This year, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is celebrating kids in a big way during October’s Kids Free Month, by offering amazingly fun activities and experiences for the whole family at the nonprofit conservation organization’s two wildlife parks. Throughout the entire month of October, kids ages 11 and younger will receive free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and can take part in special October weekend activities, such as unique entertainment, culinary delights and one-of-a-kind encounters with amazing wildlife—as they discover ways that everyone can work together to build a world where all life thrives.
At San Diego Zoo
At the San Diego Zoo, HalGLOWeen—a Halloween-themed extravaganza—is coming back, bigger and better than ever! This year, the glittering, glowing spectacular has been expanded to five fun-filled weekends—Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 1 through 31—to allow families more time to encounter remarkable wildlife in diverse habitats, and take part in all of the “fang-tastic” HalGLOWeen entertainment and experiences. As the sun goes down each weekend, from 5 to 9 p.m., guests can enjoy a multitude of entertainment options, including live music, amazing performances, and awesome interactive games and costume fun—hosted by the Zoo’s zany Dr. Zoolittle. Guests can meet and greet the Zoo’s Boo Crew, as Dr. Harry and Friends don their Halloween finery—and they will find delicious seasonal treats at eateries throughout the Zoo.
During the day, Zoo guests also have the opportunity to venture through two brand-new experiences: the Kenneth C. Griffin Komodo Kingdom and the William E. Cole Family Hummingbird Habitat. Both habitats offer state-of-the-art spaces where visitors can interact with some of the most powerful and delicate species on earth.
Komodo Kingdom offers visitors the chance to see these magnificent lizards up close, learn more about this species, the challenges they face and the work San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is doing to the save their species—and hundreds of others like them—and the delicate ecosystems they call home. The adjacent infinity-loop-shaped Hummingbird Habitat provide guests the opportunity to experience several species of hummingbirds, as well as other rare birds from their native regions in North and South America—shining a light on species many people have heard of, but may not know a lot about.
At Safari Park
At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, there’s a new celebration this year: Autumn Festival! Guests are invited each weekend—Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 16 through 31—to celebrate the fall season with wildlife encounters, entertainment and culinary comforts. Guests will be able to experience upbeat, modern country soundtracks and live Bluegrass music that will get everyone up and line dancing plus participate in interactive trivia games about autumn to win special culinary prizes. Safari Parker, explorer and adventurer extraordinaire, will share entertaining and educational insights about the importance of wildlife to our ecosystem, including tips on how we can help support and protect wildlife habitats before they disappear. Safari Park guests will also get an opportunity to find out more about the numerous flowers and fascinating plants around the Safari Park that thrive during fall. And at the Safari Park’s many restaurants, guests will discover remarkable tastes of autumn, with everything from pumpkin-spiced coffee and apple pie to pumpkin-flavored beer and apple cider.
Apart from the amazing Autumn Festival activities, guests can take part in a variety of thrilling Safaris, such as flying over the landscape on Flightline Safari, climb aboard a caravan truck for a trip through the Park’s African savanna during a Wildlife Safari, or spend an amazing night under that stars for a Roar and Snore experience.
All children younger than 15 must be accompanied by a paid adult during their visits to the Zoo and the Safari Park. The Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day—except during HalGLOWeen, when the Zoo will stay open until 9 p.m. The Safari Park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and until 7 p.m. on weekends for Autumn Festival. HalGLOWeen festivities take place only at the Zoo, and Autumn Festival takes place only at the Safari Park. Both experiences are free with paid admission or membership. For more information about Kids Free, HalGLOWeen and Autumn Festival—and to check out the Zoo’s costume guidelines for kids 11 and younger—visit sdzwa.org.