Date: December 15, 2012 - January 6, 2013
Price: Free with admission
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During the three-week Jungle Bells celebration, the San Diego Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Guests can enjoy a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, lighted animal displays throughout the park, live animal shows, storytelling, bell ringers and, of course, Santa Claus.
2012 Jungle Bell Activities
- North Pole Elf Express
Times: Daily - 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM (12/17-21, 3:00 to 8:00 PM)
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 - 2:00 to 8:00 PM
- 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 - 5:00 PM
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 - 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 PM
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.
- Snow Alert!
Times: Nightly - 5:00 PM
Location: Main Entrance
Every night at 5:00 PM 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 - 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Locations: Express Stops
Tickets: $5 for adults & $3 for kids after 4:00 PM
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 - 4:00 to 8:00 PM
Location: 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 to 8:00 PM, 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.
- Memory Lane
Times: Daily - 4:00 to 8:00 PM
Location: 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!
- Santa's Workshop
Times: Nightly, 4:30 to 8:00 PM
Location: Skyfari East
This is it, kids! Get a chance to talk to Santa about your holiday wish and maybe have your photo taken with the jolly gent. Get there early 'cuz there will probably be a little wait, but there is so much to do in the area like visit Chocolate Town and slithery reptile viewing, that time will pass quickly.
- Frosty's Jumping Waters
Times: Nightly - 5:00 to 8:00 PM
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 - 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 PM
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: 4:00 to 8:00 PM
- 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 - 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
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 - 4:00 to 8:00 PM
Clark Theater Times: 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 PM
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.
- Albert's Restaurant
Hours: Daily - 11:00 AM to 7:00 (except 12/24)
Happy Hour: 3:00 to 5:00 PM
Prix Fixe Menu: Christmas Day Only, 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Location: Albert's Restaurant
Join us from 3:00 to 5:00 PM daily, December 15 through January 6 (except December 24), and enjoy selections from our $6 and $7 menu that includes appetizers, cocktails, fine wines, and craft beers. Stay after 5:00 PM to closing and enjoy dinner from Albert's winter menu. Special holiday prix fixe menu available on Christmas evening. Seating available until 7:00 PM each evening (excluding 12/24); reservations are not required but are recommended.
Call 619-685-3200 between 11 AM and 3 PM to reserve your table. Admission required for non-members.
- Treehouse "Blitzen" Light Experience
Times: 5 to 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 PM
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.
- Backstage Pass
Times: By Reservation Only
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 to 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.
- Fisher-Price Little People Live Holiday Show
Dates: December 15 and 16
Times: 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM (two 30 minute shows daily)
Location: Hunte Amphitheater
Back by popular demand, the Fisher-Price Little People costumed characters, Sonya Lee, Eddie, and Michael, along with Teacher Terry, will present a live holiday-themed musical stage show with lots of singing and dancing. The show is geared towards kids ages 5 and under.
- Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D
Times: Daily - 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
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!