Finding discount San Diego Zoo tickets through authorized ticket sellers is easy. I’m a longtime Zoo member, and my family is involved in supporting their programs and exhibits.
I’ve chosen the below ways to save money because they are the most reliable and eliminate the need to scour the web for promo codes, special offers, and coupons that do not work.
Due to my volume, I have the best 1-Day San Diego Zoo tickets discount. After years of offering this low price, I now have to keep the savings unpublished, but I will show you how to access the deal. My readers have used tens of thousands of these cheap tickets over the years.
Note: The Zoo and Safari Park are open! I specialize in helping people save money on San Diego vacations and may be compensated if you purchase tickets using the links in this post.
San Diego Zoo Ticket Prices at the Gate
First, you need to know how much San Diego Zoo tickets cost, what they include, and how to make reservations. If you already know all of this, you can jump to my discount.
San Diego Zoo ticket prices are at parity across all authorized ticket sellers, which is why you should take advantage of my exclusive price on 1-Day tickets.
General admission tickets include entrance to the park, Skyfari Aerial Tram, Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, and all regularly scheduled shows.
Children ages 2 and under always receive free admission and do not require a ticket. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance also charges a $1 per ticket convenience fee to purchase admission through them online. San Diego Zoo prices are currently:
- 1-Day Passes: $62/adults (ages 12+) and $52/child (ages 3-11).
- 2-Visit Passes: $104/adults (ages 12+) and $94/child (ages 3-11).
- 1-Day Pass Plus (includes 1-Day Pass and one 4D theater experience)* — temporarily not available
*Subject to availability. Purchasing discount San Diego Zoo tickets through me and securing a 4D theater ticket on the day of your visit is typically cheaper than buying the Plus pass.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance parks’ enhanced health and safety measures encourage guests to purchase park tickets and tours before arrival. I’ve included details in this post regarding what to expect when you visit.
Reservations Are No Longer Necessary
San Diego Zoo reservations were required until June 14, 2021. You no longer need to make a reservation to enter the Zoo or Safari Park.
SAN DIEGO ZOO PARKING & ADDRESSIt’s free to park your car! The lot is large. Remember where you parked by taking a photo of the animal marking the section you’re in. The address for GPS is 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
1. Discount 1-Day Tickets + Combo Packages (How to Get My Exclusive Discount)
aRes Travel is a San Diego based, authorized ticket seller to major California attractions that I partner with (they also power the Zoo’s ticketing system).
They offer ways to secure a San Diego Zoo tickets discount in addition to cheap tickets to LEGOLAND, Disneyland, SeaWorld San Diego, and other theme parks. If you are looking to buy 1-Day San Diego Zoo tickets, this your cheapest choice because it’s where I have the exclusive savings, thanks to my volume.
1-Day Pass — Save More with My Promo Code!
Most visitors go to the Zoo once during their vacation. Residents who aren’t Zoo members choose this ticket as well. The 1-Day Pass includes unlimited use of the Guided Bus tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, Skyfari Aerial tram, all shows, seasonal Zoo events, and exhibits.
Skip the ticket line and go straight to the gate at any time on your selected date. Grab my exclusive discount on my password protected page.
Price: The lowest you’ll find online from an authorized ticket seller (I promise).
This pass is good for people who want to visit the San Diego Zoo twice or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park twice on a vacation. The 2-Day Pass includes:
• One visit to the San Diego Zoo and one visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park -or-
• Two visits to the San Diego Zoo -or-
• Two visits to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Both visits must occur within a year of the purchase date. The ticket also needs to be used by the same person on all visits.
