May 23, 2016

family favorites @ the Safari Park

As annual pass holders to the San Diego Safari Park we visit with the kids about two to three times a month. We love to go see the animals, ride the tram, play on the many playgrounds and meander through the park's endless trails. Because we are frequent visitors and have small children we skip the more expensive Safari's that aren't covered with the basic park admission. There is plenty to do and see without spending extra. The park is perfect for families of all ages. The animals are most active in the mornings so I'd recommend going as early as possible. This morning, I'd like to share some of our top favorite places to visit at the park.

1. We love the Tiger Trail and Camp Play Area. The Tiger Trail is the newest exhibit at the park. Currently there are three eight month tiger cubs at the park. The cubs are adorable...and feisty! When the tigers are on exhibit it can get crowed, however the exhibit is designed to be viewed many different areas and usually its easy to stake out a spot.

2. The park offers many places to picnic for lunch, however my favorite spot is near the Okavango Outpost near the Cheetas. It's a busy spot, however I like having a shady picnic area where the kids can run and play. If we time things correctly, there is usually an animal encounter or two that happens around noonish.

3. The African Tram is a must for my son. We always see something new every time we ride the tram!  It's also a great time to have a quick snack. We like to ride the tram as early as possible. The animals are more activate during the mornings and the lines are shorter. Tram rides are covered with the basic admission ticket.

4. Before leaving the park, I like to let the kiddos run around at one of the many African plains overlooks. This is more for Alara's benefit than Lucas's. He walks, she rides and needs to stretch her legs before the trip home. The overlooks are rarely crowded and have ample of space for kids to safely run and play. In addition, the overlooks offer a stunning view of the African Safari and are close to a small refreshment stand for my husband to refill his souvenir cup. Its a win-win for everyone.

5. On warm days it's always fun to visit the Savanna Cool Zone and Jameson Research Island. Both attractions are water play areas so come prepared! The Savanna Cool Zone is always more crowed than the Jameson Research Island.

6. I'm usually out numbered, but I love to walk through the gardens at the park. The World Gardens, Herb Gardens and African Loop Trail Gardens are some of my favorites. Garden walks are always less crowded than other areas of the park. Because the garden walks are so spread out I usually only get to do one or two per trip and I try to combine the garden walk with other attractions: ie the Tiger Trail with the World Gardens.

7. We try to see at least one up-close animal encounter per trip. Animal encounters are educational and allow for visitors to see the animals up-close and personal.

Well, there you have it. This list isn't meant to be a "must do" at the park. However, I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite spots to visit. I highly recommend a visit to the Safari Park. It's well worth the trip.

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