Can’t make your annual jaunt to Africa this year? Then San Diego Zoo Safari Park (the zoo’s sister) is the next best thing. With 1,800 acres of natural habitat, half devoted to free-roaming herds of rhinos, giraffes, gazelles, antelopes and birds, this park is one your family will be referring to for years. The park offers a generous menu of “special experiences” including a “Roar and Snore” program and a photo truck drive (what is a photo truck drive?)out to experience giraffe’s eyes descending down to meet your own. It’s okay, mom, they’re gentle. Or even watch the fastest land mammal go for the gold. Yep, the cheetahs put on quite the show by charging after a mechanical rabbit. Sunscreen and strollers highly recommended: strollers, $9; double strollers, $14. Single day tickets are $24 for kids (3-11) and $34 for adults (12+). There are multi-day tickets and park-hopper passes. Special experiences are priced per package. Read a full review of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, 92027-7017, CA