Parking at the Zoo is Free. Parking at the Safari Park is not included in the price of the ticket. Skip the ticket line and go straight to the gate. No reservations are required. Price (includes taxes and fees): $104/adult and $94/kids
San Diego Zoo and Old Town Trolley Combo Deal
Temporarily not available. This combo pass includes 1-Day San Diego Zoo ticket and 1-Day Old Town Trolley “Hop-on Hop-Off” tour. You’ll be able to explore San Diego by hopping on and off the Trolley and enjoy a full or half-day at the San Diego Zoo. This pass is ideal for people who would like to go carless in San Diego. The Old Town Trolley stops at various locations from Coronado to, of course, Old Town. Price: $89.90/adult and $64.75/kids
San Diego Zoo and USS Midway Museum Combo Deal (Popular)
Temporarily not available. This combo deal includes one day at San Diego Zoo and general admission to the USS Midway Museum — two of our top attractions which happen to be 10 minutes away from each other. You can see both on the same (albeit long) day. If you will visit both attractions, this combo pass is the way to go. Price: $76/adults ages 13+
LEGOLAND California, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Combo Deal
Temporarily not available This theme park combo deal includes one day at LEGOLAND California, one day at the San Diego Zoo, and one day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Note that LEGOLAND is not yet reopened. Price: $196.50/adults and $172/kids
San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego Combo Deal
Temporarily not available. This theme park combo deal includes one day at the San Diego Zoo, and one day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and 7 consecutive days at SeaWorld San Diego. Note that SeaWorld San Diego is not yet open daily so this pass is for those planning to visit after the park fully reopens. Price: $176.99/adults and $156.99/kids
San Diego’s Fab 4 Combo Deal
Temporarily not available Are you planning to hit all four major theme parks? Many people do! This Combo Pass includes a 1-Day San Diego Zoo ticket, a 1-Day San Diego Zoo Safari Park ticket, a 1-Day LEGOLAND California, and up to 7 consecutive days at SeaWorld San Diego. Note that SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California are not yet fully reopen. Price: $176.99/adults and $156.99/kids
2. Trusted Tours & Attractions
If you are not going to request my discount, which is better, this is your next best deal.
Use San Diego Zoo promo code SDZO5 for 5% off at Trusted Tours. They offer print and go to the gate 1-Day San Diego Zoo tickets. All taxes and fees are included in their price, which given the Zoo’s $1 per ticket transaction fee is much cheaper than going direct.
3. Go San Diego (Most Popular Sightseeing Pass)
A Go San Diego pass saves up to 55% off of admission to 55+ top San Diego attractions in three simple steps:
- Choose the option that best suits you (All-Inclusive or Explorer) and buy your Go San Diego pass in advance.
- Get your pass on a mobile device or print it at home.
- Show the Go San Diego pass at any eligible attraction, and you’re in for free.
All-Inclusive passes are available in 1-, 2-, 3-,4-, 5- and 7-day options, each at different prices. Make sure the attractions you’d like to visit are listed on the option you buy. The Go San Diego Card is by far the most popular way to save money on multiple San Diego theme parks, tours, and museums.
You can bypass the ticket windows with a Go San Diego pass at the Zoo. I personally use Go City passes when sightseeing worldwide and love going paperless with their app. You also do not need to make a reservation.
EXCLUSIVE LA JOLLA MOM DISCOUNT
Click to apply an extra 10% off All-Inclusive Go San Diego sightseeing passes.
This discount stacks on top of sale rates! Expires 12/31/21.
RISK FREE GUARANTEEYou have 90 days from the purchase date to get a refund on unactivated passes. The guarantee is only for passes purchased directly through Go City. Some terms and conditions apply. It’s a full refund if you return the pass within 14 days. Between 14-90 days, a processing fee applies.
4. Vacation Packages with San Diego Zoo Tickets
You can sometimes save more when you buy a San Diego Zoo vacation package that includes tickets and a hotel room. Don’t worry about my cheap tickets in this case — the discounts are factored in here already.
EXCEPTION: LUXURY HOTELSIf you’re considering a hotel in my portfolio, you’re better off booking with my perks and using my San Diego Zoo tickets discount or a Go San Diego Card.
When searching the San Diego Zoo packages below, look for the new Price Drop notifications. The longer you stay, the more that you save!
San Diego Family Fun Vacation Package
This bundled attraction package can include your favorite hotel with the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and USS Midway Museum when you build a custom San Diego Family Fun Package. Save up to 30%.
Lions, Tigers, and Baby Elephants, Oh My! – The San Diego Zoo or Safari Park Package
This package allows you to bundle tickets to the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park with the hotel of your choice (at the time of this writing there are over 113 hotels to choose from). Look for the Price Drop alerts!
The Best of San Diego Adventure Package
Customize your own San Diego vacation package! The package includes your choice of tickets to 4 popular San Diego theme parks: SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and LEGOLAND California, and hotel accommodations.
5. Balboa Park Explorer Pass
The Parkwide Explorer Pass with One Day Zoo Admission includes the ability to visit the Balboa Park museums for seven consecutive days AND one-day admission to the San Diego Zoo. This is convenient because the Zoo is right next door to Balboa Park.
This San Diego Zoo ticket includes one-day admission, Guided Bus Tour, Skyfari Aerial Tram, and the Kangaroo Express Bus.
