Lowest Price Guaranteed - Buy San Diego Zoo discount tickets from FunEx and save up to 23% per ticket.

NEW: Roar and Soar at Nighttime Zoo in San Diego Zoo!

From May 24 to September 2, 2024

Starting on May 24, 2024, the fun doesn’t set with the sun. Bring out your night moves and zoo grooves for an evening of live music, thrilling performances, and vibrant entertainment, all until 9 PM!

Boy and man at an aquarium exhibit with a polar bear at the San Diego Zoo; text promoting extended zoo hours. Boy and man at an aquarium exhibit with a polar bear at the San Diego Zoo; text promoting extended zoo hours.

After dusk, the zoo is a must! Experience the magic of the San Diego Zoo after dark from May 25 to September 2, 2024! As the sun sets, the zoo comes alive with a vibrant nocturnal festival featuring live music, dazzling entertainment, and interactive wildlife experiences!

It's the perfect summer evening outing for families, filled with unique sights and sounds that delight visitors of all ages! Glow wild tonight!

Must-See Nighttime Zoo Experiences!

Entertaining Live Music and Dance

Groove to the vibrant beats of Rock and Roar, move with the high-energy Zoolamoves, and enjoy the melodious tunes of The Explorers, singing wildlife-themed songs in stunning harmony!

Interactive and Whimsical Performances:

Dive into whimsical interactions with the larger-than-life Wildlife Performers, greet Dr. Harry & Friends, and explore nature and conservation at Dr. Zoolittle's Exploration Station!

Spectacular Acrobatics:

Witness the dynamic Bounce-a-Roo Bonanza trampoline show, featuring astonishing athletic feats! Also, don't miss the Amazing Acrobats of Tanzania, whose incredible skills and energy offer a thrilling spectacle for all ages!

Don’t miss this unforgettable adventure! Plan your visit now and experience the wild wonders of Nighttime Zoo. Secure your discounted San Diego Zoo tickets from FunEx today!

Discover Other Spring-tastic Experiences at San Diego Zoo

Image of a two-toed sloth hanging from a thick rope with its back facing the camera at the San Diego Zoo. Onlookers in the background observe with interest. The setting is sunny, amidst lush greenery and planter arrangements. The zoo's logo appears in the bottom left corner. Image of a two-toed sloth hanging from a thick rope with its back facing the camera at the San Diego Zoo. Onlookers in the background observe with interest. The setting is sunny, amidst lush greenery and planter arrangements. The zoo's logo appears in the bottom left corner.

Wildlife Wonders at San Diego Zoo

Offered daily

Prepare to be dazzled daily at 2 PM at the Wegeforth Bowl amphitheater, where wildlife care specialists bring the natural world to the stage!

Meet the ambassadors of conservation from the depths of the Amazon to the heart of San Diego. This lively 15 to 20-minute presentation is a whirlwind tour of wild delights, inspiring all to play a part in protecting our planet’s precious wildlife!

(Note: Some events may have separate charges and are not included in your discounted San Diego Zoo tickets)

Image of the San Diego Zoo's lush indoor tropical habitat with visitors enjoying the view. The foreground shows a pathway bordered by diverse green plants and a person in a hat looking at the foliage. Another stands by the railing with binoculars, observing. The area is well-lit with natural light, creating a serene atmosphere. Image of the San Diego Zoo's lush indoor tropical habitat with visitors enjoying the view. The foreground shows a pathway bordered by diverse green plants and a person in a hat looking at the foliage. Another stands by the railing with binoculars, observing. The area is well-lit with natural light, creating a serene atmosphere.

NEW: Hike to Hippos at San Diego Zoo!

A hippopotamus at San Diego Zoo enjoys a swim, its eyes, ears, and nostrils peeking out of the clear blue water. The background shows a sunny day with rocks and greenery. The zoo's logo appears in the corner. A hippopotamus at San Diego Zoo enjoys a swim, its eyes, ears, and nostrils peeking out of the clear blue water. The background shows a sunny day with rocks and greenery. The zoo's logo appears in the corner.

Hip, hip, hippo-ray for a new adventure with San Diego’s latest Special Experience - the Hike to Hippos tour! This engaging 60-minute expedition is designed to delight wildlife enthusiasts of all ages.

Let’s go hippo-spotting and experience the hike of a lifetime right at San Diego Zoo!

Hike to Hippos Highlights:
  • Interactive Experience:

    Walk alongside expert guides as they share fascinating facts about the hippo habitats!

  • Witness Hippo Magic:

    Experience the serene beauty of the pygmy hippos and the majestic presence of the river hippos!

  • Perfect Start to Your Day:

    Engage in a stimulating morning walk that’s perfect for families and solo explorers alike.

  • Designed for Comfort:

    The hike is fully accessible, with paved pathways and manageable inclines, ensuring a pleasant journey for all!

Important Details:

Tour Length:

Quick yet fulfilling 60-minute tour!

Daily Availability:

Make any day special with this unique tour.

Age-Friendly:

Great for ages 5 and up; children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult!

Start your day the hippo way with your family and friends in the Hike to Hippos at San Diego Zoo!

(Note: Hike to Hippos Special Experience may have separate charges and is not included in your discounted San Diego Zoo tickets)

WHAT'S NEW: Wildlife Baby Boom!

This image showcases a pair of koalas perched in a tree. The adult koala, with soft gray fur, is holding onto the tree while a younger koala leans against it. They are gazing forward with expressive eyes. Sunlight filters through the foliage, casting a warm glow on the scene. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible in the corner, indicating the photo's location. Image features two koalas perched on a branch with the one in the background embracing the other from behind. They are set against a softly blurred green backdrop, indicative of their natural habitat. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible, suggesting a setting within the zoo.

Are you ready for an adventure that will warm your heart and leave you in awe? The San Diego Zoo is buzzing with excitement, and we can't wait for you to meet their newest, most adorable family members!

Go on an enchanting 60-minute morning walk at San Diego Zoo and meet delightful wildlife babies like playful baby orangutans, twin Amur leopard cubs, a koala joey, and many other cute animals! This unique experience, led by their expert Zoo educator, lets you connect with nature's wonders in the quiet hours of the day before the Zoo opens. This ensures an intimate and memorable journey for you.

Experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure - available for a limited time only!

(Note: This event is separate and is not included in your discounted San Diego Zoo ticket admission)

WATCH OUT for the NEW SPECIAL Experience at San Diego Zoo!

Early Morning Explorers!

Image of joyful children playing at San Diego Zoo. They are climbing and exploring play structures resembling a natural habitat, with a backdrop of blue skies and lush greenery. Excitement is visible on their faces as they interact with the environment. The zoo's logo is visible in the corner. A vibrant day at San Diego Zoo with three individuals engaging in playful exploration. On the left, a child ascends steps while another youth darts ahead in a pink top, center. To the right, another participant wearing blue moves energetically. Background shows an elaborate treehouse-like structure under a clear sky. The zoo's logo anchors the lower left corner.

Check out the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp at San Diego Zoo and participate in some fun and exciting wildlife exploration activities! These activities are suitable for the whole family, even the little wild explorers! Each month presents a new ecosystem to explore, a new wildlife encounter, and a new opportunity to enjoy nature. These experiences are unforgettable! Don't miss out! Get your discounted admission ticket through FunEx today and save big!

Guidelines:

  • This unique journey is recommended for families with kids ages 3 to 12.
  • Morning exploration will take you about 60 minutes.
  • It's located at Wildlife Explorers Basecamp
  • This is a separately ticketed event. Not included in General Admission tickets.
  • Only available on select days. Visit San Diego Zoo's official website to make a reservation.

San Diego Zoo Overview

Image shows a group of four joyful teenagers sitting next to a large capybara at the San Diego Zoo, smiling and appearing to enjoy their encounter. The zoo's logo is visible on the bottom left. A group of five joyful children sit outdoors, smiling, with a large brown capybara in the foreground. They are on the left, with two girls in pink and blue, a girl in yellow, another in green, and a boy in grey. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible in the corner.

Spread over 100 acres of lush park grounds adjacent to San Diego's bustling downtown, San Diego Zoo allows visitors to spend a day in paradise, learning, watching, and interacting with over 4,000 fascinating animals. The zoo started in 1916 and has since become a world-renowned zoological park and one of San Diego's biggest attractions.

Today, the wildlife park welcomes an astounding 4 million visitors annually. Many families enjoy spending the day perusing the beautiful park grounds while stopping at each of the endlessly intriguing exhibits. A nearly inexhaustive list of animals housed at the zoo will surely captivate kids and adults, from elephants to koalas. Get to visit with your San Diego Zoo discount tickets!

The park is set up into sections focused on environments and animals that live in these different parts of the world. For example, you can find elephants, lions, and leopards in the Africa-themed section, while in the Asian Passage, you'd find the red panda. This makes it easy for guests to plan their visit and ensure they get to see all their favorite animals.

Besides the usual walking around and discovering different animals, the menagerie offers guests a wide selection of activities such as Cart tours, interactive experiences, and even private tours with a knowledgeable tour guide. The zoological garden even has a miniature train that takes guests on a 4-minute ride around Balboa Park.

The zoo is massive, and there are many things to do besides seeing the animal exhibits. There are 10 different shops in and around the park offering everything from trinkets and collectibles to T-shirts and hats. Some of the shops are themed to the area you find them in. For example, in the Northern Frontier, a themed shop called Arctic Trader sells memorabilia surrounding arctic animals.

As for dining options, there are 27 different restaurants and snack shops that you can choose from and enjoy when you enter using your San Diego Zoo tickets, the dining area is situated throughout the zoological park. The food ranges from classic American to Asian fusion to Mexican, so you and your family won't have trouble finding somewhere to eat. If you need a quick snack or pick-me-up, stop at one of the snack stalls where you can get specialty coffee, snacks, and even draft beer.

San Diego Zoo is much more than just a zoo. It's easy to spend an entire day here and not get bored with a diverse set of activities, restaurants, and shops to try, along with the fascinating animal exhibits. From educational content to just pure entertainment, everyone will find something to enjoy while exploring the large, lush paradise of San Diego Zoo.

A joyful child in a red top holds hands with an adult, gazing back with a bright smile, at the entrance of the San Diego Zoo. Sunshine and greenery set a cheerful mood. The zoo's logo is visible in the corner. A joyful child in a red top holding hands with an adult, swinging happily as they walk. They seem to be entering the San Diego Zoo, indicated by the logo at the image's bottom. Trees and the entrance structure are in the background.

History of San Diego Zoo

Image shows visitors at the San Diego Zoo enjoying a close-up encounter with a sloth. A man and woman stand smiling next to the sloth's enclosure, while other onlookers are visible in the background displaying various expressions of joy and interest. The zoo's logo is at the bottom left. The atmosphere is lively and engaging. Visitors enjoy an up-close experience with a sloth at San Diego Zoo. A group of smiling people, a woman and man in the foreground, observe the animal as it clings to a branch, highlighting the interactive and educational opportunities at the zoo.

The San Diego Zoo got its start after two brothers drove past Balboa Park and heard the distinct roar of a lion left behind by the Panama-California exhibit, which has been housed there a year prior. One of the brothers, Dr. Harry Wegeforth, flippantly remarked that they should open a zoo. The joke turned into an idea, the idea into a business venture, and the business venture into what is now the San Diego Zoo.

Dr. Harry Wegeforth created a team made up of his brother Paul, Dr. Joesph Thompson, and naturalist Frank Stephens, and together they forged the path leading to one of the most renowned zoos in the world. Although they were ridiculed early on, they continued working in animal acquirement and raising funds for the zoo.

Besides the first lion, which they heard a roar that fateful day in Balboa Park, the Panama-California Exhibit left behind coyotes, bison, elk, and wolves, to name a few. These first animals made up the initial zoo after Dr. Harry Wegeforth proposed to take the left-behind animals off the city of San Diego's hands.

The first animal that Dr. Harry Wegeforth acquired was a female brown bear named Caesar. Caesar was formally a mascot on a Navy ship, but when she began to exhibit unruly behavior as she grew up, the Navy ship decided to donate her to the burgeoning zoo. They dropped off Caesar at the port, and Dr. Harry Wegeforth picked up the bear in his roadster, having her ride in the car's passenger seat.

