With the weather staying so cold I've been joking with my husband to take me somewhere tropical - he's unemployed right now so it really is a joke. We got inventive, however, and went to the Woodland Park Zoo. Upon arriving we headed straight for the Tropical Rain Forest exhibit. It has a tropical house with Ocelots, Toucans, and Green Tree Boas to name a few; and a tropical aviary with bright colored birds and warm humid tropical conditions. That did the trick. Who would have thought that right here in Seattle you could have your own mini tropical vacation.
The zoo isn't the only place to manage this luxury either. The Pacific Science Center has a tropical butterfly house with temperatures staying between 80 and 85 degrees and the always pleasant butterflies to keep you company. Further downtown there is the Seattle Aquarium where you can wander through the tropical section and take a very dry walk among the fish. Don't forget to say "hi" to Dory and Nemo while you're there. Haven't had quite enough of the tropics yet? Then head up to Capital Hill and take a stroll through the Volunteer Park Conservatory which houses a large number of tropical and other warm region plants including a beautiful selection of orchids. Sit on a little bench near the waterfall and soak it all in.
With a membership to the Zoo and Aquarium as well as the Science Center (the conservatory is free but welcomes donations) you can have this tropical vacation as often as needed for a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what it would cost to fly off to the tropics.
Check out the links to the right to learn more about the membership costs and operating hours of these wonderful places. Be sure to compare the memberships with the single entry fees. You'll quickly see what a great deal it is.