If you purchase this discounted San Diego Zoo ticket, you’ll need to pick up a voucher at the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Visitor Center hours (10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) are usually a little more limited than San Diego Zoo hours (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.). So, I would plan to visit Balboa Park first so that you can pick up the pass. Then, you’ll be able to get to the Zoo when it opens at 9 a.m. on a different day.
Tip: Some museums are closed Mondays; The San Diego Museum of Art is closed Wednesdays.
6. Go Los Angeles Pass
Go San Diego includes much more value (and more activities) to those spending time in my city. If you plan to take a road trip between San Diego and Los Angeles, you may want to consider a Go Los Angeles sightseeing pass because it includes Universal Studios Hollywood.
To make your pass even cheaper, use my exclusive 10% discount.
EXCLUSIVE LA JOLLA MOM DISCOUNT
Click to apply an extra 10% off All-Inclusive Go Los Angeles sightseeing passes.
This discount stacks on top of sale rates! Expires 12/31/21.
Note: Go Los Angeles does not include the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
7. Kids Free San Diego in October
During the month of October, up to 10 children ages 11 and younger per paid adult receive free entrance during the annual Kids Free San Diego promotion. Yes, this is why October is one of the best times to visit San Diego with kids.
You need to purchase a qualifying adult ticket, but qualifying children do not need to present any type of San Diego Zoo passes to enter. The good news is that my adult tickets qualify, so use my San Diego Zoo discount code to buy at a cheaper price if you are visiting in October! Note that sightseeing passes do not qualify for the promotion. Kids Free San Diego Zoo tickets include unlimited rides on the Skyfari Aerial Tram which is now open.
The other reason to visit in October is for the Halgloween activities. As the sun sets you’ll be treated to some glow-in-the-dark decor, live entertainment including a DJ, a dance party, and much more on select October weekends.
8. AAA Ticket Discounts
The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park offer a special 10% discount for AAA members when you show your membership card at a ticket booth window. Members may purchase up to six of these AAA San Diego Zoo tickets.
Tickets can also be purchased at AAA branches. AAA has multiple regional outlets, and they don’t always sell the same products. Call your local branch to see if you can buy San Diego Zoo tickets through AAA.
The Zoo prefers that guests arrive with tickets already in-hand. If you plan to use this way to save, consider picking up the tickets ahead of time.
My promo code offers nearly the same savings. Plus, you can use it now and save the time it would normally take for you to purchase discounted tickets in a branch.
9. Military Ticket Discounts and Free Tickets
The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park offer special military discounts and even free tickets that can be used year-round.
- U.S. Armed Forces personnel receive a complimentary 1-Day Pass to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park upon presenting a Common Access Card (CAC) or Uniformed Services ID Card at any ticket window. Complimentary admission is reserved exclusively for active duty service members, however.
- Military spouses and eligible dependents receive a 10% discount off the 1-Day Pass at both the Zoo and Safari Park when showing a valid dependent ID card.
- Check with MWR Departments for other applicable San Diego Zoo discount tickets with special military pricing.
10. Costco Ticket Discounts
People also often ask me how much are San Diego Zoo tickets at Costco. I haven’t seen cheap tickets in my local store for individual San Diego attractions in a while. You can check online (non-members pay a 5% surcharge) and in your store because availability does change.
11. Group Discounts
Groups of 15 or more can receive a 10% discount off the regular 1-Day Pass ticket price. Groups of 100 or more receive a 15% discount off of the regular 1-Day Pass ticket price. You’ll need to make reservations with the sales department. They can also arrange meal vouchers that make group dining cashless, cheaper, and easier.
12. Senior and Student Discounts
Ages 65 and older are eligible for a 10% discount off the regular 1-Day Pass ticket price. Students ages 12 and above are eligible for a 10% discount off of the adult 1-Day Pass ticket price. Neither can be secured online. A photo ID needs to be presented at a Zoo ticket booth window to be eligible for the discount.
13. Discounts for the Travel Industry
A 10% discount on a 1-Day Pass is available to members of the travel industry for themselves and one guest. Head to a ticket booth window with a valid ID or CLIA card to take advantage of this discount if you are a travel agent, cruise line employee, or an airline employee.
14. San Diego Zoo Gift Cards
Did you know that it’s possible to give San Diego Zoo gift cards? This could provide great value to Zoo lovers and enable them to save off of San Diego Zoo tickets, enjoy one of their many upgraded experiences, or save on an annual membership.
A gift card can be purchased in denominations of $50 and above. Think about gifting these for special occasions and holidays.