The zoo would take a couple of years to fully come into its own as the Zoological Society of San Diego would fight to acquire land in Balboa Park, campaign for support, and build a fenced area so they could start charging admission. It wouldn't be until 1923, about 7 years later, that the park would have benefactors, a fence line, and be able to charge 10 cents for admission. Later in the year, they would open the most giant aviary in the world while receiving more and more animals to exhibit.

The Zoo didn't gain world attention until 1925, when Australia donated two Koala bears to the park – the first Koala bears to touch American soil. This fascinating creature would launch San Diego Zoo into the limelight.

Over the next several decades, the zoo would grow in popularity and the number of animals exhibited. Today, the zoo receives an average of 4 million visitors every year and has over 4,000 different types of animals housed. The wildlife park also does a lot of conservation work and has founded the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Discount San Diego Zoo Tickets from FunEx

If you're convinced that you need to add San Diego Zoo to your next family vacation, then head to Funex for industry-low pricing on all tickets including the San Diego Zoo tickets that are available on a discounted price. If you wait until you are at the gates to buy you and your family tickets to the zoo, you would be paying full price per ticket for a child; however, if you book ahead through FunEx, you will save big with your discount tickets.

FunEx has made San Diego Zoo tickets pocket friendly and accessible.

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What to Expect at San Diego Zoo?

You gain access to the famous zoo's 100-acre grounds by purchasing discounted San Diego Zoo tickets from FunEx! Once you enter, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer size and number of activities to experience there. However, the park is laid out intuitively with different themed sections, making it easy to find your favorite type of animal.

Forest Section

Watch and marvel at the birds you have not seen before and enjoy the zoo's aviary; if your kid loves monkeys and apes, then head to the forest section; if you're obsessed with arctic animals, then head to the Northern Frontier – the park's layout makes it easy for you and your family to hit every must-see animal.

Pick a path and follow it around the park if you'd prefer to peruse and see where the day takes you. You can wind through different exhibits quite easily, and if you stick to the circular path, you'll be sure to hit everything.

Why is San Diego Zoo so famous?

The San Diego Zoo stands out not only for its vast array of over 12,000 animals from 680+ species but also for its commitment to conservation and education! As an accredited botanical garden with 700,000 plants, it merges nature's beauty with crucial breeding programs for endangered species.

The zoo is also a place of celebration that offers seasonal activities that transform every visit into a unique experience! Whether it's the festive lights of winter or the vibrant activities in spring, the Zoo comes alive with events that appeal to visitors of all ages.

By purchasing discounted San Diego Zoo tickets, you’re supporting wildlife conservation and embarking on an unforgettable journey of discovery and fun!

Is San Diego Zoo the largest in the world?

Spanning approximately 100 acres, the San Diego Zoo is not only one of the largest zoos but stands as a giant in both size and conservation efforts in the United States! This vast wildlife park is a living classroom and a conservation science center that is home to a stunning diverse set of species!

How is San Diego Zoo different from other zoos?

Unlike any other zoo, San Diego Zoo's approach to conservation, education, and research sets it apart. For over 50 years, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has pioneered innovative conservation methods, from genetics research to habitat preservation, aimed at saving species from extinction.

The Zoo's unique conservation hubs across the globe focus on key species and ecosystems, demonstrating a commitment to global biodiversity. This hands-on approach to conservation, coupled with the immersive visitor experience, ensures that every San Diego Zoo ticket holder is not just a guest but a partner in the global mission to protect and preserve wildlife!

Shows & Experiences at the Zoo

A majestic polar bear is on view at the San Diego Zoo, captured in this image with visitors observing from behind a safety barrier. The bear’s thick, white fur contrasts against the natural and constructed elements of its enclosure. Visitors of various ages and attire appear engaged and delighted by the sight. The zoo's logo is visible in the lower left corner, marking the institution that cares for this incredible creature. A majestic polar bear is seen in profile walking on a flat rocky surface at the San Diego Zoo. Behind a barrier, a crowd of zoo visitors can be seen observing the bear from a red-railed viewing platform, indicative of a lively and engaging atmosphere for both the bear and the onlookers.

The Zoo also offers many different educational shows and experiences that can take your trip to the next level. From getting up close and personal with some of the animals to a behind-the-scenes understanding of what goes into taking care of the animals at the zoo. These experiences do not come with your San Diego Zoo discount tickets, but we can tell you they're definitely worth it.

By purchasing a discount ticket for a wildlife reserve, you will also enjoy free wildlife presentations, children's playgrounds, and Wildlife Care Specialist presentations. They'll take you through conservation efforts for some of the spectacular creatures you see at the zoo.

Tours at San Diego Zoo

A curious koala peers out from behind some green leaves against a soft blue sky background. At the bottom of the image is the logo for San Diego Zoo. Image of a koala perched on a branch, showcasing its thick grey fur, distinctive large nose, and fluffy ears. Eucalyptus leaves surround the animal against a clear blue sky. San Diego Zoo logo visible in the corner.

San Diego Zoo offers a fun and informative day of education. You can also take some tours with a tour guide throughout the park. There are botanical self-guided tours, guided bus tours, and private zoo tours to choose from while visiting the San Diego Zoo.

Overall, the San Diego Zoo is a beautiful place to spend a day. The whole family will enjoy their time, brimming full of activities, presentations, and things to do. For a more comprehensive list of different Exhibits and Attractions you can expect to see at the San Diego Zoo, continue reading below.

Exhibits and Attractions at San Diego Zoo

There is plenty to do at San Diego Zoo beyond the animal exhibits. If you need a quick distraction for the kids, an opportunity to cool off and rest your feet or you just want a day full of excitement; San Diego offers an excellent selection of exhibits and attractions for guests to enjoy during their day at the zoo. Don't you worry, you don't need to pay extra. The exhibits are covered by the discount San Diego Zoo tickets!

Below we've listed a comprehensive list of all the available exhibits and attractions to expect at the San Diego Zoo.

