Jungle Bells

2017 Jungle Bells presented by California Coast Credit Union

Beat the holiday rush

Buy your admission tickets online, and skip the front gate lines!

Jungle Bells activities are included with your admission or membership unless otherwise noted.*


Twinkling lights, festive foods, and merry performances transform the Zoo into a wild, glowing wonderland. The whole family will enjoy an exciting array of animal light sculptures, jingly, jazzy carols, acrobatic trampoline elves, and more. Join us for plenty of good cheer!

On December 24, the Zoo is open until 5 p.m., with no Jungle Bells activities.

Northern Frontier's Holiday Forest
Location: Northern Frontier
Time(s): 3 to 8 p.m.
Duration: Continuous

Trek through our specially designed, lighted trees to visit some of our winter-loving animals. It’s a great place for an evening holiday photo!

Happy Holidays Happens at Albert's*
Location: Albert's Restaurant
Time(s): Daily, 3 to 5 p.m.
Duration: Continuous
Price: See menu at Albert's for prices

'Tis the season for great deals on drinks and appetizers at Albert’s Restaurant. Stop by to fill your stomach before getting your Jungle Bells on.

Animal Encounters
Location: Various Locations
Time(s): Times vary
Duration: 15 minutes

Get to know some animals a little better as their keepers share stories, or watch the animals enjoy special enrichment items.

4 p.m.: Cheetah (Urban Jungle)
5:15 p.m.: Raccoon (Northern Frontier/Polar Bear Plunge)
5:30 p.m.: Children’s Zoo
5:30 p.m.: Aye-aye (Center Street)
5:45 p.m.: Polar bears (Northern Frontier)
6 p.m.: Fossa/honey badger (Africa Rocks)
6 p.m.: Asian leopards (Panda Canyon)

Santa's Igloo*
Location: Skyfari East on Front St.
Time(s): Varies by date

Stop in at Santa’s igloo for a visit and photo with the jolly old elf.

December 18–23: Noon to 8 p.m.
December 24: Noon to 4 p.m.
December 25: Noon to 8 p.m.

*Photo packages are available for purchase.

Gingerbread Landing
Location: Benchley Plaza
Time(s): 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Come see what Greta Gumdrop, our happy holiday host, has in store for you. Meet larger-than-life, huggable zoo characters like Dr. Harry Lion, Churchill Polar Bear, Bamboo Bear, and their friends. It's a great spot to snap a picture for next year's holiday card!

Reindeer Games
Location: Front Street Stage
Time(s): 5, 6, and 7 p.m.
Duration: 25 minutes

Here’s your chance to join in some of those famous "reindeer games" Rudolph and his friends played. Show off your hula-hooping skills and learn the special Reindeer Dance!

Discovery Cart Tour*
Location: Front Street
Time(s): 5:15 and 6:45 p.m. on select nights. Reservation required.
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $54 and up

Enjoy our specially designed lighted displays throughout the Zoo during Jungle Bells in the comfort of our expedition cart on this 60-minute guided tour of the Zoo led by one of our knowledgeable guides. Reservations are required and space is limited! Click here to learn more and reserve your spot.

Jingle Brass
Location: Front Street Stage
Time(s): 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m.
Duration: 25 minutes

Jazzy carols and lots of smiles: this interactive music show turns the holiday spirit up!

Dr. Zoolittle's " 'Twas The Night Before Christmas"
Location: Koalafornia Boardwalk
Time(s): 4, 5, 6, and 7 p.m.
Duration: 25 minutes

The zany Dr. Zoolittle shares a zoo version of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem.

Toy Shop Hop
Location: Sydney's Grill
Time(s): 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30 p.m.
Duration: 15 minutes

Santa’s acrobatic elves and their trampoline return to put a bounce in everyone’s holiday step.

"Carol of the Jungle Bells" Light Experience
Location: Koalafornia Boardwalk
Time(s): Every 30 minutes from 4:25 to 7:25 p.m.
Duration: 5 minutes

Lights, music, WOW! A medley of holiday tunes and “dancing” lights combine to light up the night with “oohs” and “aahs.”

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas*
Location: Northern Frontier
Time(s): Shows throughout the day; last show begins at 7 p.m.
Price: $6

Join Manny, Sid, and Diego on a cool adventure in the San Diego Zoo Ice Age 4-D Theater—and since it’s 4-D, you’ll feel it all!

“Celebration of Lights” Music/Light Experience
Location: Entrance
Time(s): Every 30 minutes from 4:55 to 7:55 p.m.
Duration: 5 minutes

Hundreds of strands of colorful lights blink, blaze, and dazzle as our huge holiday tree comes to life—and light!

Polar Express 4-D Experience*
Location: Discovery Outpost
Time(s): Shows throughout the day; last show begins at 7 p.m.
Price: $6

All aboard for the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of a magical train ride to Santa’s home! Special effects bring this seasonal classic to life at the Rio 4-D Theater.

The Tinseltones
Location: Elephant Odyssey
Time(s): 5, 5:30, 6, and 6:30 p.m.
Duration: 20 minutes

Join the Tinseltones for a fun round of a cappella carols and sing-alongs with a fresh twist.

Africa Rocks, Now Open. San Diego Zoo.
Shop San Diego Zoo - grab great animal inspired gifts and support wildlife