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How to Buy Discount San Francisco Zoo Tickets

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The San Francisco Zoo is a 100-acre zoo that is home to over 260 animal species and located in the southwest corner of San Francisco near Lake Merced. The first exhibits were built there in the 1930s and it remains one of the popular things to do in San Francisco with kids even though it’s not in the heart of town.

It is possible to buy discount San Francisco Zoo tickets through authorized sellers. Which method you choose depends on how many other San Francisco attractions are on your itinerary.

The options mentioned here are by far the most reliable to eliminate the need to scour the web for promo codes and coupons that simply don’t work.

Quick Things to Know About San Francisco Zoo Tickets

San Francisco Zoo has implemented new health and safety measures to be aware of before you go. All guests over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask. No cash will be accepted and if you plan to park, you have to purchase parking in advance. Read more about the reopening guidelines here.

Reservations: If purchasing San Francisco Zoo tickets directly or if you are a Zoo member, you must have a reservation before you go. I asked what the policy is for aRes Travel tickets (learn more about these below). Their contact at San Francisco Zoo informed them that these third party tickets do not require a reservation.

Here are some other important tips.

San Francisco Zoo Hours

The San Francisco Zoo is open 365 days a year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The last admission is one hour before the Zoo closes.

Gate Admission Prices

General admission to San Francisco Zoo is as follows:

  • Adult (ages 15–64): $23
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $19
  • Children (ages 4-14): $17
  • Children (ages 0-3): Free

General admission does not include rides on the carousel or train. These tickets are a la carte and extra and are temporarily unavailable.

San Francisco residents with proof of residency receive discounted San Francisco Zoo tickets.

Parking

San Francisco Zoo parking is not free and currently $11 on weekdays and $13 on weekends. One of the new reopening measures in place is that parking MUST be purchased in advance.

Directions

Directions to the San Francisco Zoo including driving from various starting places in the San Francisco Bay area and public transportation are enumerated on the zoo’s website.


1. Discounted One-Day Tickets (No Reservations Required)

aRes Travel is a San Diego based authorized ticket seller to major California attractions. They offer discount San Francisco Zoo tickets.

If you are looking to buy individual tickets to only the San Francisco Zoo, this is an excellent choice.

Passes can be printed at home and presented at the gate or used on a mobile device. You do not need to redeem a voucher at the ticket booth. Tickets for the carousel and train can be purchased separately at the San Francisco Zoo or on their website (these activities are temporarily on pause).

No Reservations Required (I Asked)

According to San Francisco Zoo, third party tickets do not require a reservation under their current system.

1-Day Pass

Save big at aRes Travel with these discount prices: $18.40/adults (ages 15–64), $13.60 for children 4–14 (children 3 and under are free), and $15.20/seniors. (Plus a $2 per ticket convenience fee — you’ll still come out ahead.)

San Francisco Zoo Tickets Discounts

2. Go San Francisco Pass

The Go San Francisco pass can enable you to save up to 57% on up to 28 top San Francisco attractions (depending on which type of pass option you choose), including the San Francisco Zoo, in three simple steps:

  1. Choose the pass option that best suits you (All-Inclusive, Explorer, Build Your Own) and buy your pass in advance.
  2. Get your pass on a mobile device or print it at home.
  3. Show the pass at eligible attractions, and you’re in for free.

All-Inclusive Go San Francisco passes are available in 1, 2, 3, and 5-day options, each at different prices. Make sure the attractions you’d like to visit are listed on the option you buy. Build Your Own and Explorer passes must be used within 60 days of the first activation.


3. San Francisco CityPASS

With a San Francisco CityPASS, you’ll save up to 45% on four attractions. These include:

  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure
  • Aquarium of the Bay OR The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Exploratorium OR San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Current pricing is $76 for adults (ages 12+) and $56 for children (ages 4-12). If you’re going to visit more than four attractions, you are better off saving with Go San Francisco. (It’s common for families to visit both the Exploratorium and San Francisco Zoo.)

CityPASS gives a full refund on unused/unactivated tickets and you have 30 days to use the pass.


4. Klook (Temporarily Unavailable)

If you aren’t familiar with Klook, know that they are a very reputable seller of tours and tickets based in Singapore that we personally use when traveling in Asia. They are expanding offerings to the United States and Canada with discount San Francisco Zoo tickets as an option.

With Klook, you’ll need to select your exact visit date whereas aRes Travel above gives the option of using the tickets on any day, one year from the date of purchase. Klook has temporarily paused sale of San Francisco Zoo tickets.


Best ways to save on San Francisco Zoo tickets
Photo credit: Flickr/mrfrale

5. Military Discounts

Retired and active-duty military personnel may purchase discount San Francisco Zoo tickets directly from the Zoo at the rate for local residents. (Free residents entry day does not apply to military tickets.)


6. Go In a Group

Groups of 15 or more may arrange for a group trip to the San Francisco Zoo in advance throughout the year and receive a discounted admission price, as detailed on the Zoo’s website


7. San Francisco Zoo Membership

Regular visitors should absolutely consider purchasing a membership to the San Francisco Zoo that will allow multiple entries per year for one flat rate.

There are multiple membership tiers to consider that come with a variety of perks, as detailed on the Zoo’s website. Prices currently range from $89 to $2,500.


8. San Francisco Resident Ticket Discounts

Residents receive discounted San Francisco Zoo Tickets year-round. Proof of residency is required with the current pricing as:

  • Adults (ages 15-64): $20
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $14.50
  • Children (ages 4-14): $13.50
  • Children (ages 0-3): Free

In addition, the San Francisco Zoo hosts free admission on select days throughout the year for San Francisco residents. Check the ticket page for more details.

How to Buy Discount San Francisco Zoo Tickets

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