Frequently Asked Questions - Facilities & Services
The San Diego Zoo has free parking. The parking lot in front of the Zoo is owned and operated by the City of San Diego and is used by guests, volunteers and employees of Balboa Park (Zoo employees have a separate lot). The parking lots around Balboa Park are also free to the public, per city guidelines. Due to the unique arrangement with the City of San Diego, the San Diego Zoo is one of the few attractions in the county that do not charge for parking. This is a great benefit to members and guests of the San Diego Zoo!
The San Diego Zoo is a very popular destination and during peak attendance days (holidays; weekends during spring break, summer and December) we may have short periods of time during which the city-owned parking lot in front of the Zoo is full. At these times we encourage guests to park in overflow parking (Inspiration Point, on the east side of Park Boulevard, between Presidents Way and the Balboa Park Activity Center) and either walk or take available tram services (available in the parking lots by the Navy Hospital at the south end of Park Boulevard) that serve Balboa Park.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park parking lot is privately owned and has a parking fee. Please click here for current Safari Park parking fees. Payment can be made by credit or debit card or cash (no $100 bills). As a nonprofit organization, San Diego Zoo Global depends on money raised from memberships, admission, food and gift shop sales, and Safari Park parking fees to assist in maintaining the animals in our care and further our mission of conservation and education.
No overnight parking is permitted at either park, other than for guests participating in scheduled sleepover programs.
Parking reminders: Lock your vehicle; lock your valuables out of sight; park within marked stalls; Zoo parking violations will be cited by municipal law enforcement. The owners and operators of our parks herby specifically disclaim any responsibliity, expressed or implied, to protect against the loss of or damage to your vehicle or its contents.
The parking lot in front of the San Diego Zoo does not have designated RV or bus parking spaces. It is a municipal parking lot with accompanying enforcement by the San Diego Police Department. We recommend guests with RVs park along Park Boulevard in front of the Zoo or at the Inspiration Point parking lot (on the east side of Park Boulevard, between Presidents Way and the Balboa Park Activity Center) for easy access to the Zoo and the heart of Balboa Park via the free tram. The parking lot on the south side of Inspiration Point has designated full-size/striped RV and bus parking spaces. The parking lots around Balboa Park are free to the public, per city guidelines.
The Safari Park's parking lot is open and available for RV/bus parking during normal business hours. It has spaces dedicated for large vehicles and parking staff will direct you to the appropriate location to park your oversized vehicle. Please click here for current Safari Park parking fees. The Safari Park does not permit overnight parking except for our Roar and Snore sleepover guests.
We have a variety of options to assist you and your family. Both of our parks offer an “Easy Access Pass” that allows you to go to the head of the lines at the Zoo’s Bus Depot and Skyfari aerial tram and the Safari Park’s Africa Tram Safari. In addition, there are complimentary shuttles to assist you and your party in accessing our lower canyon areas.
Please stop in at Guest Services to request our ADA Packet that will include information on these services as well as descriptions of exhibits and show access.
If you have other specific questions, we will be happy to assist you. Please call us at 619-718-3000.
The Zoo has a First Aid office, located next to the Reptile house, which is often used by mothers to nurse their infants. There is a privacy curtain to allow mothers complete privacy. We also have a microwave for preparing your child’s meal. Some mothers prefer to sit just outside the First Aid office on one of the benches provided. It is semi-private as the vegetation growth is considerable. Diaper changing stations are also available in most restrooms.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a curtained area in the Health Services office that is often used by mothers to nurse their infants, as well as an area in the women’s restrooms designated for nursing. Diaper changing stations are also available in most restrooms.
The Zoo and Safari Park have strollers available for rent.The daily charge for a single stroller is $14 and a double stroller is $18. There is one size of stroller, made of molded plastic, to fit a variety of children; you may check the fit before renting. Strollers have cup holders and a storage pouch in the back. Our double strollers offer side-by-side seating. We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations are available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.
Our parks have wheelchairs and electric scooters available for rent. The daily rental charge for a manual wheelchair is $14; an electric scooter is $50 unless the guest's membership level qualifies them for a Wild Perks discount. Guests must provide a valid driver’s license or San Diego Zoo Global membership card. We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.
Celebrate your child’s birthday with our Aussie Outback Birthdays, a once-in-a-lifetime Australian adventure! Children ages 10 and younger will enjoy a special birthday celebration in our Aussie Outback party room, hosted by our knowledgeable and fun-loving Zoo educators. The Birthday Bash includes up-close animal presentations and entertainment with the Zoo’s own animal researcher, Dr. Zoolittle. Guests will enjoy Zoo decorations, cake and juice, and fun, Zoo-themed birthday activities. Call 619-685-3259 to speak with an event specialist or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Celebrate your child’s birthday with our Aussie Outback Birthdays, a once-in-a-lifetime Australian adventure! Children ages 10 and younger will enjoy a special birthday celebration in our Aussie Outback party room, hosted by our knowledgeable and fun-loving Zoo educators. The Birthday Bash includes up-close animal presentations and entertainment with the Zoo’s own animal researcher, Dr. Zoolittle. Guests will enjoy Zoo decorations, cake and juice, and fun, Zoo-themed birthday activities.
Call 619-685-3259 to speak with an event specialist or email us at email@example.com for more information.
We also offer a full range of catering services, or guests may bring personal food items into our parks. Large food storage containers such as coolers are not permitted on grounds, and no facilities are available for food storage. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For the safety of other guests and the animals in our care, we ask that you do not bring any glass, straws, alcohol, or balloons into our parks. If you would like to discuss a private, catered event, please call our Catering Sales Department at 619-685-3259.
When four walls and a ceiling just won’t do for your next event, consider a place that knows no boundaries. Whether you are planning an intimate gathering for 20 or a spectacular gala for 3,000, the Zoo and Safari Park's authentic atmosphere and talented special events staff make it easy. Our professional coordinators are here to help you customize your experience and give your guests an event they will always remember.
Contact us at 619-685-3259 for more information and prices.
In keeping with our conservation mission, we try to reduce waste and resource use by providing information online rather than in printed form. Please help us conserve resources by using the following suggested links for guest information.
For large requests (100 or more), please contact us.
At the San Diego Zoo, we have quarter-operated lockers located in the Discovery Outpost across from Poppy’s Patio. Small locker: $.75 (16x24x14); Large locker: $1.50 (29x15x23). In addition to this guest storage amenity, the Zoo has recently added a larger secure storage area inside Front Street Rentals, where guest can rent strollers, wheelchairs and EVCs. This area can accommodate suitcase storage and larger items that will not fit inside the large lockers. The cost for this storage area is $5.00 per piece and it comes with unlimited access.
At the Safari Park, we have quarter-operated lockers located just inside and to the left of the main entrance. Small locker: $.75 (12x12); Large locker: $1.50 (18x18). Unfortunately, the Safari Park does not have accommodations for luggage storage.
Lockers are rented per-day, and lockers inside the Zoo and Safari Park are subject to park operating hours.
The owners and operators of our parks herby specifically disclaim any responsibliity, expressed or implied, to protect against the loss of or damage to your vehicle or its contents.
For guests who have lost something while visiting, please contact us to inquire if your item was turned in to our Guest Services Department. Please include as much information as possible pertaining to your lost item and in which park you believe it is lost. Include complete contact information in case your item is found.
We have recycling containers for aluminum cans and plastic bottles located throughout our parks. In addition, both the Zoo and Safari Park have cell phone recycling drop boxes. A large Plexiglas drop box is located next to the re-entry hand stamp station at the Zoo’s exit. A similar drop box is located just past the turnstiles at the main entrance of the Safari Park.