You can save money by buying discount San Francisco Zoo tickets through authorized sellers. Your chosen method depends on how many other San Francisco attractions are on your itinerary and whether you’re an SF resident who qualifies for special discounts and free days.

The options mentioned here are by far the most reliable and will eliminate the effort it takes to scour the web for promo codes, offers, deals, and coupons that may not work. We love zoos and theme parks, and pointing out these savings to our readers in major tourist destinations is a big part of what we do because no one likes to pay more for tickets than they have to.

Why visit? San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is a 100-acre accredited zoo home to over 2000 exotic, rescued, or endangered animals. It’s located in the southwest corner of San Francisco adjacent to the Pacific Ocean and Lake Merced and accessible by public transportation. 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.

We can help you save on tickets, tours, and hotels. If you purchase through some of the links below, we may be compensated. Thank you for supporting our small business! Our editorial guidelines.

San Francisco Zoo Online and Gate Prices

San Francisco Zoo general admission for nonresidents is as follows:

  • Adult (ages 12–64): $31 (Weekends & Holidays) $29 (Weekdays)
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $24 (Weekends & Holidays) $26 (Weekdays)
  • Children (ages 2-11): $20 (Weekends & Holidays) $22 (Weekdays)
  • Children under 2: Free

San Francisco Zoo gate prices typically are around the following prices:

  • Adult (ages 12–64): $31
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $24
  • Children (ages 2-11): $22
  • Children under 2: Free

General admission does not include rides on the Dentzel Carousel or Little Puffer Miniature Steam Train.

San Francisco residents with proof of residency receive discounted San Francisco Zoo tickets, which I’ve listed below as one way to save.

1. Discounted One-Day San Francisco Zoo Tickets

aRes Travel is a San Diego-based authorized ticket seller to major California attractions. They offer discount San Francisco Zoo tickets that do not require reservations.

If you are looking to buy individual tickets to only the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, this will save you money.

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 window.

Two meerkats sit cheek to cheek.
Meerkats are popular animals at San Francisco Zoo.

2. Go City San Francisco Pass

The Go City San Francisco pass can enable you to save up to 50% on 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 or Explorer) 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 is available in a 1, 2, 3, and 5 day option, during which you can see as many participating attractions as you like. The Explorer Pass lets you choose 2, 3, 4, and 5-day options at different prices and must be used within 60 days of the first activation. Ensure the attractions you’d like to visit are listed on the option you buy.

3. San Francisco CityPASS

With a San Francisco CityPASS, you’ll save up to 46% on four attractions. These include:

  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure

Plus two of the below attractions

  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Exploratorium
  • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Current pricing is $84 for adults (ages 12+) and $64 for children (ages 4-12). There’s also a C3 pass that includes three attractions.

4. San Francisco Resident Ticket Discounts

Residents receive discounted admission year-round. Proof of residency is required and the current residency admission prices are:

  • Adults (ages 12–64): $28 (Weekends & Holidays) $26 (Weekdays)
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $22 (Weekends & Holidays) $20 (Weekdays)
  • Children (ages 2-11): $19 (Weekends & Holidays) $17 (Weekdays)
  • Children (under 2): Free

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

A Bengal tiger rests in its enclosure.
A resting Bengal tiger

5. Military Discounts

Retired and active-duty military personnel may purchase discount San Francisco Zoo tickets directly from the Zoo at resident rates. (Free entrance days for residents do not apply to military tickets.)

6. Discounts for Guests with Disabilities

Guests with disabilities pay the cheaper resident rate (but are not eligible for the free SF resident days).

7. $1 Discount for Taking Muni

The SF Zoo encourages guests to arrive by public transportation. If you take Muni, bring your same-day Muni receipt, transfer, or monthly pass to the Zoo ticket window for a $1 discount.

You would take the Muni L Taraval line from within San Francisco to the Zoo. Or, you can take Muni bus lines 23 or 18, which also stop at the Zoo. Figure out which method is best for you with the SFMTA Trip Planner.

8. Group Prices

Planning a group visit to the park? Groups of 15 or more can send in a group reservation request three weeks in advance by reaching out to Guest Services at More information is detailed on the Zoo’s website

9. 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 $99 to $2,500.

San Francisco Zoo Hours, Parking & Directions


The SF 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.


San Francisco Zoo parking is currently $11 on weekdays and $13 on weekends and holidays.

There are two parking lot entrances. One is off of the Great Highway for guests driving from the East Bay and South Bay. The other is one off of Sloat Boulevard at 47th Avenue and used by guests driving from the North Bay.

Alternatively, you can avoid parking fees by finding free street parking along Sloat Blvd. And disabled guests can park in the parking lot for free with a disabled placard.


Address: Sloat Blvd & The Great Highway, San Francisco, CA 94132

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.

FAQs About SF Zoo Tickets and Your Visit


Pack layers. The Zoo’s coastal location means that it’s colder there than in the heart of the city.

What is SF Zoo’s rainy day policy?

If you purchased tickets through SF Zoo and do not visit due to rain, purchase tickets for a new date. Then, email them with your new tickets and old confirmation number. They will refund your old tickets.

Tickets purchased through aRes Travel do not require reservations, so you can visit on any day, rain or shine.

Is the San Francisco Zoo still free on the first Wednesday of every month? 

Sometimes, San Francisco Zoo has been known to offer Free Days for SF residents on certain days. This means residents receive free admission by providing a valid ID as proof of residency at the front gate.

These dates typically fall on a Wednesday. However, you’ll need to check their calendar to see when Free Days occur.

What other San Francisco Zoo discounts are available?

SF Zoo members receive a 10% discount at all Zoo shops, cafés, and carts.

One of the easiest ways to save money at SF Zoo is to bring your own food and drinks versus purchasing onsite. Glass containers and alcohol are prohibited.

What are the latest SF Zoo promo codes?

I have tested multiple promo codes for San Francisco Zoo discounted admission that are floating around the web lately and none of them have worked.

Are there in and out privileges?

Currently, there are no in and out privileges. Once you enter the zoo, you cannot leave and re-enter using the same ticket. The same applies to parking. Once you have parked in the lot, you cannot leave and re-enter.

How long does it take to go through the San Francisco Zoo?

One day is enough to see the San Francisco Zoo. If you are pressed for time, a half-day will be fine. How long you spend inside depends on whether you’d like to plan your day around scheduled keeper talks, animal feedings, riding the carousel and train, and other activities on the calendar in addition to having a meal.

How big is the San Francisco Zoo?

The SF Zoo is 100 acres of animal habitats and pretty gardens set along the Pacific coast.

What are the San Francisco Zoo’s hours?

The SF Zoo is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. The animals are the most active in the morning, so I advise that you go when it opens.

Get advice for other zoos and aquariums:

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

Explore More in California

Explore More in SAN FRANCISCO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. Hi! Yes thanks for asking. The aRes Travel San Francisco Zoo tickets do work on weekends. They’re good any day the zoo is open (except for any special tickets events that would normally require additional admission).