San Diego Zoo–A Southern California MUST See! (and kids get in FREE in October!)

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What a GREAT deal being offered up by the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari ParkKids FREE in October!! If you’re in Southern California or headed there the rest of this month, you have to take advantage of this deal!

If you’ve read the blog for awhile or know us in real life, then you know we love animals and we are definitely biology nerds (I stopped teaching high school biology at the end of the 2010 school year and my husband is a molecular biologist). We LOVE the San Diego Zoo! In fact, when I taught, we used to do a “virtual field trip” to the zoo. San Diego Zoo‘s website is a wealth of educational information and you can even see a few of the animals in real time with their animal cams (including panda cam, polar bear cam, elephant cam, ape cam, and condor cam)! But, nothing compares to a visit. We were thrilled to visit as part of our crazy California trip in August!It truly is impossible to see everything in one trip because there are just so many fantastic things! So, we tried to hit the “big” things that make the San Diego  Zoo VERY different from most that we’re used to. And, of course, the most obvious are the pandas! With only a small handful of them in our country, it is such a treat to see these animals in person! This big guy was chowing on some bamboo which we happily watched for a number of minutes!

We also HAD to see the river hippos! I’ve never been to another zoo that has them and I love them! I don’t know when it started or why, but I started collecting hippos sometime as a kid. I think they’re so cute, in a big hippo kind of way! 🙂 I love when I find hippo things for the kids (like that adorable outfit) and it was so fun to take my little guy’s picture in front of a real baby hippo (born in January, seen there underneath his mama). We waited and waited and waited, hoping they would need to move or something, but no. 🙁 Still, they were SO fun to see! We loved seeing SO many other animals too! These were some of our favorites (gorillas, jaguar, okapi, polar bears, komodo dragons, and lions)! In fact, one of these animals may end up being Big Brother’s Halloween costume (it will either be that or a pirate)! Any guesses which one? Hint: it’s the one based that on geographical location would go best with a scarlet macaw (since Little Brother will be donning the scarlet macaw costume!Certainly, the animals are our favorite thing about the zoo! But, part of what makes the San Diego Zoo so special and stand out is all the other things to see and do. Like, did you know the Zoo is actually a Botanical Garden also?! The San Diego Zoo is actually home to over half a million plants!!! It makes the atmosphere at the zoo SO lush and gives it a much more exotic feel than most of the zoos we’re used to. You get a very good feel for that by trying out the Skyfari. It’s so incredible getting the “bird’s eye view” of the Zoo! Though a little bit unsure, Big Brother thought it was awesome; on the other hand, Little Brother clung on to Daddy for dear life.

We took the Skyfari from over by the polar bears to the front so we could check out the Children’s Zoo–it’s so great to have a dedicated area just for the little ones. The had fun having a bit of playtime! And, when you can’t visit the zoo, there is a whole awesome San Diego Zoo Kids site, complete with games, activities, facts, and more!

We had an absolutely fabulous time and can’t wait to go back to the Zoo next time we are in San Diego! Hope you enjoyed the photos from our zoo trip because there are more to share! 🙂 Stay tuned for our experience at the San Diego Safari Park!!

What’s YOUR favorite zoo and favorite animal to see?


Disclosure: My family received free admission courtesy of the San Diego Zoo (thank you!!!). Our love of the zoo and animals are all our own!! And, as always, all opinions and experiences my own.

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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