Winter Break – whether from school or work – with family and friends, spending the day in nature and seeing native Northwest animals enjoy those unique treats like evergreens decorated with tasty edibles, ice piles, an igloo, snowmen and more.

Here’s a schedule of things to see during the two days of Winter Wildland.

Animal Enrichments

  • 11:30 a.m. Get up close and watch a Trailside Encounter animal enjoy a pinecone coated with melted marshmallows – yum!
  • 1 p.m. Wetlands animals like the wolverine, beavers and river otters will get special treats prepared by their keepers. Look for the wolverine in its igloo.
  • 1:30 p.m. – See a Trailside Encounter animal up close as it enjoys a one of those marshmallowy pinecones.
  • 2 p.m. – Watch a bobcat enjoy a special enrichment.
  • 2 p.m. – Watch wolves (Thursday) or a cougar (Friday) be gifted with holiday trees decorated with ornaments made of natural materials.

Plus every entry to the wildlife park also comes with a 50-minute trip aboard a heated tram through the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area, which is home to bison, Roosevelt elk, bighorn sheep, deer and six moose, including yearling Willow and calves Aspen and Spruce.

And children from toddlers through tweens will have a ball in the new Kids’ Trek nature-inspired play area.

All activities are free with membership or paid admission to Northwest Trek.

Northwest Trek will have special Winter Break hours from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2. The wildlife park’s admission booths will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. during that period, with the last tram leaving its station each day at 3. Visitors have until 4:30 p.m. to enjoy the many animal exhibits as well as Kids’ Trek.

For more information, go to

Northwest Trek, accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is a 725-acre zoological park dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and their natural habitats. The wildlife park is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma and is located 35 miles southeast of Tacoma off State Highway 161.


ADDRESS: 11610 Trek Dr E, Eatonville, WA 98328
PHONE: (360) 832-6117

See Park Map | Kids’ Trek