4D Theatre

Image of a diverse group of moviegoers at San Diego Zoo's theater. They are wearing red 3D glasses and are looking up in anticipation. Emotions range from engagement to amusement, capturing a shared experience. The room is dimly lit to focus on the screen, not visible here. The San Diego Zoo logo is in the corner. A group of spectators wears red 3D glasses in a dimly lit theater, their faces illuminated by the screen's glow, with the San Diego Zoo logo at the lower left. They appear engaged and happy. There are three visible rows; a smiling woman in the center front row is flanked by a child on each side, with two men behind them.

Rest up and cool off for a while with a quick trip to San Diego Zoo's 4D Theatre. This immersive theater experience allows you and your kids to sit down in a movie theatre environment and experience the thrills of a 3D animal-centered show – but with a twist. The 4D theatre involves fantastic special effects that add an entirely new dimension to your viewing.

The shows usually last around 10 minutes and require viewers to wear specialty 3D glasses. The shows start at 10:30 AM and run until the last hour before closing. You need to buy separate tickets for the experience.

Please note that this is a separate purchase from the San Diego Zoo tickets or the discount tickets that are offered.

Botanical Tours

Image of a joyful man and woman at the San Diego Zoo, looking upward and smiling amidst lush green foliage under a sunlit canopy. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible in the bottom-left corner. Image of a smiling couple enjoying their visit at San Diego Zoo, surrounded by lush green foliage under a sunny sky. The zoo's logo is at the bottom right.

Meet with a trained horticulturist and learn about the fascinating flora and fauna at Zoo's botanical garden. A Botanical bus tour will take you to different places of interest while learning fascinating facts and information about some excellent plants.

You can also do a self-guided tour by downloading and printing the San Diego Zoo botanical brochure and reading interesting facts surrounding the beautiful and sometimes strange flora and fauna that calls the zoo home.

Guided Bus Tour

Visitors enjoy a guided tour on a double-decker bus at San Diego Zoo. The blue bus is filled with passengers viewing animals and exhibits, surrounded by lush greenery on a sunny day. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible on the image. A blue double-decker bus filled with tourists travels through a lush green path at the San Diego Zoo. The upper deck is open-air, offering passengers unobstructed views of the surrounding foliage. The logo of the San Diego Zoo is visible in the corner of the image.

Hop on to the double-decker bus for a 35-minute narrated tour of the San Diego Zoo. The tour highlights San Diego conservation efforts while doing a complete circuit of the zoo grounds. The bus tour is included with general admission and boards at the Zoo entrance. Whether your feet need a break, or you want to learn more about what San Diego Zoo is doing to be an ally of all animals, then this Guided Bus Tour is for you.

The Guided Bus Tour is included in the discount ticket, there is no additional fee to enjoy the zoo and learn about your favorite animals!

The Guided Bus Tour is wheelchair accessible and provides ASL interpreted tours with enough advanced notice (which you can do with a quick phone call to the number listed here.)

Wildlife Care Specialist Talks

Two polar bears at San Diego Zoo are submerged in water, playfully interacting with each other. The image captures their creamy white fur and the serene blue water surrounding them, showcasing a glimpse of their aquatic activities. The zoo logo is visible at the bottom left. Image from San Diego Zoo showing two anteaters underwater, facing each other with outstretched paws. They are seen in a clear blue aquatic environment, engaging playfully. The zoo's logo is at the bottom left.

Your San Diego Zoo tickets allow you to turn your trip to the zoo into an educational one by joining one of San Diego Zoo's fascinating Wild Care Specialist Talks. Whether you want to learn about Polar Bears, Giraffes, or Guanaco's, you can listen to a trained care specialist as they talk about interesting facts about the animal of the session. You'll learn about what goes into the care of the animal and the conservation efforts in place to help them thrive. This perk is also covered by the discount ticket!

There are currently three options available: Polar Bears, Giraffes, and Guanacos. Each happens at different times throughout the day, so catching every show is possible. It's best practice to show up a few minutes early to get a good view of the Wild Care Specialist and the animal.

Wildlife Presentations

An Andean condor spreads its massive wings in flight at the San Diego Zoo. It glides in front of an audience seated in tiers, showcasing its impressive wingspan. The Zoo's logo is visible in the corner. A majestic bird with an expansive wingspan glides closely above a rock ledge at the San Diego Zoo. A captivated audience observes the bird's flight from tiered seating in the background. The zoo logo is visible in the corner.

Wildlife Presentations hosted at San Diego Zoo allow guests to meet and learn from Wild Care Specialists and Wildlife Ambassadors. They will walk you through exciting facts and information about specific animals and where they come from.

San Diego Zoo has a meet-and-greet where you're introduced to Wildlife Ambassadors at 1:00 PM, while the actual presentations start at 2:00 PM in the Wegeforth Bowl Amphitheater. The presentation also highlights how everyone can contribute to Wildlife Conservation efforts.

The wildlife presentation is included in your purchase of the discount San Diego Zoo tickets from FunEx.

Kangaroo Bus

Image shows a bright yellow silhouette of a kangaroo atop a pole against a blue sky with fluffy clouds. The sign appears to be a marker or symbol, possibly indicating direction or a point of interest at the San Diego Zoo, as indicated by the zoo's logo visible at the bottom. Image of a yellow kangaroo silhouette sign set against a blue sky with scattered clouds. The sign is atop a black pole and includes the San Diego Zoo logo in the bottom right corner. The kangaroo symbol appears to be leaping into the air.

The kangaroo Bus isn't so much an experience as it is a helpful tool for guests. These buses run around the zoo, picking up and dropping off guests to wherever they need to get. The bus is non-narrated and provides a friendly solution to promptly getting from one end of the zoo to the other. To find a Kangaroo Bus pick-up and drop-off location, you can look at the map for bright yellow kangaroo symbols or watch for the bright yellow kangaroo signs posted around the zoo grounds.

Skyfari Aeriel Tram

Image shows a cheerful man and woman enjoying a ride in a sky-blue gondola of a sky tram at the San Diego Zoo. The sun is shining, trees and skyline in the backdrop reflect a clear day. The logo of the San Diego Zoo is visible in the corner. Image features a joyful man and woman enjoying a ride at the San Diego Zoo, with lush greenery in the background under a clear sky. They appear to be sharing a happy moment on a sunny day. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible at the bottom.