15. San Diego Zoo Memberships for Residents and Frequent Visitors
We have an annual San Diego Zoo membership and believe it’s of great value. Regular visitors should absolutely consider a San Diego Zoo membership that will allow weekday or unlimited admission per year for one flat rate. The membership tiers and perks have been revised for 2021. Here’s what’s new.
- Members will need to make date-specific reservations.
- If you already have a membership, as I do, it’s my understanding that at renewal is when you’d choose to change to one of the new tiers.
- All membership tiers (except for the San Diego Zoo Kids Club) now receive Wild Perks. Wild Perks are discounts on food, merchandise, and more within the parks you receive when showing your membership card. Discounts range from 5–15%, depending on your membership tier.
- All kids ages 3–17 will use the San Diego Zoo Kids Club annual membership ($62/year). Adults choose which membership tier is best for them. Then, a San Diego Kids Zoo Kids Club membership is added to the cart for any kids.
San Diego Resident and San Diego Resident Premium Passes
San Diego Zoo annual passes for residents are designed for San Diego County residents in these zip codes to enjoy the Zoo and Safari Park as much as they like during a membership year. You have two types to choose from.
San Diego Resident: This includes weekday-only admission to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park with some blackout dates. You’ll also receive two 50% off admission coupons, exclusive member specials, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Journal subscription, and 5% Wild Perks discounts. ($95/adult and $62/child — seniors save an extra 10%)
San Diego Resident Premium: You’ll receive unlimited admission to both parks in addition to two 50% off admission coupons, exclusive member specials, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Journal subscription, and 5% off Wild Perks. ($119/adult and $62/child — seniors save an extra 10%)
Wildlife Protector: This pass includes weekday admission to both parks (some blackout dates apply), one complimentary 1-Day Pass, free parking, 10% Wild Perks discounts, use of the Donor Club entrance, and a San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Journal subscription. ($139/adult and $62/child — seniors save an extra 10%)
Wildlife Protector Premium (Top Pick): This pass includes unlimited admission to both parks, one complimentary 1-Day Pass, free parking, 10% Wild Perks discounts, use of the Donor Club entrance, a San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Journal subscription, special early hours. This is the pass that is closest to the old Keeper’s Club pass. ($159/adult and $62/child — seniors save an extra 10%)
Wildlife Guardian: Passholders receive unlimited admission to both parks, two complimentary 1-Day Passes, free parking, 10% Wild Perks discounts, use of the Donor Club entrance, a San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Journal subscription, special early hours, a 50% off Special Experience/Safari Tour, member appreciation day and access to special events. ($209/adult and $62/child)
Wildlife Champion: Passholders receive unlimited admission to both parks, two complimentary 1-Day Passes, free Preferred Parking at the Safari Park, 15% Wild Perks discounts, use of the Donor Club entrance, a San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Journal subscription, special early hours, two 50% off Special Experience/Safari Tour, priority boarding for the Bus Tour at the Zoo and Africa Tram at the Safari Park, member appreciation day and access to special events (including the annual “Evening with the Directors” event. ($400/adult and $62/child)
The President’s Clubs are donor clubs are for people who can give more. You’ll receive everything in the Wildlife Champion membership and much more.
President’s Clubs are also great for people who enjoy special events. The higher the level you choose to join, the more exclusive events and experiences you are invited to at both San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance parks.
We have been to many of these events and they are incredible for those who enjoy behind-the-scenes private experiences and animal interactions. Memberships range from $1200–10,000.
Tip: Always check blockout dates! It’s very easy to forget that certain levels of membership have blockout dates that can include weekends, holidays, and random peak days.
What to Know Before You Arrive
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is the new name for San Diego Zoo Global. With the recent rebrand came new logos. I thought I’d mention it in case your ticket and signage around the parks look a little different to you.
San Diego Zoo is usually open every day from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., including major holidays. Hours may be extended during holidays and special Zoo events.
San Diego Zoo implements health and safety measures based on guidance from health authorities at the state, county, and CDC. And, they are allowed to be open at full capacity. Most of the exhibits are outdoors.
- You do not need to make reservations to enter.
- It’s advised to buy San Diego Zoo tickets and tours in advance. This way, you can proceed straight to the turnstiles with your valid admission ticket and minimize contact with staff members.
- Out-of-state guests are welcome to visit.
- You may notice green distancing markers on the ground that are suggested cues for guests.
- Vaccinated guests do not need to wear face coverings. Guests ages 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated must wear a facial covering in indoor spaces. You do not need to bring proof of vaccination.
