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Itinerary
After making your own way to the San Diego Zoo on the day of your choice, you can head into the zoo's visitor center to pick up a map and plan your route through this acclaimed zoo. The animals live in spacious and beautifully designed enclosures that replicate their natural habitats. The koala and giant panda exhibits are always popular, as are the orangutans and siamangs that climb around in lush forest settings.

Other highlights include the Tiger River exhibit, which features a realistic Asian rainforest environment, and the Gorilla Tropics, which recreates a lush African rainforest. Zoo keeper talks take place at regular intervals every day, with the experts introducing animals such as giraffes, elephants, wolves, lions or jaguars, and more. In the animal nursery, you might get to see some of the zoo’s newest arrivals.

Kids enjoy petting small tame critters in the Petting Paddock and four different play zones provide a safe and entertaining spot to climb and explore.

As you make your way through the zoo, note the extensive gardens — some of the plants growing there supply ingredients for the specialized diets of particular zoo residents.

Some of the activities available at San Diego Zoo include:

  • Kangaroo Bus: Hop on and off at four stops throughout the Zoo, the perfect way to cover longer distances within the zoo. Buses come around approximately every 15 minutes. (included)
  • Guided Bus Tour: Hop aboard the double-decker bus for a 35-minute tour that covers a large percentage of the sprawling zoo. It's a great way to get an overview of all that you can do, then you decide where to go from there. (included)
  • Skyfari Aerial Tram: Ride in an enclosed tram that takes you over the trees to the other end of the zoo. Enjoy spectacular views of the animals and gardens, and surrounding Balboa Park. (own expense)
  • 4-D Theater: Popular kids movies show in 4-D. Not only can you see and hear the movie, but the action surrounds you with effects that stimulate the sense of touch and smell. (own expense)
  • Balboa Park Miniature Railroad: Kids can take a three-minute ride around a portion of Balboa Park. (own expense)
With mobile tickets, simply scan your phone for direct entry into the San Diego Zoo.
Locations visited
San Diego Zoo
Children's Zoo
Overview
Meet some of the world's most exotic animals with your admission ticket to the renowned San Diego Zoo, one of California's top family-friendly attractions. More than 4,000 animals representing 800 species live in this state-of-the-art zoo, including some that are rarely seen at other zoos. Admire the animals and go in-depth during daily keeper talks and guided bus tours. With mobile tickets, simply scan your phone for direct entry into the San Diego Zoo.
Highlights
  • Admission to the San Diego Zoo
  • Marvel at the diverse collection of animals including many that are on the endangered species list
  • See some of the zoo's 4,000 animal residents, including koalas, giraffes and great apes
  • Enjoy the popular giant panda exhibits
  • Take a complimentary guided bus tour for a comprehensive introduction to the zoo
  • This is a direct entry ticket, no need to exchange for tickets at Will Call
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1 - 5 of 10 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago
Happy Place

Haven’t been to a zoo in a very long time. This zoo was great! We took the bus tour around to get a feel for the layout, but sitting on the upper left side, we didn’t get to see a lot of the animals that...More

3  Thank pycastoria
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Many habitats

Take the tram to get to know the animals and locations. Panda habitat is very popular, can have half hour wait or more. Go early and plan to spend the day if you want to watch the animals and not rush through. Can take strollers...More

6  Thank Ciocilala
Reviewed 2 August 2018 via mobile
Family Day

The San Diego Zoo is a wonderful place to spend the day learning and unwinding. My two daughters, ages 15 and 14, really enjoyed the tour—especially the 35 minute bus tour. There, they were able to snap photos of the animals while receiving an excellent...More

7  Thank mrrealnavy
Reviewed 11 July 2018
Years later, the Zoo at San Diego is still tops!

Having previously visited the San Diego Zoo years ago as young married adults, it was an outstanding treat to see the reaction of our grandchildren's visit. The Zoo admission was expensive, but worth every penny as continues to be an excellent zoo.

3  Thank 1958Rita
Reviewed 10 July 2018
If you go to San Diego this is a must stop!

The animals have plenty of room and the children are all excited and taken in by the many different species available for viewing. Some are up clos and there are many places that they educate the crowd and not just display the animals as well....More

3  Thank kathrickl
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