How to Buy Discount Tickets to the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is one of the few facilities in the United States with giant pandas.
The San Diego Zoo is one of the few facilities in the United States with giant pandas. (Image: Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Some zoos are tourist destinations, but few zoos are like the San Diego Zoo. With more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals, the San Diego Zoo gives visitors the opportunity to see creatures from all over the world. You can buy tickets through the zoo website, but with a little research you can visit for a discounted price.

Zoo Memberships

If you live in San Diego or Southern California and visit the zoo more than once a year, a zoo membership is a good investment. The annual membership gives you unlimited admission to the zoo and the adjacent San Diego Safari Park, free rides on the trams and discount admission for guests. If you visit in October, children can enter the zoo for free.

Combination Tickets

Visitors coming to San Diego for an extended vacation can purchase tickets to multiple attractions and save on admission. The San Diego Zoo sells a “San Diego 3-for-1 Pass” that includes admission to the zoo, safari park and SeaWorld. The “GO San Diego Card” provides three days of free admission to those attractions along with Legoland and 35 other venues. Purchase the card at any of the participating attractions.

AAA and Other Deals

Members of AAA receive a 10 percent discount on tickets to the zoo or safari park; the discount is good for up to six people. When purchasing tickets, you must present your AAA membership card to get the discount. You can find other packages or ticket deals through tour group operators. Some large retailers, such as Costco, also sell combination tickets that include the San Diego Zoo.

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