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.