- Guests will not be permitted to leave and re-enter the park. (Normally, re-entry is permitted.)
- Some exhibits, mostly play areas, are closed rest assured that there are plenty of things to do at San Diego Zoo with kids.
You can read more about the enhanced measures and keep up with changes here.
FAQs About San Diego Zoo Tickets
These are the questions about tickets for San Diego Zoo and other park discounts that land in my inbox the most.
Is the San Diego Zoo open?
San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park reopened on January 30, 2021, after being closed due to the Governor’s regional stay-at-home order.
What if I already had a reservation during the Zoo’s closure?
If you had a reservation to visit the Zoo during this temporary closure, it’s been automatically released. Your San Diego Zoo ticket remains valid for one year from the date of your purchase.
Will my annual pass be extended?
Your annual pass will be extended by the number of days the Zoo and Safari Park were closed during your year of membership.
How much are San Diego Zoo tickets?
Regular 1-Day Passes cost $62 for adults and $52 for children ages 3-11. (But you can pay less with my discount.) Children ages 2 and under are free and do not require tickets. They can walk right in with a paying adult.
Is it cheaper to buy San Diego Zoo tickets online?
Yes, prices for online tickets are definitely cheaper. My San Diego Zoo promo code is the best price I’ve seen so far. Plus, the Zoo encourages guests to arrive with tickets purchased online to minimize in-person transactions as part of enhanced health and safety measures.
Should I link my ticket to the San Diego Zoo app?
You can link 1-Visit and 2-Visit tickets to the San Diego Zoo app if you like, but it isn’t at all necessary. Other than entering the turnstiles, you won’t need your ticket for the rest of your visit.
I have a membership and I don’t see any place to link that to the app. That would be a helpful feature.
Can you buy San Diego Zoo tickets at the door?
Yes. You can purchase admission at the ticket window at the full price.
Do I need a special ticket for Halloween?
No. Admission to the weekend Halgloween Halloween festivities is included with your ticket. The 2020 dates for this special event were October 9–11, 16–18, and 23–25.
Is Jungle Bells included with regular admission?
Yes. The annual holiday Jungle Bells festivities are included with regular admission. In 2020, these dates were November 27, 28, 29, December 4-6, 11-13, 18-23, 25-January 3.
Are San Diego Zoo tickets refundable?
No. Tickets for San Diego Zoo, no matter where you buy them, are not eligible for refunds.
Do I need a reservation to visit the Zoo?
No. You no longer need a reservation to visit the San Diego Zoo. Reservations were required before June 14, 2021 when the state required them to operate at reduced capacity levels.
I recommend that you arrive when it opens, if not a little before. During the weekdays, the busiest times are normally between 12–2 p.m; and weekends between 11 a.m.–3 p.m. You can check their website for more information.
What is included with a 1-Day ticket?
A 1-Day or a 2-Visit San Diego Zoo ticket gets you into the Zoo and on the Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, Skyfari Aerial Tram, and all regularly scheduled shows.
Admission to a 4-D movie in one of the two theaters is an additional $7. You can usually buy a combination ticket that includes 1-Day admission and a 4-D movie through the San Diego Zoo (temporarily unavailable). However, it’s cheaper to use my 1-Day tickets (request my discount) and then add the movie at the park.
San Diego Zoo admission includes access to all public exhibits. My favorites are the polar bears, koalas, Galapagos tortoises, elephants, hippos, giraffes, and more animals who live in enclosures designed to mimic their natural habitats. You can read my list of top San Diego Zoo animals. You’ll be able to enjoy some interactive experiences such as animal presentations that include Keeper Talks and shows.
Some animal encounters are typically available, but they have temporarily been paused. Your best chance of enjoying animal encounters is by upgrading your date to include a San Diego Zoo tour.
Can you get tickets to both the Zoo and Safari Park?
Yes, there are several multi-park ticket options. The 2-Visit Pass provides you with one visit to the Zoo and one visit to the Safari Park, or two visits to either attraction.
My favorite option is to purchase a Go San Diego pass which provides admission to more than 48 local attractions for one low price. The San Diego 3-For-1 Pass gets you into the Zoo, Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego and is valid for seven consecutive days (temporarily unavailable).
Does the Zoo offer annual passes?
Yes, there are multiple types of annual passes available. There are some specifically for San Diego County residents and Membership Clubs.
They offer weekday or unlimited access to the Zoo, Safari Park, Zoo Skyfari Aerial Tram, and Safari Park Africa Tram, along with member specials and discounts. The San Diego Zoo Kids Club is the child’s annual pass.
