Southern California, with is beautiful scenery, environment and weather, is home to lots of variety of wildlife and locations that offer an avenue to view many of these animals. With various petting zoos and even unique experiences like llama walking, here are the top five locations for the family to go to in the Orange County area to enjoy a little brush with the wild.
Orange County Zoo
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92862
Nestled inside the Irvine Regional Park in Orange, the Orange County Zoo is home to animals and plants that are native to southwestern United States like the black bear, mountain lions, bald eagles, coati and much more. Visitors to the Children’s Zoo have the privilege of meeting, petting and even feeding some domesticated animals like pot belly bigs, sheep and rabbits. The park is close to 477 acres of wilderness and is the setting for the OC Zoo. Admission fees are only $2 per person over the age of three and free for those two and younger. Keep in mind that the regional park has a $3 per vehicle fee during the weekdays and $5 for weekends. A great new feature for the zoo is the audio tour that can be done from the comfort and ease of your cell phone. By simply dialing (714) 481-0355, you can begin the audio tour and listen to information about the animals at the zoo. This feature is free and is very useful for the whole family. The zoo is open weekdays form 10am to 3:30pm and from 10am to 4:30pm on the weekends.
Santa Ana Zoo
1801 E. Chestnut Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
The Santa Ana Zoo offers great events during the summer such as the Sunset at the Zoo Summer Concert Series from 5:30pm to 7:30pm The after-hours concert series includes local artisans, live music and zoo animals, and for an additional $10 donation, you can take part in the beer garden tasting experience. This is a great opportunity for families to take part in a picnic dinner. It is recommended to check the website for select dates for this event. A new exhibit to keep and eye out for includes the Ocelot Habitat. The exotic wild cats from South America, the Ocelot has been referenced as a miniature cheetah and there are currently only 26 Brazilian Ocelots in the United States. Two of the endangered species will be at the Santa Ana Zoo for viewing.
1238 S. Beach Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92804
A place for your kids to enjoy a petting zoo like at Adventure City can also be a fun experience for the whole family. You can have hands-on experience with animals that range from rabbits, sheep, chicks and even pigs, to name a few. The great thing about Adventure City is that it also offers various activities for your kids to enjoy. Admission to the park is $16.95 for general admission and is for unlimited use throughout the park.
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31791 Los Rios St.
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
For more than 30 years, the Zoomars Zoo has entertained more than three million visitors to its petting zoo with access to bunny patches, petting pens, guinea pic gullies, playgrounds and other activities. What kind of animals can you see at this particular petting zoo? All kinds ranging from pigs, sheep, llamas, donkeys and the list goes on. A mini-train is also available for touring the vicinity and you can saddle up on a pony ride that is also available at the zoo. It is open from 9am to 5pm daily and admission is only $8 for adults, $7 for children and $7 for seniors. The area is home to a beautiful mission that is an attraction for many tourists. This can be a special place for a special event including a child’s birthday. Summer camp is also available for kids during the summer and subject to availability.
El Cajon Trail
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Located just 10 miles from Disneyland ShangriLlama is a private llama farm in Yorba Linda featuring an experience that many would consider off the beaten path. Taking a llama for a walk for three hours through the country trail can be life changing and even educational. Walks are offered on the weekends from 5pm to 8pm and the best part is getting to know the llamas available at the camp. The llamas available include Pajama Llama, Dalai Llama, Drama llama, Barack O’llama and Como T. Llama. One of the llamas has even had a brush with fame being cast as a renegade cop and co-star of the “Llama Cop” for Starz’ Internet comedy channel.
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