The Skyfari Ariel Tram is an exciting way to get from one end of the park to the other while getting some birds-eye view of the zoo. This airborne shortcut allows guests to hop aboard their own tram and be transported from one end of the park to the other side. You'll be above the tree line as you smoothly glide over the San Diego Zoo and its fascinating occupants. The Skyfari Aeriel Tram is a great way to get some spectacular views of the surrounding park. Children younger than 8 have to be accompanied by an adult while on the Tram.

Balboa Park Miniature Train

Passengers enjoy a ride on a miniature replica train at the San Diego Zoo. The train, adorned with an American flag, winds through lush greenery. A man in the driver's seat waves to onlookers, and joyful riders, including children, wave back with smiles. The zoo's logo is visible in the corner. Image depicts a miniature train ride at the San Diego Zoo filled with passengers. A man in the front car waves to the camera, with other riders visible behind him. Lush greenery surrounds the track. The zoo's logo is visible in the bottom left corner.

A classic part of the San Diego Zoo is the Balboa Park Miniature Train. Fun for kids, the Balboa Park Miniature Train takes guests on a 4-minute, half-mile loop across Balboa Park. The train has a train conductor as well as volunteers spread out across to keep an eye on the kids who are seated double in the carts.

The Balboa Park Miniature Train is suitable for all ages, although adults may find the tiny seats slightly uncomfortable. Kids aged 5 years and younger must ride with a ticket-holding adult. The train runs on weekends and school holidays. Note that the purchase for the miniature train ride is different from the discount San Diego Zoo tickets from FunEx.

Unique Experiences at San Diego Zoo

Besides the regular shows and attractions at the San Diego Zoo, there are also numerous special experiences that have a surcharge but provide some pretty amazing activities for the whole family. Whether you want to get closer to some spectacular animals or have a keen interest in the behind-the-scenes work happening at the San Diego Zoo, any of the Special Experiences listed below are sure to be up your alley.

Animals in Action Experience

An image from San Diego Zoo with a cheetah in the foreground, turning to look at visitors seated in the background. A family, including a child, smiles and interacts closely with the cheetah under supervision. The mood is cheerful and the setting is outdoors with lush greenery. The zoo's logo is at the top left. Visitors at San Diego Zoo enjoy a close encounter with a cheetah. A family with two children is smiling and pointing at the cheetah, which is separated by a low barrier. Other guests look on, captivated by the scene. The cheetah is attentive, adding to this memorable interaction. San Diego Zoo logo is visible.

The Animals in Action Experience is a one-of-kind specialty experience at the San Diego Zoo. Do what most people dream of and go up close and personal to the zoo's exotic cats as they climb and play. This interactive experience provides an insider experience like no other, as you get to see exotic cats such as leopards climb and jump while learning from expert behavior specialists.

You'll be able to hear some incredible stories about each animal you're introduced to, and for an entire hour, you get to be close to them. The Animals in Action Experience is for ages 5 and up, and you need to buy a ticket and reserve your spot in advance of your trip. Keep in mind that the cost of the Animal in Action Experience is not included in your discount San Diego Zoo tickets.

Crazy About Cats

Image shows a close-up of a majestic snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo, with a focused gaze. The big cat's coat has distinctive dark rosettes on a pale background. It's positioned in front of a backdrop of verdant plants and a rock wall, embodying the essence of its natural habitat. The San Diego Zoo logo is in the bottom left corner. A snow leopard with a thick coat of rosette-patterned fur is gazing forward. The backdrop features a hint of greenery and a rocky terrain, indicative of its natural habitat. A label indicates the photo is from the San Diego Zoo.

This behind-the-scene tour allows guests to take a guided cart tour of the zoo before it opens for the day. Explore the wildlife sanctuary grounds via cart and foot as you're given exclusive access to see some of the iconic exotic cats that call the zoo home. Guests on the Crazy About Cats experience will learn what goes into taking care of the exotic cats at San Diego Zoo while hearing facts about cats of all shapes and sizes.

This 90-minute tour allows you to meet one special cat (the specific species changes day to day) up close and personal. The tour is great for ages 5 and up. Do keep in mind that because the tour takes place before the zoo even opens, you'll need to be at the zoo at 8:30 AM. Your tour guide will take you on specialized carts around the zoo grounds – carts that are wheelchair accessible.

Discovery Cart Tour

Image shows a green electric cart with a smiling driver and three passengers, two children and one adult, seated behind. They're on a paved road with lush greenery, passing by the San Diego Zoo sign. A sunny day adds a cheerful ambiance to the zoo visit. Image of a green, open-sided electric shuttle with a canopy, carrying visitors at the San Diego Zoo. Three passengers are seated in the rear section enjoying a sunny day. The background shows lush greenery and signage indicating tickets and tours, highlighting the recreational experience offered at the venue.

Whether you want to give your feet a rest or you're interested in getting an exclusive tour of the San Diego Zoo, you'll enjoy the 60-minute cart tour with a knowledgeable guide. The guide will share some interesting facts and tidbits about the different animals and plants housed at the zoo while you sit back in comfort. You'll also learn about San Diego Zoo's conservation efforts and their impact on the world.

While you pass by some intriguing animals and exhibits, you can step off the cart and snap a few photos before hopping back on and continuing the tour. The deluxe cart is large and can accommodate an entire family comfortably, making the tour perfect for family trips to the zoo. The tour is awesome for all ages. Tickets to this tour are not included in your San Diego Zoo tickets.

Early Morning Cheetah Experience

A majestic cheetah is captured in mid-stride against a blurred green background. Its spotted coat and focused gaze stand out as it traverses the enclosure. The San Diego Zoo logo is featured in the image, symbolizing their commitment to wildlife conservation. Image displays a cheetah in profile, walking on grass with focused, forward gaze. Visible are its distinctive spotted coat and long tail, slightly blurred background. Logo: San Diego Zoo.

The Early Morning Cheetah Experience is perfect for those who love Cheetahs and other African animals. This tour will allow you to enter the zoo before it opens for some exclusive experiences. Hop on to your own deluxe cart driven by a knowledgeable tour guide and allow this 90-minute tour to excite and educate. You'll spend some quality time with a cheetah, getting up close and personal with them as they climb and play after being given a behind-the-scenes tour of the African animal habitats while learning valuable information about the care and conservation efforts for these majestic creatures.