The Membership Clubs, which San Diego County residents can choose as well, additional perks such as free guest passes, free parking at Safari Park, and use of the Door Club Entrance. You can also experience various other benefits and special events by joining through President’s Club levels.
Can I upgrade my 1-Day ticket to an annual pass?
Yes. Bring your paper or digital ticket to a ticket booth and staff members will be able to credit the amount paid for your 1-Day ticket to the purchase of an annual pass.
The discounted aRes Travel tickets that you can purchase through me DO qualify for an upgrade.
Where can you get discounted tickets?
Right here! I have listed how to buy discounted San Diego Zoo tickets from trusted vendors. Use my exclusive discount and find tips on bundling your tickets with your hotel, multi-day passes, membership, and more cheap ways to save. You will also save on admission with Go San Diego, our most popular sightseeing pass that includes other theme parks.
Can you get military discounts for the Zoo?
Active duty military members receive complimentary admission into the park with a valid military ID. Military spouses and dependents receive special San Diego Zoo military pricing of 10% off the 1-Day pass with a valid military ID (the military member does not need to be present).
Are there AARP San Diego Zoo coupons and tickets?
Unfortunately, there are no AARP coupons or discounted park admission offers to either the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Are there San Diego Zoo teacher discounts?
It is advertised that there are San Diego Zoo teacher discounts through ID.me. I haven’t been able to verify this so if you successfully save money through this method please leave a comment and let me know.
Are there San Diego resident discounts?
The only San Diego resident discounts available are through the purchase of annual passes, which are available for guests who live in zip codes 91900–92899. Passholders receive year-round admission to SD Zoo in addition to discounts on food and merchandise.
What day is the Zoo free?
From October 1-31, children under 11 receive free admission to the San Diego Zoo during the annual Kids Free San Diego promotion. Kids must enter the Zoo with a paid adult who holds a qualifying ticket.
Is one day at the San Diego Zoo enough?
It is possible to see the majority of the Zoo in one day. However, families traveling with young children can benefit from breaking a full-day visit into two half-day visits. Or, book a Cart Tour to see the animals at a faster pace before small children become tired.
We go multiple times per year. There is enough family fun in the theme park to have a different experience every time at the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
How much is parking at the San Diego Zoo?
San Diego Zoo parking is free! I advise you to arrive early because spaces in the large parking lot are temporarily limited to provide proper distancing between vehicles.
You can also find free street parking along Park Blvd (this fills up quickly) and in the Balboa Park parking lots. The closest Balboa Park parking lots to the Zoo are near San Diego Natural History Museum and behind Fleet Science Center.
What other San Diego Zoo discounts are available?
Besides cheap San Diego Zoo tickets that you can buy through the trusted methods outlined above, other ways to save are limited. Certain member passes include in-park San Diego Zoo discounts on food and merchandise that are called WildPerks.
Keeper’s Club and Curator’s Club members receive a WildPerks 10% discount. Director’s Club and President’s Club members, and Circle of Friends receive a WildPerks 15% discount. You’ll need to present your membership card at the time of purchase.
You’re allowed to bring in your own food and drinks, which is one way to cut costs during your visit. Outside of dining, there isn’t a need to spend money on extras once you’re inside the park.
A big part of my job includes identifying reliable San Diego Zoo coupons, cheap tickets, promotions, and discount codes for this popular attraction. If they exist and I can trust them, they’ll always be listed in this post. However, remember, every dollar that you spend in the park goes to operating costs and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s amazing conservation initiatives as a nonprofit organization.
More San Diego Zoo Resources
As a member who has been visiting for over two decades (!!!), I have many recommendations to help maximize your day so that you can enjoy the animals and plants (the Zoo is also an official Botanic Garden). For even more advice, browse all San Diego Zoo posts.
San Diego Zoo Restaurants
Whether it’s takeaway food or table service at Albert’s, I’ve listed my favorite snacks and dining options inside the theme park.
If you need a nearby hotel, I recommend staying in downtown San Diego and a few other surrounding areas at these properties.
Top Tips for Visiting San Diego Zoo
My insider tips for how to structure your day are helpful, especially for first-time visitors.
Learn also how to buy discount tickets for Southern California and other United States theme parks including:
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- SeaWorld San Diego
- LEGOLAND California
- Aquatica San Diego (seasonal)
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Knotts Berry Farm
- LEGOLAND Florida
- Universal Orlando
- San Francisco Zoo
EXPORE MORE OF SAN DIEGO ZOO