Ring-tailed lemur, young boy, and young girl jumping against blue sky.
October 1–31

Kids Free

Presented by Mission Fed

Throughout October, children 11 years and younger receive free admission—no ticket is required when accompanied by an adult with a valid form of admission. October Kids Free entrance at the Zoo includes admission, Skyfari Aerial Tram, and scheduled shows. Upon arrival, guests can purchase kids' Guided Bus Tour and Kangaroo Bus tickets for only $5. Each weekend holds special interactive activities and memory-making experiences that connect kids with wildlife and nature—so, go wild!

For more information about Kids Free, see our Seasonal Event FAQs.



Animal Encounters

Get to know some of our animal ambassadors, and learn more about the species they represent as trainers share their deep understanding of these featured creatures.

10:30 a.m.: Front Street Stage

11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.: Africa Rocks Stage

Sifaka lemur from Madagascar.

Keeper Talks

Discover some of our remarkable animals in an in-depth way by learning about them from their keepers.

11:30 a.m.: Maned wolves (Northern Frontier)

Noon: Lemurs (Africa Rocks)

12:30 p.m.: Meerkats (Africa Rocks)

12:30 p.m.: Baboons (Africa Rocks)

3:30 p.m.: Giraffes (Urban Jungle)

Asian elephant in pool of water holding enrichment with trunk.

Beast Treats

A pile of pin shavings to roll in, container puzzles with food hidden inside, and food-treat "treasure hunts" are just a few of the ways our keepers provide enrichment for our animals.

October 5 and 6: Elephant Odyssey and Northern Frontier

October 12 and 13: Discovery Outpost and Lost Forest

October 19 and 20: Outback and Urban Jungle

October 26 and 27: Asian Passage and Africa Rocks

Zoo Corp team member showing an enrichment item to a young child.

Zoo Corps Discovery Stations

  • Weekends only; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Queenslander House; Australian Outback

See what fun activities, artifacts, and props our teen Zoo Corps members have in store. Filled with enthusiasm and knowledge, they have a lot to share! Discover how you can make your backyard a habitat, learn about how we care for our animals, what everyone can do to help save wildlife, and more.

Koala costume characters

Zoo Characters Meet & Greet

Join Dr. Harry Lion, Churchill the Polar Bear, Monty Meerkat, and our other big, beloved costumed characters for high-fives, hugs, and pictures.

October 5 and 6: 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.; 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. (Boardwalk Beer Garden)

October 11–13: 5 to 9 p.m., continuous (Base of the Bashor Bridge elevators in Asian Passage)

October 18–20: 5 to 9 p.m., continuous (Base of the Bashor Bridge elevators in Asian Passage)

October 25–27: 5 to 9 p.m., continuous (Base of the Bashor Bridge elevators in Asian Passage)


Coloring page featuring a  pair of red pandas and jack-o-lanterns.

Coloring Contest

Grab your crayons, colored pencils, markers, watercolors—whatever you like to use—and make your mark in the Kids Free Coloring Contest. Get details here and a link to download the coloring page. Then, make it beautiful and return your masterpiece to the Zoo in person (drop it off at Guest Services or the Queenslander Education Classroom) or by mail.

One winner will be chosen each week in October, and that person will receive a plush red panda toy and a reusable bag. Terms and Conditions.


Dr. Zoolittle peeking out of a hollow tube.

Dr. Zoolittle Explores Australia

  • October 5 and 6; Noon and 1 p.m.
  • Boardwalk Beer Garden

Join our beloved and zany Dr. Zoolittle as he shares the wonders of animals from “Down Under”—it's fun for the whole family!

Happy Family 4D

4-D Theater*

  • 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (continuous showings)
  • 4-D Theater (Northern Frontier)

*additional ticket required

Experience—with all your senses—the fast-paced, magical mayhem of Happy Family 4-D as the Wishbone family attempts to reverse the spell that an evil witch places on them.

HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo


Our popular event is growing this year, filling the last three weekends of October with glowing fun, giggles, and grins. Give Boolahoops a spin, bob to the beat among bubbles, marvel at acrobats, jugglers, and more. October 11–13; 18–20; and 25–27. Find out more here.

Diner holding a glass or wine as they sit at a table with gourmet pizza.


Black-footed cat


Ring-tailed lemur and two small children jumping in front of a blue sky.


Presented by Mission Federal Credit Union
Hotel with pool
Creature Comforts