The experience is great for kids 5 years and up. The deluxe carts can accommodate families, so this can be something the whole family does together. You'll need to book ahead of time and reserve a spot for the Early Morning Cheetah Experience. It should be noted that the payment for the Early Morning Cheetah Experience is not included in the discount San Diego Zoo tickets.

Exclusive VIP Experience

Close-up of a two-toed sloth's face with a serene expression, captured against a blurred green background. The sloth's brown fur, gentle eyes, and distinctive snout are visible, promoting the San Diego Zoo. Image of a close-up view of a sloth's face, showcasing its gentle eyes and smiling appearance against a blurred green foliage background. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible at the bottom.

If you want to experience the Ultimate San Diego Tour and see things no other guests can, the Exclusive VIP Experience is the one for you and your family. This is one of the only customizable tours, and the tour team will customize the tour to meet your needs and suit your interests. The personalized experience allows you to access some exclusive areas of the zoo while giving you the opportunity to interact with some of the animals. You can spend upwards of 5-7 hours exploring the zoo exactly as you wish with a knowledgeable guide to teach you about care, conservation, and exciting facts about the animals.

The Exclusive VIP Experience is a very popular tour, so you need to book well in advance for it. The tour is available for all ages only on select days, so planning ahead is key to enjoying the whole experience. Note that this added experience is separate from the discount San Diego Zoo tickets.

Inside Look Tours

Image shows a joyful family moment at the San Diego Zoo with two adults and a child marveling at a polar bear. The woman on the left and the man holding the child are smiling and engaging with the exhibit, conveying a sense of wonder and family enjoyment. The San Diego Zoo logo is prominently displayed at the bottom left. The image shows a family enjoying a day at the San Diego Zoo. A woman, man, and a child facing away from the viewer are looking at an elephant in the background. Sunlight filters through the habitat, enhancing the cheerful atmosphere. The zoo's logo is at the bottom.

The Inside Look Tours are a fun way to get into educational, behind-the-scenes content while visiting the San Diego Zoo. This 90-minute tour allows guests a guided tour with an informative guide who will go over key facts about how the park takes care of its wildlife. You'll hear hilarious stories, fascinating facts, and some insider looks at some of the animals housed in the zoo. This tour escorts you via a deluxe cart, so you don't need to worry about continually being on your feet or wasting time by walking from location to location.

The Inside Look Tour is great for all ages to enjoy and experience. The tour is offered daily, but if you want to ensure a spot, it's best practice to book ahead of time and reserve your spot. Note that this tour is not included in the discounted FunEx San Diego Zoo tickets.

Restaurants and Dining at San Diego Zoo

There is a wide variety of restaurants and snack shops to choose from, spread out all around the park. However, if you're hoping to have a sit-down meal, it's best to plan ahead by choosing the restaurant and planning how to get there mid-day. You'll also want to book a reservation ahead of time as restaurants can fill up quickly, especially around mealtimes.

Please note that the San Diego Zoo discount tickets from FunEx do not cover discounts for restaurants and dining. The discount is solely applied to the entrance fee.

Image shows two individuals dining at a table with a lush green backdrop indicative of San Diego Zoo's ambiance. A man and a woman are smiling and engaging in a meal together; the man is pouring sauce while the woman watches with amusement. In the foreground, a variety of colorful dishes add vibrancy to the scene. The San Diego Zoo logo is visible in the corner, suggesting a relaxed dining experience at the attraction. A man and a woman are enjoying a meal at the San Diego Zoo. They are seated at an outdoor table with a lush green background, smiling as they share a skewer of grilled vegetables. The table is filled with colorful plates of food and refreshing beverages, evoking a pleasant dining experience in a casual, natural setting.

If you and your family have time to spare and are looking for an excellent place for lunch or dinner, consider one of the restaurants and casual dining places listed below. Most sites offer vegetarian options as well as kid's meals, so the whole family can find something to enjoy below. For some places, such as Albert's Restaurant, it's best to reserve a seat ahead of time as they can fill up quickly, especially at meal times. The restaurant's meals are add-ons and are not included in the discount San Diego Zoo tickets.

Albert's Restaurant

An outdoor dining area at the San Diego Zoo featuring a table set for a meal with woven chairs. A waterfall and lush foliage create a tranquil backdrop. The zoo's logo is visible at the bottom left. Outdoor dining area at San Diego Zoo with tables set for a meal. Chairs have brown and beige woven patterns. A waterfall and lush greenery in the background create a tranquil ambiance. The closest table features elegant white plates, a purple orchid centerpiece, and a view of the waterfall.

Located in the Lost Forest section of the zoo, Albert's Restaurant is an iconic dining place within the zoo. Serving American classics such as deluxe burgers and crispy fries, this full-service dining experience is perfect for hungry zoo-goers. The restaurant has a patio, private waterfall, and a fully-stocked bar, making it ideal for the whole family. Do note that you'll need to make a reservation in advance in order to get a table at Albert's Restaurant. There are vegetarian options available to eat.

Busy Bee Café

The newest addition to the park's renowned dining line-up, the Busy Bee Café, serves up a fine selection of American classics, including wings, burgers, and pizza. Located in the Zoofari Party Area, Busy Bee Café offers up both single-serve meals as well as family-sized platters of hotdogs, corndogs, or pizza. The Café also has some great vegetarian options available for guests.

Split image: Left side shows crispy fried chicken wings garnished with shredded cheese, accompanied by a salad. The right side features a submarine sandwich with ham, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, alongside pretzels. San Diego Zoo logo at the bottom. Image displaying two culinary dishes. On the left is a plate of fried chicken garnished with chopped herbs. On the right is a sandwich with ham, cheese, lettuce, and pretzels on the side. Below is the San Diego Zoo logo indicating a probable association with the location.

San Diego Zoo Sandwich Co.

All hail the mighty sandwich. If you're looking for a light lunch of classic subs and sandwiches, then head to Front Street, where you can find the San Diego Zoo Sandwich Co. This sandwich shop is perfect for a quick meal to get you through the day, offering soups, sandwiches, and fresh salads. There is also ice cream as well as vegetarian option meals available at the San Diego Zoo Sandwich Co.

