Now open is the polar bear plunge an expedition for the whole family. Cuddle up in a snow den, climb into the cockpit of an arctic research helicopter and discover all there is to know about the frozen and fascinating world of the Polar Bears.
- San Diego Zoo
- San Diego Zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals, many of which are rarely seen at other zoo
- More than 4,000 animals representing 800 species
- Meet the fifth baby panda born at the San Diego Zoo
Recent Photos of this Tour
Love me some tigerPhoto by: CowboysrockUSA, 01 2013
Nap timePhoto by: CowboysrockUSA, 01 2013
Lunch timePhoto by: CowboysrockUSA, 01 2013
CamelPhoto by: CowboysrockUSA, 01 2013
Happy ElephantPhoto by: CowboysrockUSA, 01 2013
Baby JagPhoto by: World TravelerUSA, 09 2012
GorillaPhoto by: World TravelerUSA, 09 2012
Baby GiraffePhoto by: World TravelerUSA, 09 2012
Gao Gao the PandaPhoto by: World TravelerUSA, 09 2012
Curious ElephantPhoto by: World TravelerUSA, 09 2012
Elephant OdysseyPhoto by: Rose02 2012
Elephant OdysseyPhoto by: Rose02 2012
KangarooPhoto by: Rose02 2012
Entrance to the San Diego ZooPhoto by: Rose02 2012
ZebrasPhoto by: Rose02 2012
GiraffePhoto by: Rose02 2012
Outside the Polar Bear exhibitPhoto by: Rose02 2012
Polar BearsPhoto by: Rose02 2012
On the SkyridePhoto by: Rose02 2012
CheetahPhoto by: Rose02 2012
Come meet the newest addition to the panda family, and the fifth baby panda born at the San Diego Zoo! This is truly one of the most unique and most beloved species on the planet - and very few are ever seen outside their native habitat in northern China.
The San Diego Zoo is highlighting California animals from the ancient past, present and future in The Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey, the newest and most unique exhibit to date! At the Elephant Odyssey, step into the fossil dig site and explore prehistoric fossil evidence, and visit the habitats of current wildlife species including elephants, a pair of lions and a jaguar! Learn about extinction causes of the mammoth and saber-toothed tiger and stop by the Pleistocene playground to find out about conservation projects at work.
Activities available at San Diego Zoo include (additional cost):
- Guided Bus Tour: A 35-minute tour by double-decker bus covering 75 percent of the San Diego Zoo. Your ticket also includes use of the Express Bus which allows you to hop on and off at 3 different stops throughout the Zoo. (included)
- Skyfari Aerial Tram: Take an airborne shortcut over the treetops to the other end of the Zoo and enjoy spectacular views of the Zoo, its animal and plant collection, and surrounding Balboa Park. (included)
- Balboa Park Miniature Railroad: pulls out of the station for 3-minute rides around a portion of Balboa Park. (approx. $1.75)
- 4-D Theater: If you haven’t experienced 4-D, it’s a film that you can see and hear but also feel, smell, and sense. Wind in your face, snow on your head, a pat on the back—it’s like you’re there, part of the action! This new attraction is located near the western terminal of Skyfari. Guests can purchase tickets at the entrance or at the theater ticket booth. (approx. $6)
Make sure to visit the Conrad Prebys Australian Outback exhibit which showcases some of the wonders from the Land Down Under. Venture through a eucalyptus grove and discover species from wombats to wallabies and kookaburras to cockatoos. The Australian Outback exhibit culminates at a Queenslander house-style care center that overlooks a forest for the Zoo's Queensland koala colony - the largest koala colony outside of Australia.
Don't miss your chance to see the adorable new Panda cub Xiao Liwu ("Little Gift"). He is on display (weather permitting) from 9am to noon daily.
Some of the attractions at San Diego Zoo include:
Experience the newest and most unique exhibit to date, which features Southern California's ancient past and showcases species we know today. Throughout the exhibit explore prehistoric fossil evidence, extinction causes, current wildlife species and conservation projects at work. At mammoth passage plaza, see life-sized statues of a male, female, and young Columbian mammoth tower over you. See the habitats of current wildlife species including lions, jaguars and elephants. Venture into the tunnel passage that goes under part of the elephant exhibit and you might even experience elephants crossing over your head.
Monkey Trails and Forest Tales:
Kroc's Monkey Trails and Forest Tales is home to more than 30 species of African and Asian birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, some of the world's most exotic and endangered wildlife. You can enjoy a three-dimensional journey into the depths of a tropical forest and a new understanding of the diversity of life on Earth. An elevated walkway located across from the Zoo entrance takes you directly through the tree canopy where you will encounter some of the most rare and endangered monkeys on Earth.
