San Diego, California - October is coming and that means kids are free all month long at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Kids Free presented by Mission Fed is an annual event that offers free Zoo and Safari Park admission for children ages 11 and younger, when they are accompanied by an adult. There will also be special weekend activities at both facilities, including extra treats for the animals in the form of pumpkins and festive gourds some stuffed with “goodies” and others just given “au naturel” for the animals to gnaw on, bite, bash and enjoy. Special keeper talks are also scheduled, with interesting information and fascinating stories about Zoo and Safari Park animals from the animal care experts who know them best.
Kids Free fun will begin Sunday, October 1 with a special morning kickoff event hosted by Dr. Zoolittle and featuring representatives from Mission Federal Credit Union—along with the Zoo’s ceremonial flying of the macaws. As part of the festivities, Mission Fed will present a $5,000 donation to the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy, to help combat wildlife trafficking and support crucial conservation projects worldwide.
“We hope every child in San Diego can experience the beautiful wildlife and enjoy all the kid-friendly activities that the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park have to offer,” said Angie Lasagna, vice president of community relations and external affairs at Mission Fed. “We love being able to provide families with an opportunity to gain these amazing experiences, while at the same time provide support for San Diego Zoo’s mission to end extinction.”
Of course, it won’t just be the animals having a roaring good time. At the Zoo, our zany Dr. Zoolittle and his Zoo character friends will entertain everyone with fun and facts about exotic species from “Down Under” in their show “Dr. Zoolittle and Friends Explore Australia,” at the Koalafornia Boardwalk. Kids can join in the African Treasure Hunt, where everyone can follow the clues on a treasure map to discover wildlife treasures throughout the Zoo. Our energetic and enthusiastic Zoo Corps teens will have a cool discovery station stocked with props, biofacts, and cool things to do; and our animal ambassadors are ready to educate and amaze guests at the “Wild About Animals” show at Wegeforth Bowl.
On Oct. 27, 28 and 29, the Zoo will be open until 8 p.m. for HalGLOWeen, the Zoo’s first Halloween event in decades. As the sun sets, the Zoo will glow under black light, with fun for all ages. HalGLOWeen will feature exciting Halloween entertainment, including a Glow Zone with a DJ spinning Halloween tunes, glowing “Boolahoops,” the Funky Monkeys, “Dr. Zoolittle’s Creepy Crawly Show,” acrobats, Itsy-twisty Spiders contortionists, a roaming magician, jugglers and more.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park will be teeming with many interactive activities and experiences during Kids Free, to help kids connect with wildlife in exciting and fun ways. Each Saturday and Sunday in October, children and their families can come face to face with some fascinating animal ambassadors. A variety of keeper talks will give kids (and their favorite adults) a new way of looking at wildlife, from tigers to bats to flamingos. In addition to the excitement of meeting animals up close, youngsters will have a wildly good time exploring fun activity booths, listening to animal stories shared by our enthusiastic educators, and joining Robert the Zebra’s herd as he teaches different ways to help wildlife every day.
During Kids Free, the Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day—except during HalGLOWeen festivities, when the Zoo will close at 8 p.m. The Safari Park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Guests have the option to enhance their child’s experience with a 1-Day Pass Child Upgrade for $12, which includes the Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus and Skyfari aerial tram at the Zoo; or the Africa Tram and Conservation Carousel rides at the Safari Park. All children younger than 15 must be accompanied by a paid adult during their visit to the Zoo or the Safari Park. For more information about Kids Free presented by Mission Fed, show times and activity schedules, visit sandiegozoo.org/kidsfree and sdzsafaripark.org/kidsfree.