California Zoos


San Diego Zoo Jungle Bells

December 13-23, 2019 and December 25-January 5, 2020

On December 24 there is no Jungle Bells

San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park
2920 Zoo Drive
San Diego, CA
$56-62 or multiple day passes higher,

Events and activities at the zoo during this event include: Northern Frontier Holiday Forest with lighted trees | Animal Encounters with raccoons, cheetahs, polar bears and other animals | Santa's Igloo photos with Santa Claus | Reindeer Games such as hula hoops and Reindeer Dance | Strolling Musicians | Live Entertainment | Polar Express 4-D Experience

Later hours are filled with musical performances, entertainers, and animal encounters. New this year is Aurora, an exciting visual and sound experience that weaves 3-D projections, music, and light into a spectacular performance.
'Tis the Season to celebrate—join in the holiday cheer!

7:45 p.m.
Hua Mei Plaza
An amazing blend of music and 3-D projection mapped images transport you into a magical space. The friendly nature sprites are here too, sharing their story as well as the power of nature contained within their mystical orbs. As the performance comes to a dramatic and beautiful conclusion, the Aurora Borealis appears—possibly the only time it has been seen in San Diego!

7 p.m.
Wind, water, and ice sprites each inhabit one of three areas of the Zoo, guiding you to the Aurora experience at the end of the evening. Special lighting, music, and soundscape reveal the magic of their realms.

4:30, 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m.
Front Street Stage
These jingly, jazzy carols are sure to help get everyone into the holiday spirit.

4:55 to 7:55 p.m.
Main Entrance Plaza
Every 30 minutes, toog tree, adorned with hundreds of bulbs, doesn't just light up, it seems to come to life! Bright bits of light blink and dazzle as they light up the night, "dancing" to the sounds of the season.

3, 4, 5, and 6 p.m.
Behind Sydney's Grill
Santa's elves and their large trampoline return to put a bounce in everyone's holiday step. The elves are supposed to be getting a jump on cleaning up the workshop, but mischief beckons, and fun ensues.

4, 5, 6, and 7 p.m.
Africa Rocks Stage
Dr. Zoolittle has his own zany version of Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem, and it all happens here at the Zoo! Not a creature will stir as this superb storyteller captivates the child in all, and visions of animals dance in our heads.

5:15, 5:45, 6:15, and 6:45 p.m.
Boardwalk Beer Garden
Sway to some seasonal favorites sung a cappella. Enjoy the entire 20-minute performance; a dusting of "frosty holiday magic" at the end will have you smiling with delight!

5, 6, and 7 p.m.
Front Street Stage
Everyone knows reindeer like to have fun—so grab a hula hoop and join in the games. You'll even learn to do the reindeer dance; no hoofing experience required!

4 to 8 p.m.
Treetops Cafe
This is the spot for Zoo character meet-and-greets, strolling musicians, snacks, and Santa.

Continuous, 4 to 7 p.m.
Gingerbread Landing
Meet larger-than-life, friendly Zoo characters like Dr. Harry Lion, Churchill Polar Bear, Sydney Koala, and all their friends. Put on your jolliest smile, and snap a picture for a great holiday card next year!

Price Education Center
Santa will be waiting to welcome young guests. Even if they've already sent him their wish list or had a chat at another location, a visit with the jolly ol' elf himself is a special opportunity for sweet memories.
November 29 and 30; December 7 and 8: Noon to 4 p.m.
December 1323: Noon to 8 p.m.
December 24: Noon to 4 p.m.
December 25: Noon to 8 p.m.

Meet some Zoo residents and the experts who know and care for them.
Polar Bear Plunge: Polar Bears 11 a.m. | Reindeer 12:30 p.m. | Raccoon 5:15 p.m.
Africa Rocks: Lemurs 12 p.m. | Baboons: 12:45 p.m.
Meerkats 12:30 p.m.
Elephant Odyssey, near the condors: Corral Animals 1:30 p.m. 
Reptile Walk: Reptiles: 2 p.m.
Wegeforth Bowl: Animal Surprise: 3 p.m.
Urban Jungle: Animal Ambassador Area 3:30 p.m. | Rhino 4:30 p.m. 
Asian Passage: Asian Leopards 6:15 p.m.

THE POLAR EXPRESS 4-D EXPERIENCE (ticket purchase required.)
Continuous; last show begins at 7 p.m.
Northern Frontier; 4-D Theater
You're invited on an extraordinary 4-D adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. Based on the inspiring and beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

Continuous until 8 p.m.
Polar Bear Plunge
Follow this festive forest pathway among specially decorated, lighted trees designed to delight. Peek at polar bears, arctic foxes, reindeer, and more.

Continuous until 8 p.m.
Outside the Zoo exit
Located just outside the Zoo exit, the beloved Miniature Train will be running during Jungle Bells.
Obtain a hand stamp at the Zoo's exit for same day re-entry.
Train tickets are $3 for ages 1 and older; younger than age 1 is free. Ages 5 and younger must ride with a paying adult.
Aye-aye in tree.

 What happens at the Zoo at sunset? This evening tour features a special look at animals that are just waking up as the sun goes down, including the aye-aye, a unique nocturnal lemur. Watch these night-loving animals enjoy special treats, get a rare sneak peek at our world-famous orchid collection, and learn how we care for our animals—day and night. Twilight Tour is available for a limited time only! For all ages.
3 to 5 p.m.
Albert's Restaurant
'Tis the season for great deals on drinks and appetizers at Albert's Restaurant. Stop in to fill your belly before getting your Jungle Bells on.

Albert's Restaurant and Aurora reserved priority viewing section near Hua Mei Plaza
More Information
Enjoy a delicious pre-show dinner at Albert's Restaurant, including an exclusive specialty dessert. Then, you'll arrive at a special reserved priority viewing area to watch the magic of Aurora—a brand-new immersive, multisensory presentation—as it unfolds before you. Blending sound, lights, 3-D projection mapping, and live performances, Aurora will immerse you in a spectacular, magical experience like no other.

Dinner reservations are available between 5 and 6:15 p.m. Aurora starts at 7:45 and ends at 7:55 p.m.

Cost is $50 per person for adults, $25 per person for children ages 3 to 11, plus tax and gratuity. Nonmembers add Zoo admission.


Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info

Near San Diego