What kind of exotic animal gets its wings every time a jungle bell rings? Find out for yourself this month at the Jungle Bells celebration, when the San Diego Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. You'll find a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, bell ringers filling the air with music, and lighted animal figures dotting the grounds. Dr. Zoolittle has an interactive "Night before Christmas" show, and you can make some new friends during "Animal Magic for the Holidays" critter presentations. Munch holiday specialties, take a "Candy Cane Lane Magical Journey," and experience even more seasonal cheer—Zoo style!
Times: Daily, 10 a.m.–noon or 1–3 p.m.
Be part of a small, intimate group (maximum 10) that will go dashing around the Zoo in a “one-horse” open VIP cart and have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the Zoo’s wildest jungle friends behind the scenes. $69 per person. Call 619-718-3000 or book online.
North Pole Elf Express
Times: Daily, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.*
*12/17 – 21, 3 – 8 p.m.
Our miniature train will be all decked out and ready to transport kids and adults alike around our holiday-lit track, and who knows, you might catch a glimpse of Santa on the way by.
Adopt an Animal for the Holidays
Times: Daily, 2 – 8 p.m.
Give the gift that means more! Adopt-a-Booth will be on board this holiday with super animal adoption opportunities and offering up wish list items for our animal residents here at the Zoo.
Conservation Tree Lighting
Times: Nightly, 5 p.m.
Location: Bronze Gorillas
Join us nightly at the stroke of 5 for a tree lighting ceremony by the Bronze Gorillas at the front of the Zoo.
The Bell Ringer's Welcome
Times: Nightly, 5, 6, and 7 p.m.
Location: Flamingo Plaza at Toog Tree
Each night a different community hand-bell group will ring in Jungle Bells with passion, beauty of expression and a joy of sharing their music and talent.
Times: Nightly, 5 p.m.
Location: Main Entrance
Every night at 5 p.m. it snows at the World-Famous San Diego Zoo. Bring your kids and enjoy watching them delight as they walk through this experience at the Zoo’s front entrance.
Reindeer Express Bus Ride
Times: Nightly, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Locations: Express Stops
Tickets: $5 for adults & $3 for kids after 4pm
Come hop on our express bus service to other parts of the Zoo to enjoy the holiday lighting and many of the other activities scheduled. A special price will be available for any guest to hop on Dancer or Blitzen to get your Jungle Bells adventure on its way.
Doc Terry, The Veterinarian
Times: Nightly, 4 – 8 p.m.
Locations: Flamingo Plaza
Returning from the North Pole in preparation for Jungle Bells our own Doc Terry, the Veterinarian, will be the unofficial host of this holiday celebration.
Tinseltown Trolley Light Tour
Times: Nightly, 4:30 – 8 p.m., Every 20 minutes
Tickets: Adults $2, Children (3-11) $1
Do you enjoy critter light spotting and singing carols? Well, just jump aboard our Tinseltown Trolley on Front Street and be transported on a short and unique tour of the Zoo.
Times: Daily, 4 – 8 p.m.
Locations: San Diego Zoo Sandwich Company
Enjoy a 30-minute video of famous, funny and heartwarming snippets from holiday movies and TV shows past and present as you dine!
Frosty's Jumping Waters
Times: Nightly, 5 – 8 p.m.
Delight in the festive holiday music, spectacular colored jumping water and crazy moving lights on the bridge welcoming you into one of the zoo's Discovery Outpost.
Dr. Zoolittle's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'
Times: Nightly, 4, 5, 6, and 7 p.m.
Location: Children's Zoo Clarke Theater
“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Zoo, not a creature was stirring, not even a ‘roo”. Drop by and enjoy this classic Christmas poem done with a Zoo twist by our lovable Dr. Zoolittle and friends.
Chocolate Town and the Twelve Days of Christmas
Times: 4 – 8 p.m.
Location: Zoofari Party Area
Be entertained by singers and animals alike, meet Zoo characters, even shake hands with the Mayor. Chocolate Town will be serving up tasty tidbits for kids and adults and as you enjoy your chocolaty treats relax and take in the very cool animated light display “Twelve Days of Christmas”.
Chocolate Holiday Tree
Times: Daily Photo Op
Location: Zoofari Party Area
Come see how our world-famous horticulturalists created a chocolate themed tree to go with our holiday celebration and take a picture with family and friends to send around the world.
Rudolph's Ride to the Northern Frontier
Times: Daily, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
What better way to get to see an iconic holiday animal such as our polar bears than taking a ride on Skyfari’s sky gondolas playfully adorned with a red nose on each car?
Animal Magic for the Holidays
Discovery Outpost Times: Daily, 4 – 8 p.m.
Clark Theater Times: 4:30, 5:30, & 6:30 p.m.
Animal Magic for the Holidays provides chances for up close and personal meet-and-greets with our Animal Ambassadors throughout Discovery Outpost.
Candy Cane Lane Magical Journey
Location: Easy Street
Stroll down Candy Cane lane to visit our "Blitzen" Treehouse light experience or just cozy up to the bar at our fine dining restaurant, Albert’s. You might just want to put your name on one of our cute canes, as that donation provides wishes for animals here at the Zoo.
Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 daily
Happy Hour: 3 – 5 p.m.
Location: Albert's Restaurant
Join us from 3 to 5 p.m. daily and enjoy selections from our $6 and $7 menu that includes appetizers, cocktails, fine wines, and craft beers. Stay after 5 p.m to closing and enjoy dinner from Albert's winter menu. Seating available until 7 p.m. each evening; reservations are not required but are recommended.
Call 619-685-3200 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to reserve your table. Admission required for nonmembers.
Treehouse "Blitzen" Light Experience
Times:5 - 7 minute performances every 15 minutes after dark
Location: Treehouse Plaza
Enjoy a light show on the Treehouse Plaza designed to delight young and old alike while sipping a tasty Zoo Brew!
Jumping, Jamming Elves
Times: Daily, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30 p.m.
Location: Sydney's Grill
The Jumpin', Jammin' Elves will make you gasp as they seem to defy gravity while they dance in the air. But that's not enough for them; they will throw beads to the crowd and afterwards plan to paint as many Rudolph noses as possible on kids and adults alike after the performance.
Times:By Reservation Only
Tickets: Buy Now
Do something special for the holidays and take your family and friends to this one-of-a-kind animal experience in Urban Jungle. Feed a rhino, walk with flamingos, and get close to a cheetah. What could make a better holiday present?
Jungle Bell Jump
Times: Daily, Noon – Close
Location: Sun Bear Lawn Forest
Decked out for the holidays with holiday lights is one of our premium kid’s attractions for Jungle Bells. Jump and climb to your heart’s content on the Sun Bear Forest Lawn.
Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D
Times: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. daily
Location: Across from Skyfari West
Tickets:Tickets can be purchased at Zoo Admissions ticket booths and at the San Diego Zoo 4-D Theater entrance.
The San Diego Zoo 4-D Theater presents Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D! Immerse yourself in a cinematic holiday adventure for the entire family that combines high-definition 3-D with thrilling sensory effects such as wind, mist, snow...and more! When Sid the Sloth accidentally ends up on Santa's "naughty list," it's up to Manny the mammoth and his prehistoric posse to band together and journey to the North Pole to make things right!
Visit the Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D page here!