Giant Panda Research Station:
The San Diego Zoo has had a love affair with giant pandas ever since two of the black-and-white bears came to visit in 1987. After years of red tape and tons of application paperwork, the Zoo and China agreed on a 12-year research loan of two giant pandas, Bai Yun and Shi Shi. A brand-new exhibit area was built for the panda guests, which has since been expanded and renovated and is now called the Giant Panda Research Station. Although currently housing four giant pandas, the facility can comfortably house up to six! Next to the public panda viewing area is the building that houses the Giant Panda Team, made up of the pandas' keepers and researchers. Be sure to stroll through the Giant Panda Discovery Center, located nearby. It includes a climb-in panda den, interactive exhibits, and even a chance to find out what pandas sound and smell like!
Polar Bear Plunge:
At first thought, a polar bear in sunny San Diego seems curiously out of place. But with the San Diego Zoo's Polar Bear Plunge, you'll discover that polar bears are right at home, where every day is an Arctic summer day. From the underwater viewing room you can see how agile and playful the polar bears really are. In fact, they're known to swim right up to the glass to check out all the humans on display. Polar Bear Plunge is one of the largest polar bear exhibits in the world. It's wet and it's wild - polar bear style!
Mesmerizing and gorgeous but also endangered, the Malayan tigers are always a pleasure to watch. Their exhibit was designed to closely resemble a natural jungle habitat and was built on a steep slope that gives the tigers plenty of exercise. A waterfall splashing into a pool and logs to climb on or use as scratching posts give the tigers a variety of things to do. A heated cave near a viewing window encourages the tigers to spend their nap-time close to curious tiger admirers.
There are more than 30 special animal exhibits and activities designed with the younger visitor in mind. The popular Petting Paddock allows kids a chance to feel the woolly coat of a sheep or comb a gentle goat's hair. The animal nursery has large viewing windows to let you watch animal babies being bottle-fed or cuddled by our caring keepers. The Children's Zoo has animals not found anywhere else on Zoo grounds, such as wombats, spider monkeys, and our ever-fascinating naked mole-rats. Best of all, about 45 of the 200 critters living here are trained as animal ambassadors, so you might get to feel how sharp a hedgehog's quills are, or hear how quietly a horned owl can flap its wings.
Sun Bear Forest:
Surrounded by the fantastic sights, sounds and scents of the Asian tropical rain forest, you may forget the hectic jungle of the city for a moment. Lose yourself in this forest in the city, where naturalistic enclosures and thousands of exotic plants combine to help animals and Zoo visitors alike experience life in an Asian forest. Bornean sun bears, the smallest bears in the world, are one of the most enjoyable animals to observe, especially in the natural setting of Sun Bear Forest. Here, the sun bears, named for the golden crescents on their chests, display their frolicsome nature. Extremely agile and often comical, sun bears are great tree climbers and make excellent use of their enclosure's climbing structures.
With their flamboyant color and amusing behaviors, flamingos make the perfect welcoming committee at San Diego Zoo! The Flamingo Lagoon features two separate viewing areas, affording a choice of vantage points. One area features an elevated walkway where you can look down into the exhibit instead of across it at eye level.
The Owens Rain Forest Aviary offers bird lovers an up-close look at more than 200 feathered friends representing 60 species and about 180 birds. The free-flight aviary simulates the sights and sounds of a real Southeast Asian jungle environment. It focuses on exotic species from Southeast Asia and Australia, including flowers, ferns, and foliage indigenous to that region.
For decades the orangutans and siamangs at the San Diego Zoo have delighted visitors with their colorful personalities and intriguing vocalizations. Now, the two families of apes, indigenous to the same Asian rain forest ecosystem, share a habitat at the Zoo. Absolutely Apes provides a lush, naturalistic environment where arboreal orangutans and siamangs can climb, swing, and live in the same terrain as they would in the wild.
Dr Zoolittle Children's Show: Join the zoo's physician of fun, Dr. Zoolittle, for magical, unbelievable and interactive fun. Nature has its tricks! Operates Saturday and Sunday at hourly between 11am and 2pm in Clark Theater (Discovery Outpost).
Camp Critters: Wegeforth Bowl has been transformed into an imaginary summer camp! Birds, sea lions, four-legged critters, domestic animals, top predators and humans gather here for song and surprises. Meet a new critter and be part of the fun at the Camp Critters show! (Discovery Outpost)