7 Reasons to Go to The San Francisco Zoo

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Source:Eve;um ;ee
Any animal or nature lover will have a blast at the San Francisco zoo that is an oasis located just near the Pacific Ocean. Founded in 1929, this zoo has over 250 different species of animals and birds and the gardens also have a huge variety of flowering trees and plants. It is truly a natural paradise and makes you feel one with nature again! Cute baby penguins waddling across Penguin Island, photogenic bears, leaping lemurs as well as gorillas, ostriches, zebras, storks etc will all leave you mesmerized.

You can also take a ride on the Little Puffer Steam Train or let your children run free in the playground.  The children’s zoo in a separate area allows toddlers to pet the animals, as they are all harmless. You can even organize your kids’ birthday parties and other events at this landmark zoo! So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the San Francisco zoo today and witness a magical world of fun, frolic and adventure. To help you understand why this zoo is worth a visit, let us take a look at 7 reasons that make this zoo special.

1.Go animal crazy!

Source:Tim (Timothy) Pearce
There is no doubt that when you are visiting a zoo, you are looking to see a variety of animals, and you will find exactly this at the San Francisco zoo! You can watch amphibians like the exquisite Chinese Fire-Bellied Newt or try to catch the flight of the Peregrine Falcon. Just stare in awe at the Anise Swallowtail Caterpillars that is green in color with lines of light blue, orange, and black around it. Sea lions, penguins, the African Lion, Black Rhino, Red Pandas, wolverines, squirrel monkeys, the Komodo dragon , the American Alligator and much much more is in store for you here!

2.Feel the animals at the children’s zoo

Source:David Goehring

Which child is not tempted to pet a lovable creature? However, it is dangerous to do so with deadly animals in the main zoo. Thus, you can take your child along to the children’s zoo that has a petting zone where you can feed and pet goats and other kinds of animals. All the animals here are harmless, so you know your kids will be safe.  You and your kids can also learn about farm animals at the Family farm, discover some unique creatures at the Insect Zoo and watch a variety of birds at the Koret Animal Resource Center.

3.Take a ride on the Little Puffer Steam Train

Source:Stephen Woods

The Little Puffer was built in 1904 and had been stopped for over 20 years, when it finally reopened in 1998. This 22-gauge engine is one of the three such trains in the world and is definitely worth taking a ride on! It takes you all around the historic zoo and you can stop and see the animals at your own ease. Make sure you call and ask in advance about the train as it is periodically closed for maintenance work.

4.Round and round you go!


Let your kids swing around on the Dentzel Carousel that dates right back to 1921! It is near the Children’s zoo and has a wonderful merry go round filled with a variety of animals like rabbits, horses, cats, giraffes and dogs. Adults can also ride as long as the fee for the children has been paid. So, go relieve your childhood days on the merry go round and watch your kids smile away.

5.Have a play date at the Elinor Friend Playground

Source:Michael Fraley

The Elinor Friend Playground has three unique playing zones: a River Play Area for toddlers (6 months – 2 years), a Polar Zone exploration arena for pre-schoolers (2-5 years), and a Banyan Tree climbing structure for pre-teens (5-12 years). These arenas are all based on the themes of natural conservation, and help children and adults learn more about the distinct habitats around them.

6.Get that party started

Source:David Goehring

Whether you are organizing your children’s birthday party, hosting a cocktail party or arranging a wedding, the San Francisco zoo is the place you should go to! You can munch on chicken fingers while watching the monkeys at the lemur Café or cuddle up with a penguin at your wedding! Just mail sfzooevents@kmssa.com and they will organize everything for you. What better place is there to celebrate your event than in the lap of nature?

7.Learn more at an exhibit!

Source:Michael Fraley

You will never get bored at this zoo, as there are a number of exhibits to keep you busy! You can go on an Australian WalkAbout where you will get to see wallaroos and red kangaroos. Then there is the San Francisco Zoo’s Sculpture Learning Plaza that has over 100 sculptures of different species like amoeba, saltwater crocodiles etc. You must check out the Lipman Family Lemur Forest where you will fall in love with the cute little lemurs. This is the country’s largest lemur habitat and there are a number of trees here for the lemurs to swing around on here! There are many more such exhibits that teach you about different animals and habitats and makes you understand and value the importance of nature and wildlife.


  • Name: San Francisco Zoo and Gardens
  • Address: 2945 Sloat Blvd, San Francisco, CA
  • Phone: (415) 753-7080
  • Price: Free (Children ages 3 and below)
    • $11 (Children ages 4-14)
    • $14 (Seniors 65+)
    • $17 (Adults 15-64)
  • Parking:
    • $8 (Weekdays)
    • $10 (Weekends and holidays)
  • Access: You can take the Muni L Taraval line to the Zoo or the Muni bus lines 23 and 18. You will get a $1 discount on your admission fee. You can use the 511 Take Transit Trip Planner and enter the starting point as well as SF Zoo as the destination of your trip.
  • Opening hours: Daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    • Admission into Zoo ends at 4:00 pm.
    • Members may enter until 4:30 pm.
  • Website: http://www.sfzoo.org/visit/tickets-hours.htm

Have a nice trip!