Our San Diego Zoo Visit!

A few weeks ago we headed to San Diego for a quick family vacation. It was quite an adventure, we did a couple of crazy things including crashing at my best friend’s and after our visit she is no longer speaking to me.

Just Kidding Smile

The boys did quite well and we didn’t drive her too crazy. We also gambled on a dinner out after a long day at LEGOLAND without NAPS. (I am shaking just thinking about that scenario). Smile with tongue out

The safest choice would have been to pick up take out and head back to the apartment but we were wild and crazy and threw caution to the wind. We took two over tired boys out to eat and survived.

Woo Hoo! Score one for crazy parents everywhere!

I  will be blogging about our LEGOLAND visit another time, but today I wanted to share a little from our San Diego Zoo visit.

This was our boys’ first trip to the San Diego Zoo. Peter and I have been there several times but it had been a few years since our last visit. We were excited to show Quinn and Elliot all the fun stuff the San Diego Zoo offers!

And the fun started before we even entered the zoo! Check out the huge elephant that greets you at the entrance!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 001

2011-11-18 November2011SD 009


Our visit was on an overcast Friday morning and we lucked out with no crowds! Our first stop was the Reptile House! We went around “Ooohing and Ahhhing” over each of the slithering creatures. The boys could have stayed there even longer, checking out the creatures in each window over and over again!

We then took the Skyfari over to the back side of the zoo. This leads me to the first important thing I wanted to share. All 1 day tickets Include unlimited use of Guided Bus Tour, Express Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram.  Like I said it had been a few years since our last visit and it used to be that you paid extra for the bus tours and Skyfari. I LOVE that unlimited rides are now included in your admission ticket!

Quinn thought the Skyfari was really cool, but riding with Elliot was a bit nerve racking, he was a wiggly worm and we were quite high above the zoo!

After hopping off the Skyfari tram, we headed to the Polar Bear exhibit. Besides seeing the super cute polar bears there are quite a few fun things for the kids to do including some fun photo opportunities! Smile

Here my three guys seeing how they measure up to real life sized polar bears!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 027

And the ability to do some crawling and climbing, a big hit with our rambunctious kiddos!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 035

We spent quite a bit of time exploring the polar bear snow den.

2011-11-18 10.20.42

And how do you top a snow den?

With a helicopter of course!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 051

And don’t miss the reindeer exhibit tucked away near the Polar Bears too. <—Quite appropriate this time of year!

After a quick break for lunch…

We headed to the Children’s Zoo area. The boys burnt off lots of energy on the playground.

2011-11-18 November2011SD 068


2011-11-18 November2011SD 072


Both boys had a blast on the jungle gym and would have played there for hours…





Once we wrangled them away from the slide we headed deeper into the Children’s zoo area to the petting zoo! 

The boys loved petting and feeding the goats!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 1032011-11-18 November2011SD 106

And as a mom I really appreciate the kid sized hand washing stations and wipes dispenser!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 1102011-11-18 November2011SD 112

We did a little more exploring on foot before catching the Bus Tour. (Remember it’s including in the ticket price!)


2011-11-18 November2011SD 131

With only one day to explore and two little guys in tow, the Bus Tour is a great way to see a lot of zoo easily!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 137

2011-11-18 November2011SD 159


The Elephant habitats were very impressive! And easy for both boys to appreciate from the top of the double decker bus!

2011-11-18 November2011SD 161












Quinn was quite excited to see Pumba (Warthogs) from the Lion King and also King Julien (Ring Tailed Lemur) from the Penguins of Madagascar.

I loved how excited he was to see them!


Elliot found the fish VERY exciting!! 

The Verdict?

The boys loved the San Diego Zoo! And I know we will be back on our next trip to San Diego!

They were were so worn out from our adventure that they were sleeping as soon as we drove away!

San Diego Zoo Deals


2011-11-18 11.15.58Here are a few tips to save some money!

  • Bring your own water, snacks and lunch! There are picnic areas outside the zoo’s main entry or you can venture a little further into Balboa park.
  • If you are a soda addict, definitely invest in the refillable mug. It was the best $8.99 we spent. Free refills all day with your receipt and $1 refills on return trips!!
  • Check the San Diego Zoo website for discounts or consider buying a Go San Diego Card, Southern California City Pass or San Diego 3 for 1 Pass if you plan on doing other area attractions on your trip. You can see all ticket options including the passes HERE!


On our trip we noticed quite a few fun Christmas decorations installed throughout the zoo.  The San Diego Zoo was preparing for their annual Jungle Bells celebration. Our trip was in mid November so we weren’t able to attend but it looks quite festive!  You can read more about Jungle Bells HERE!

Disclosure: The San Diego Zoo provided my family with tickets.  All  thoughts and opinions are my own.



  1. Shondra says

    Wow…looks like you guys had a blast! And congrats on surviving…I have an almost 3-year-old and an 11 month old, so I know how it can be without naps.

    I’d love to feature this on our San Diego-based site. Email me if you’re interested…

    shondra (at) dwellable (dot) com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *