Jun 112014

During our trip to California in April, we went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  Last year when we went to California, we visited the San Diego Zoo, but this year we decided that we’d do something we hadn’t done before and headed to the Safari Park – which is a separate park from the zoo.

safari park

My awesome sister in law, who lives in the outskirts of San Diego managed to score the four of us free passes to the park, which was so cool.  My SIL/BIL and nephew have a membership to the San Diego Zoo, which includes the safari park & they planned to meet us there that day.  As it turned out, my sister in law got the flu, so just my brother in law and nephew ended up joining us.

Before my in laws arrived, my boys just had to make pennies.  If you read my post about making pennies last year when we went to Disney World, you probably already know that I travel with a bag of quarters and shiny pennies in case we run into those machines.  And we always do.


Anyhow, after they were done making their smooshed pennies, we headed off to look at some animals and here are a few of the pictures that I took along the way:

safari park collage

safari park3

When my nine year old looked on the map and saw there was a lemur exhibit, he wanted to go there first because Lemurs are his favorite animals.  The lemur walk was kind of cool because it’s a big caged in area in which the lemurs are loose in their natural habitat.  The people at the zoo only let a few people in at a time and I guess you could say that it was kind of neat being in there with the animals uncaged.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, but the boys liked it.

safari lemur1

safari lemur2

I’m pretty sure that Chris’s favorite part of the day was finding this footsie wootsie.  Remember I dedicated an entire post to the footsie wootsie when we went to the San Diego Zoo last year?



After everyone was done with the footsie wootsie, we were off to the gorilla walk.  They are amazing animals and that is all I have to say.

safari park gorilla walk

Eventually we made our way to the lion camp to see the lions.  As it happened, they were all awake, which is awesome because lions apparently sleep about 22 hours a day.  Not only were they awake, one of the lionesses was pacing back and forth right in front of the viewing window, so I was literally face to face with her.

safari park lion camp

Next, we stopped to see the elephants.

safari park elephants

We spent the whole day there and didn’t even get a chance to see everything because there is so much to see & do there.  I told you earlier this week about the California Condors and the butterfly jungle that we saw there & there is one more post coming tomorrow about the Africa Tram that we did at the park that day.   In the meantime, here are a few of the random pictures I took throughout the day:

safari park random

A long day in the park called for a snack before we headed “home” and they all agreed on ice cream – with a little photo bomb by my brother in law.


The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is located at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd in Escondido, CA.  Honestly, I liked the San Diego zoo much better, but that is just my personal opinion.

  119 Responses to “Our Day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park”

  1. My favorite thing was the footsie woostie love it.

  2. These are some beautiful pictures! It looks like all three boys had a blast.

  3. It looks like you guys had quite a time there. I didn’t know there was a zoo and a while separate park like this. Tourist trap anyone lol?

  4. I didn’t know lions sleep 22 hrs. a day. That explains why they’re never awake when we visit the zoo. 😉

    I do remember your footsie post, hahaha.

    This zoo looks great!

  5. Looked like fun, especially the footsie woostie!! 🙂

  6. one of those gorillas looks a bit cranky! looks like a lot of fun!

  7. We have only been to this zoo once. Your wonderful post and photos are a stark reminder that we are long-overdue for another visit!

  8. Looks like a fun day! Great photos showcasing the animals. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a gorilla like that at any zoo. They have some great animals here!

  9. We never made it here so I am thankful for your pictures and review. I would add it on next trip, we love seeing animals. It was further away from San Diego proper than I would have thought though, almost 2 hours round trip? Oy! Mitch

  10. wow they have a nice selection of animals. I wish our zoo had lions and elephants. Looks like a great time!

  11. Oh the Lions! My favorite. You were able to get good shots of all the animals! We also make the pennies and the boys have albums for them. 🙂

  12. Ahhhh, the footsie wootsie! I would love that. Seriously, though, I think my favorite exhibit is the elephants.

  13. I love safari zoos. Ours has a lot of trails. The animals hide more in there. I still like it though.

  14. Looks like a really great place for the whole family! We love the lemurs too!

  15. Oh I love the animals. Visiting a zoo is so much fun. The footsie thing is great also.

  16. I have always heard how wonderful this zoo is and now I know it is. Great pictures! Looks like y’all had a great time. 🙂

  17. I can’t wait to make a trip to the west coast once my littles get a bit bigger. There is so much to see and do and I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this zoo! PS – I love the smooched pennies.

  18. Wow, you guys saw lots of fun animals!!! Love those seats that make them have tails – too cute. What a fun outing!!

  19. Footsie woostie lol never heard of one of these.Really liked all the photos,I love lemurs too we all went to a place with them running loose i have some great pictures of them close up.

  20. I love the elephants! They really are such fascinating animals. My son has the same t-shirts that your boys are wearing in the pics!

  21. Hahah! Footsie Wootsie cracks me up! And, my kids are obsessed with those penny machines too! Looks like you had a great day!

  22. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a zoo! The lions are my fav. Looks like you guys had a blast, as always!

  23. I love the flamingos and the lemers. I haven’t been to the zoo in years and now in finding the urge to go! Thank you for reminding me how much fun the zoom can be.

  24. The only zoo I have ever been to is the York Beach in Maine one. This looks like it’s larger than that one. So much fun!

  25. I miss going to the SD Zoo, and never made it to the Safari Park. Maybe someday we’ll return there!

  26. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing your day with us. The San Diego Zoo is on the top of my list of places to visit.

  27. You are just having so much fun this summer, I am thrilled for you! I love this safari angle at a park, that is so cool!

  28. I have always wanted to go to the San Diego safari park! So jealous! It looks like so much fun!

  29. I went to the San Diego zoo – but didn’t know about this Safari Zoo – looks really cool! I agree about gorillas! I always love seeing them – they are one of my favs.

    Nice pics 🙂

  30. What a great time! Lovely to see all your pictures! I bet it will be a trip your kids will never forget~

  31. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this place!

  32. You got so close to the animals that is awesome!! Looked like a really fun time by the kids!

  33. We can’t wait to take our family there! It looks like a great place to visit.

  34. I think we’ve been here!
    It’s been so long!

    What lovely shots of photos! Glad you and your family had such a lovely time!

  35. Wow! You got some great shots. Every time we’ve gone to the zoo, the big animals are on vacation and we can’t see them!

  36. The elephant pictures are AWESOME! That looks like a fun day!

  37. I love learning about animals at the zoo. Like the flamingos don’t turn pink until they eat the shrimp. 🙂

  38. I love zoos a whole lot, I want to take my daughter to a zoo some day soon.

  39. It looks like it was a wonderful time. They seem like they have a lot to do and see.

  40. We went to the zoo today! Not this one…a much smaller one on the East Coast. But we were actually talking about the San Diego Zoo and how nice it is.

  41. This is a zoo that I would absolutely LOVE to go to! Every time I pass one of those foot machines, I think of you now lol.

  42. That looks like such a nice zoo and a ton of fun! I’m hoping to make it to my local zoo within the next couple of weeks.

  43. wow that looks like fun! I haven’t been there in years. But, it isn’t that far from me. I’ll need to schedule to go this summer.

  44. You take great pictures. I would love to visit the San Diego Zoo!!

  45. great zoo…and surely you’re having sooo much fun there :D…love to see the footsie wootsie ..so cute 🙂

  46. Zoos are always such a fun place to visit because they’re fun for all ages! That definitely looks like a pretty fun zoo!

  47. Seems all the fun is in Ca, I love FW and Dallas zoos but that park looks amazing!

  48. You got some great shots of the lions and the elephants. I really like the one of the male lion.

  49. Great pictures! I love both the zoo and the Safari Park.

  50. Your sil is awesome! Free tickets to the zoo? Wooha! Your pics are GREAT! We spend full days at our zoo and waterpark, so I can imagine spending more than one day there. I would be totally for it.

  51. This looks like a fun place to hang if you’re into animals. I know my son would love it.

  52. What a great place to visit. Looks like you all had a great time.

  53. We love, love, love the zoo… and this one sounds like a great one. Thanks so much for sharing your day with us

  54. San Diego is on our bucket list for the kids, my husband served in the Navy there but I am pretty sure he was never at the Safari park.

  55. Looks like you all had a great time! We love a good zoo! We live near the DC zoo and try to go as often as possible!

  56. This place looks awesome! I love zoos that actually have animals to check out! Our’s is pretty empty!!

  57. I’d love to see those lions! What a fun day.

  58. It looks like you all had a great time! I’d love to go on the lemur walk.

  59. I am really enjoying reading the posts with your family and your outings. You look like you are really enjoying yourselves.

  60. Great shots! Zoos are great for taking a camera and just having fun with getting good pictures. The animals are used to it!

  61. It’s been ages since we’ve been there and we’re due for another visit. What is it about pressed pennies?!

  62. The Footsie Wootsie would totally be the highlight of that day trip for me too!

  63. Nice! We’re planning a trip to San Diego next year and we will definitely have to check it out. BTW, we love to smooth pennies, too.

  64. I can’t wait to go to San Diego zoo!! We are
    Hoping to head there in the next few years

  65. I love the lions. They are such gorgeous animals.

  66. Love the photos. Looks like you had a great time!

  67. Ring tailed Lemurs are my favorite. i keep trying to convince my husband to get me one and he wont 😛

  68. Wow! I bet you had a really really great time together as a family. I love zoos and I always used to go there when I was still young. I love the animals and how they behave. It’s all so natural. 🙂

  69. I love the zoo! It is such a great experience for everyone! I love the elephants and lions!

  70. Great photos! I don’t think I’ve ever seen flamingos in person. If I’m ever in San Diego, I’m going to make an effort to visit the Zoo Safari Park!

  71. I love the San Diego Zoo!! What a great place for families

  72. I am loving those flamingos. Their color is so pretty. Looks like a fun day at the famous San Diego Zoo

  73. 4 free passes to the zoo is a great deal. I think the elephants would be my favorite.