Front Street Sweet Shack

Love to mix the sweet with the savory? Then you'll particularly enjoy the Front Street Sweet Shack. Located on San Diego Zoo's Front Street, the Front Street Sweet Shack serves up doughnut burgers, shakes, and Monte Cristo sandwiches to hungry guests. There are also some vegetarian options available.

The image shows two plated meals from San Diego Zoo. On the left, there is a serving of fried chicken topped with pickles, alongside a coleslaw side. On the right, there's a burger with crispy onions, lettuce, and tomato, accompanied by a side of fries. Both are presented on simple, elegant dishware. The image features two plates of food side-by-side with the San Diego Zoo logo in the bottom left. On the left, there's a plate of crispy chicken wings topped with pickles next to coleslaw. On the right, a burger with onion rings and lettuce is accompanied by a pile of french fries. The dishes are served on plain round plates.

Safari Kitchen

Fans of American classics will love Safari Kitchen. Located on Front Street, the Safari Kitchen offers hungry guests gourmet burgers and crispy chicken sandwiches. There are also some tasty tater tots for you and your kids to sample as well as vegetarian meals available for guests with specific food needs.

Sydney's Grill

Located in the Australian Outback section of the zoo, Sydney's Grill serves up everything barbecue. Burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, locally brewed beers, and margaritas are all on the table at Sydney's Grill. There is also a range of salads available for guests to add to their meals or have on their own.

This image features two delectable dishes. On the left, there is a close-up of a burger with melted cheese and a glossy barbeque sauce. On the right is a bowl of white rice topped with grilled chicken, drizzled with a savory sauce, and sprinkled with green onions, accompanied by a piece of broccoli. The logo of San Diego Zoo is at the bottom left corner. The image shows two separate food dishes. On the left is a sandwich with a large beef patty, melted cheese, and pickles on a bun served in a paper container. On the right is a bowl of white rice topped with sliced chicken, sesame seeds, green onions, and a savory sauce. The background includes the San Diego Zoo logo at the bottom center.

Hua Mei Café

If you love Asian-influenced dishes, then you're going to really enjoy Hua Mei Café. Located in the Asian Passage section of the zoo, Hua Mei Café serves various Asian cuisines such as pork belly, potstickers, and teriyaki chicken. There are also some American classics available so that the whole family can enjoy a meal at Hua Mei Café. The Hua Mei Café also has some great vegetarian meals and gluten-free options available for guests with specific food needs.

Lagoon Terrace

Located on Front Street, Lagoon Terrace serves up delicious pizza, meatball subs, and wraps, as well as locally brewed beer. They also offer vegetarian and kid's meals, making Lagoon Terrace the perfect spot for a family lunch.

Treetops Café

Treetops Café, located in the Lost Forest section of zoo, offers the best selection of grab-and-go meals. But if you have time to sit down, it's worth it, as the Treetops Café has a multi-level deck with some spectacular views. You can find soups, sandwiches, kid's meals, and vegetarian options at the Treetops Café.

Shops at San Diego Zoo

Entrance of San Diego Zoo with a dynamic bronze lion statue in mid-leap. Below is the zoo's sunny logo with a palm tree, two parrots in flight add vibrant red and blue colors to the scene. Clear skies and lush trees provide a warm welcoming backdrop. Entrance of San Diego Zoo with a dynamic bronze lion statue in mid-leap. Below is the zoo's sunny logo with a palm tree, two parrots in flight add vibrant red and blue colors to the scene. Clear skies and lush trees provide a warm welcoming backdrop.

Dive into a vibrant shopping experience at San Diego Zoo! Whether you're setting the tone for an adventurous day or wrapping up with memories to cherish, its range of thematic shops promises a delightful treasure hunt for you!

Morning Must-Haves

  • Roar Store: Begin your journey equipped! Find some must-have essentials from sun hats to sunscreen, ensuring a comfortable day of exploration.

Celebrate Wildlife

  • Panda Shop: Delight in everything panda and other surprise treasures!
  • Arctic Trader: Embark on a polar voyage with "cool" polar bear keepsakes.
  • Tusker’s Trunk: An elephant collection of themed treats awaits you!

Worldly Finds

  • Ituri Forest Outpost: Dive deep into the heart of Africa with unique, themed finds.
  • Sydney’s Shoppe: Experience a touch of Australia with koala-centric gifts and more.
  • Zootique: Traverse the globe in one shop! Discover crafts, gourmet bites, fashionable pieces, and other keepsakes from various continents.

For Our Young Explorers

  • San Diego Zoo Kids Store: A child's paradise, bursting with toys, fashion, storybooks, plush creatures, and beyond!

Memorable Souvenirs

  • Front Street Photos: Immortalize your visit with memorable photos, magnets, and souvenirs.
  • Mercado: Reptile wonders paired with an array of souvenirs, from plush toys to delightful snacks.
  • Basecamp Provisions: Gear up for adventure or commemorate your day with eclectic souvenirs.
  • Zoo Brew: Savor Monkey Trails-themed gifts and local refreshments, perfectly located on Treetops Way.

Embrace the wild, shop with style, and take home a piece of the San Diego Zoo magic! Secure your discounted San Diego Zoo tickets today at FunEx!

Snack shops and shacks at San Diego Zoo

If you're looking for just a quick bite or intermittent snacks to keep you going throughout the day, rather than spending the time at a sit-down restaurant or casual dining place like the ones listed above, opt for one of the 17 snack shops located in and around the zoo. These snack shops are sporadically spaces throughout the different sections of the zoo and offer guests anything from soft drinks and cocktails to popcorn, churros, pretzels, and other fair-style bites. You can also find some specialty snack shops with curated deserts and pastries.

List of Snack shops around San Diego Zoo:

Jungle Java, Zoo Brew, Rocks Box, Hua Mei Cones, Bamboo Bar, The Pagoda, Kettle Corn, The Bridge Snacks & Refreshments, Sweets & Treats, San Diego Craft Beer & Margaritas, Boardwalk Beer Garden, Busy Bee Cocktails, Ituri Hut, Tundra Treats, Jungle Snacks, Baboon Outpost, Koala Cart.

