The San Diego Nighttime Zoo Offers a Larger Variety of Excitement, Activities and Fun for the Whole Family
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” -Anatole France
Whether you live in here or are visiting – the is an attraction that everyone needs to experience at least once. It is absolutely mandatory! With over to see, the SD Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world, and summertime is one of the best times to go! (Here are five great reasons to visit the zoo!)
Nighttime Zoo is offered until September 5th and this year, in honor of the San Diego Zoo’s 100th birthday, there are thrilling events to enjoy. Live music from brass bands to mariachis, from acoustic to rock, puppet shows, guest artisans and dance performances are all part of the . Growing up in San Diego, I have been to the zoo plenty of times, but I’ve never been to , so I was really excited to check it out for the first time.
As soon as I walked in, I could hear Rock and Roar performing. I immediately felt the energy (and the heat!) in the air.
They rocked and roared to their version of “Be my girl” by Jet, “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities, “Kids” by MGMT and more. The extent of their variety and the way they engaged the crowd was impressive and made the show even better. The San Diego Zoo is great for kids, (find out why) but it’s fun for adults too!
Rock and Roar was joined by the Funky Monkeys, a talented and energetic dance crew that showed off awesome breakdancing moves their audience. The crowd was dancing and singing along, and it was a great way to start a night at the zoo.
Rock and Roar and the Funky Monkeys perform five times each day, so don’t miss out on this exuberant show. If you would like schedule info, check out the page.
A little later, I took the Kangaroo Express bus to the Outback where I found the Bouncing Birthday Bash, an acrobatic trampoline show. The acrobats, dressed up like animals, were bouncing high in the air, doing flips and dancing to entertain the crowd.
Every seat and table was full of parents and their wide-eyed children, watching the acrobats’ every move. It may have been for the kiddos entertainment, but I enjoyed escaping the heat and watching the show in the shade.
Yes, yes, yes! I was in the Outback, so of course I went straight to the koalas after! And to my surprise two of the gals were actually awake and moving about in the trees- eating Eucalyptus, just doing their thing.
I was surprised because koalas sleep 20 hours a day, and I have NEVER seen one awake when I came to the zoo, let alone two! I could easily say this was the highlight of my day, but let’s get back to the centennial events.
Zoolahoops was another fun event I got to check out! It was a great way to entertain the kids and let them join in on the fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect but when I got to Front Street, I heard music and saw a group of kids hula-hooping.
This was such a cool event for kids! There were kids of all ages and they were having so much fun. As I watched, the group of children grew. One little girl was dancing and hooping, one little boy had the hula hoop going around his neck for a bit. A lot of fun and a great way to let the kids express themselves.
While riding the Skyfari, I noticed that a large part of the zoo was under construction. Like an eight-acre-large section! I soon learned about the $68 million project Africa Rocks, which will be the zoo’s largest attraction yet.
The Africa Rocks exhibit will open in Summer 2017, and will showcase Africa’s diverse habitats, plants and animals. One highlight of Africa Rocks will be the 65-foot waterfall cascading down two levels of the attraction in the Rady Falls and Madagascar Habitat. This habitat will be home to dwarf crocodiles and seven species of critically endangered lemurs.
Another highlight will be Penguin Beach, a habitat dedicated to a colony of endangered African penguins. The habitat will include nesting boxes where the penguins can safely breed. Over time, the will begin the re-introduction of penguins into the wild until they establish a self-sustaining population again. This conservation-breeding program is an example of SD Zoo’s continues efforts in conserving endangered species. Just like the zoo did with the condors years ago.
In 1982 the SD Zoo started their first program, when the California condors were near extinction at only 22 birds left in the wild. Within 20 years of protecting the condors and re-introducing them to the wild, the population had gone up to almost 200 birds and today there is over 400.
San Diego Zoo Global has re-introduced 43 endangered species back into the wild. With the hard work of dedicated staff and generous contributions from donors, SD Zoo Global continues to actively fight extinction. Woohoo zoo!
You can join the fight against extinction too, by posting a picture of yourself roaring on Instagram or Twitter. Use the hashtag to show your support and automatically be entered to win an epic zoo adventure.
They even have on the zoo website to help get you in the spirit. I showed my spirit and got a photo roaring in front of the lion, but he wouldn’t look over at the camera.
I had so much fun at the Nighttime Zoo! I got to see so many animals- lions, tigers, giraffes, rhinos, camels, KOALAS, birds, monkeys, you name it! I enjoyed the special centennial events and I’m happy I got to be part of the celebrations.
After a wonderful evening, I headed back to Front Street to watch The Journey, a parade that takes you through the zoo’s history. Families from all over the world lined up along the street, waiting in anticipation. Pageantry puppets took the audience on a musical journey through the SD Zoo’s 100 years.
There was eerie jungle music, live trumpets and animal sounds that coincided with the puppets and the narration. It was truly enchanting- being at the zoo after dark, watching the larger-than-life puppets with the music. The animals almost looked real. I highly suggest you take some time before it’s too late and check out the Nighttime Zoo and DO NOT miss out on the centennial summer celebrations, they only come around every 100 years!