The San Diego Zoo is located an hour South of Orange County, California. Deep within Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is nestled between acres of open-air and cage-less animal exhibits to mimic the animals natural habitat. It’s also recognized as one of the largest and best zoos. With that said, why has it taken me having a child to make a trip there? Needless to say, my family, Harrison and I made the trip to the San Diego Zoo and we enjoyed every minute of it!
Getting out of the house early is tough when you have a young one so we didn’t arrive to the zoo until lunch time. However, the zoo is open till 5 pm and having a 9 month old, it worked out just fine.
We began our adventures by taking a tour on one of the double-decker buses. This bus ride was a great way to see the whole zoo. The buses don’t stop to allow passengers to get on-and-off so you have to snap away your pictures from the comfort of your seat. However, the tour guide was well-informed and gave excellent information about the zoo and the animals. When toting around kids, I definitely recommend starting off your day with the tour bus as it not only is a great way to view the whole zoo, but it will allow you to map out the rest of your visit.
Visiting the giraffes and meerkats were my favorite animals seen on the tour. The giraffes were great to see because I forget how tall they are in real life! As for the rest of the meerkat mob, most of them were roaming around on the ground, but one in particular stood on top of a dirt mound just gazing in front of him. It was comical and adorable because it seemed that this particular meerkat was “posing” for all the shutterbugs! A bit of trivia: the meerkats from the San Diego Zoo were the inspiration for Timon’s character in The Lion King. Disney’s animation team spent months at the zoo studying all the animals for The Lion King. Cool huh?
After the bus tour, we set on foot to view the park. There are bus stops along the way for you to get a quick ride from one area of the zoo to another, but we didn’t find ourselves using them. The obvious disadvantage of having to walk the park is that we didn’t have enough time left in the day to view all the of animals. One exhibit that I had hoped to see, but unfortunately missed this time around was the pandas. I guess the zoo’s “panda cam” will have to do the trick ;)!
The day was not complete without getting my son a caricature of himself. Looks just like him huh?
We capped off our day taking the Skyfari (an aerial gondola ride) back to the entrance of the zoo. If you have an umbrella stroller you can take it with you on the gondola ride.
The day trip to the San Diego Zoo was eventful and fun for our whole family. I’m looking forward to our next adventure!