Guest Services at San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo prioritizes your comfort and convenience with their range of guest services! From stroller rentals to lost and found assistance, it ensures a hassle-free visit. Explore their offerings below that are included in your San Diego discount ticket!

Nursing and First Aid Station:

Located next to the Reptile House and frequently used by mothers for nursing their babies. It has a privacy curtain along with a microwave available for child meal preparations.

  • Outdoor Nursing Area: Benches are also found outside the First Aid Office for a semi-private environment.
  • Restroom Facilities: Diaper changing stations can also be found in most restrooms.

Lost and Found:

For guests who misplaced their items during their visit, you can reach out to see if it has been submitted at their Guest Services Department.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:

San Diego Zoo provides five solar-to-electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the southeast section of the parking lot.

Stroller, Wheelchair, ECV Rentals:

Available with their own fees near the entrance on a first-come, first-served basis! You are also welcome to bring your own stroller, wheelchair, or ECV.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs):

Located throughout the Zoo for convenience.

Recycling Facility:

Recycling bins for aluminum cans and plastic bottles are conveniently placed throughout the park premises.

Plan Your Visit to San Diego Zoo

Do you want to make the most of your visit to the Zoo? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here are some handy tips and helpful information you could use when you visit!

  1. Purchase San Diego Zoo discount tickets in advance.

    Enjoy up to 20% savings when you purchase your San Diego Zoo tickets through FunEx. Another benefit of pre-purchasing your discount ticket is that you don't need to line up at the gate. Gain fast and easy entrance with our discounted tickets!

  2. Plan Ahead of Time

    Waste no time inside the Zoo! Plan your next trip to San Diego. List which area you want to visit to see first and last; that way, you can have an incredible adventure. Pro-tip: go first to attractions where you see less crowd

  3. Arrive Early at the Park

    There are so many animals and beautiful attractions inside San Diego Zoo, which is why we highly encourage guests to be there as early as possible to see and experience as much as they possibly can in one day!

  4. Know The Zoo Hours

    The Zoo is open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Operating hours may change without prior notice. Please check the official website first thing in the morning before heading.

  5. Download the San Diego Zoo App

    The San Diego Zoo app makes going to the Zoo a breeze. The GPS-enabled map can help you find places to eat, things to do, and other useful info. The digital wallet allows you to review today's itinerary, import tickets and memberships, create a list of must-see animals, and many other fun things before your visit.

  6. Guests with Disabilities

    Guests with special needs can use various accommodations designed to stay comfortable. Accessible parking, restrooms, entertainment, tour buses, and exhibits are all available for those with disabilities at the Zoo. The Zoo offers a free ADA shuttle for guests with mobility issues. ADA walkways and elevators are on the Zoo map for mobility-assist guests.

Things to Get Excited About:

  • Unique Encounters:

    Enjoy a different experience each visit, with a variety of baby animals ready to surprise and delight you!

  • Guaranteed Wonder:

    While it's a surprise which baby animals you'll see each day, the Zoo guarantees an utterly captivating and heartwarming experience!

  • Comfortable Exploring:

    Expect a bit of walking, sometimes uphill! Comfortable shoes are essential for this adventure.

  • Accessible Pathways:

    All pathways are smoothly paved and wheelchair-friendly, ensuring a comfortable and inclusive experience for all visitors!

San Diego Zoo Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are Reservations Required?

    No, reservations are no longer required to enter San Diego Zoo.

  2. How much are tickets to San Diego Zoo?

    FunEx provides the best discounts for its members, please login to find your exclusive offers today! Lowest price guaranteed.

  3. Do I need to purchase Date-Specific Tickets?

    No, you do not need to purchase Date-Specific Tickets. However, you can buy your tickets in advance and save money with Funex so you can avail a discount ticket. Your San Diego Zoo discount tickets are valid for one year after purchase.

  4. Do I need to print off my Funex San Diego Zoo Tickets?

    No, you can simply scan your phone at the entrance for admission to the park with your Funex San Diego Zoo discount ticket.

  5. When do I receive my Funex Discount San Diego Zoo

    You'll receive your San Diego Zoo discount tickets via email immediately after purchase.

  6. Where is San Diego Zoo located?

    The San Diego Zoo address is 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA., 92101.

  7. What are San Diego Zoo's hours?

    The zoo is open throughout the year, even on holidays. However, the specific times change day to day. They are generally open from 9 AM to 9 PM. However, you may purchase the San Diego Zoo tickets online on FunEx anytime, even on the day of your visit.

  8. Do I need to reserve a spot for unique experiences?

    Yes, you should book any exclusive tours and experiences in advance to secure your spot. Please note that purchasing a Funex San Diego Zoo discount ticket does not include reservations or admissions for unique experiences.

  9. Is there free parking?

    Yes, there is free parking available at San Diego Zoo. However, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a parking fee. The parking fee is not included in the San Diego Zoo tickets or the discount tickets offered in FunEx.

  10. Are there lockers available for guest use?

    Yes, the zoo has available lockers for guest use on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  11. How close can guests get to animals?

    Very close!

  12. Are emotional support animals allowed at San Diego Zoo?

    Unfortunately, no pets or emotional support animals are allowed at San Diego Zoo.

  13. Is San Diego Zoo accessible?

    Yes, there are complimentary shuttles available to help you. The guest services information brochure lists the full-service options for those with accessibility issues.

  14. Does the zoo offer wheelchair and ECV rentals?

    Yes, wheelchairs and ECVs are available to rent for a small fee on a first-come-first-served basis. The wheelchair and ECV rental fees are separate from the San Diego Zoo tickets or the discount tickets offered on FunEx.

  15. Do I need to wear a face mask during my visit?

    Masks are recommended for everyone indoors and required indoors for those who are ages two and up and who are unvaccinated.

  16. Does the zoo require proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

    No, they do not.

  17. Can visitors and guests outside of San Diego visit?

    Yes, everybody is now welcome at San Diego Zoo. You can buy your discount tickets through FunEx today and get to visit and meet a lot of animals!

  18. Will there be a temperature check?

    No, but the zoo recommends that you stay home if you are feeling sick.

Last updated June 12, 2024.

San Diego Zoo Tickets

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  • Child (Ages 3 - 11 yrs)

    Regular price $62.00

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