  74. Fun time…we love zoo’s. We always make us a souvenir penny when ever we see those machines!

  75. This would be an amazing time! We have a dinosaur museum not too far from us, it never ceases to amaze.

  76. It’s nice to visit somewhere you haven’t been before. I find that we keep going back to places we’ve been before too since it’s so familiar haha

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  77. I’m glad you said the address! I was going to say that I had never been to that part of the zoo, but didn’t know there was a separate safari park

  78. Love all the pictures. The zoo looks awesome and it seems like your boys had a great day.

  79. I do believe that is bigger than any zoo I have ever been to. I would love to take my kids there. I am glad I am not the only one that goes prepared for those penny machines – it is such a cheap and fun souvenir

  80. We love taking trips to the Zoo. I’m hoping to visit California this summer I wouldn’t mind visiting this Zoo.

  81. Looks like a wonderful place for the whole family to enjoy!

  82. We always have a great time at the zoo. It is the perfect way to wear the kids out and have fun.

  83. Wonderful!! I was totally singing the Zooboomafoo theme song the entire time — because Lemurs!!! awesome. I am somewhat torn on the whole idea of zoo: because you hate to see animals caged – but then again, we would never see some of them otherwise. and if they are well cared for, then it can actually help some species. Bottom line: if there is a zoo nearby, I’m going.

  84. I love the big cats, you got some great shots! I admit i have never tried a footsie wootsie despite seeing them all the time.

  85. I really love zoos and hope to visit one this summer, too. 🙂 I especially love the birds!

  86. San Diego is on our travel bucket list and this place would be a must visit as my older two are CRAZY about animals!

  87. So nice, I would love to visit that place someday. My kids love going to the zoo to see animals that lives in the wild or we don’t usually see. It is very educational and lots of walking, great exercise.

  88. The San Diego Zoo is one of my favorite places. You took awesome pictures– my favorite part of the zoo is the pandas!

  89. Wow there is a lot to do there! I hope to get back to San Diego one of these years and will have to make time for the Zoo Safari Park!

  90. Looks like a fun place! I often wonder if the animals in the zoos “miss” their homes!

  91. I am dying to go to San Diego, I will have to add this to my list of things we need to do there.

  92. I’ve always wanted to go there. Looks like you had a great time

  93. This looks like such a fun place to visit! Seems like you all had fun.

  94. You got some beautiful images. The footsie wootsie huh? Is it a massager?

  95. That zoo is awesome! You all had such fun while here in So Cal! I’m listing things I need to go do from your posts… and we live here! LOL!

  96. I have never been to the San Diego Zoo- but I hear that it takes more than one day to see everything! Looks like you guys had a blast!

  97. looks like a great zoo, I would love to go to San Diego and visit it.

  98. We love the zoo. I remember my family going when I was little and it was such a fun time. Now I am taking my own kids. They have a hard time sleeping the night before we go.

  99. Looks like a great outing. I have always loved going to the zoo. When we lived in California we always enjoyed going to the Oakland Zoo.

  100. Wow that looks so fun. I was at the San Diego Zoo while on business. The Safari Park would be another fun adventure.

  101. It looks like you had a great time! I’ll check it out when I make it over to that coast.

  102. Beautiful pics… looks like the kiddos have had loads of fun at the zoo safari park.

  103. How fun! I would love to go to the San Diego zoo someday!

  104. All these San Diego posts are making me want to go back!! We loved the San Diego Zoo! I wish I lived closer!

  105. Now this looks like a great adventure! We haven’t been to anything outdoors yet this summer because our weather’s been so crazy. 🙁

  106. I think I may have actually been to the Safari Park in San Diego before but I don’t remember having fun like these boys seem to be having 🙂 Great lovely pics!

  107. I really enjoyed your honest review. Regarding which park you liked the best. Also I liked how you had so many photo opps with your boys.

  108. I was telling my daughter about this, she is going to San Diego in October. Always perfect weather too. I have never been there.

  109. We’ve only been to a park safari twice. I hope this year we can go back again because it was a lot of fun. The park that I went to did not have any footsie wootsie though! ^^

  110. Looks like you had an amazing time, elephants are my favorite animal and I wish I could go there.

  111. That zoo looks amazing! I need to venture there sometime (I say that like it’s a hop away or something LOL)

  112. This zoo looks really awesome! We love visiting our local zoo!

  113. I cant remember if we ever have been there. I love zoos and this one looks fun!

  114. The lion is so gorgeous! Your photos are really nice and capture the animals so well. Thank you for sharing.

  115. Looks like such a fun day! My favorite is the Gorilla Walk, that looks awesome. I love gorillas.

  116. Wow! It is a HUGE park!!!! Looks like a fun day!

  117. Looks like fun! I love the lemur park!

  118. Looks like a nice place to go and see animals. I enjoy visiting zoos. Apes and gorillas are my fave to see. I tried a Footsie Wootsie for the first time a couple weeks ago at Six Flags. Felt good on the feet but, boy oh boy, was it loud!