If you are looking for a local activity to spend a couple of hours with your family at, check out the Santa Ana Zoo! It is a quaint local spot where small families can come and enjoy the outdoors. Not sure what makes the Santa Ana Zoo different from other zoos? Read ahead!
It boasts a Ferris Wheel that is 64 feet high! Also known as the Fifty Monkey’s Ferris Wheel, a bird’s eye view of the zoo is just a ticket away. Fun fact, the reason that the Ferris Wheel is named Fifty Monkeys is because of the requirement of the zoo to always house at least fifty monkeys. Each gondola in the Wheel features information about a unique endangered monkey. Ride it multiple times to learn more about the different species.
Also known as the Zoofari Express, this classic 50+ year old train was restored to its former likeness in 1998. Not only is this train an antique of its time, it is also originally from Lake Arrowhead. Around 2005, the train received a major upgrade and became environmentally friendly by ditching the gas for electric power. Come enjoy the clean and comparatively quiet engine of this locomotive! It can fit more than 20 passengers, and the ride travels through the grounds of the farm.
Similar to the Ferris Wheel, the Zoo takes great pride on not only offering fun attractions to kids, but also educating them about the animals as well. Unlike a classic carousel with horses, this one consists of different varieties of zoo animals. There is even a wheelchair accessible Swan Chariot for kids to ride. Each child also receives a endangered species card at the end of the ride so they can read more about animals that are endangered.
A lot of the above attractions center on different vantage points of this Family Farm. Taking up a sizeable portion of the zoo, the Crean Family Farm has farm animals you can visit and even feed on some days. Come here to learn about how to care for these farm animals. Check on their website and social media for times when their yard is open for petting the goats and miniature donkeys.
When you visit around peak butterfly season, this is a great place to come and visit. With many different butterfly species, come and enjoy looking at all the different colors inside the enclosure. If you aren’t sure when the butterflies are most active and populated, just give the zoo a call and ask for the best time to come and see them!
Overall, the Santa Ana Zoo isn’t the biggest or most extravagant of zoos out there, but it is a cute place to have a play date for up to two hours with some kids. Have fun running around the small park and enjoying all of the attractions for an afternoon!
Looking for some other child friendly activities to do in OC?
Check out these places below!