Green Monster

Animal Encounters

Children’s Nature Retreat

The Children’s Nature Retreat, located on 20-acres, is a farm, animal sanctuary and nature reserve with over 130+ domesticated livestock and exotic animals from around the world. Visitors can even “Be a Keeper for the Day.” Group tours and party packages are also offered.

Amy’s Farm

Guided farm tour activities include garden walk, milking cows, petting farm animals, feeding pigs, grooming horses and more. Seasonal activities can include holding newborn chicks, petting baby goats, harvesting seasonal vegetables and more. Educational workshops and special events also available.

Animal Tracks

Family weekdays and Safari Sundays allow visitors of all ages to get up-close and personal with the sanctuary’s most friendly animals.

Aquarium of the Pacific

More than 12,000 ocean animals, including penguins, sea otters and shark touch pools. Stop by the shrimp cart for a “marine manicure,” and let the lorikeets perch on your head to get a sip of nectar. Parent-and-me classes; Junior Biologist; Job Shadow opportunity for teens; whale watching; and family sleepovers also offered. Plus, educational programs, birthday parties, and camps.

Birch Aquarium

Visit more than 5,000 fish in 60+ habitats. Get hands-on in their living tide pool exhibit. Watch a shark feeding or catch a show and witness divers descent into two-story Giant Kelp Forests while answering guest questions and feeding the animals.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Thirty-five saltwater tanks and touch tanks, plus discovery labs and an Aquatic Nursery with baby sea animals. Ongoing programs include tours, workshops and classes, camps, youth docents, family programs, annual events, tide pool walks and grunion runs.

Centennial Farm

A three-acre working farm at the OC Fair and Event Center. Visitors can view pigs, chickens, oxen, goats and more. Visit the farm on Discovery Days where children pet a chick, plant and take home a radish, see a cow milking demonstration and more.

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Meet rescued exotic animals through, Diesel the leopard, Taj the Bengal Tiger, “The Little Rascals” raccoons, and more. Upgrade with the Extreme Feed option, and you can feed one of the many big cats at the sanctuary!

Heal the Bay Aquarium

Located under the Santa Monica Pier, enjoy more than 100 species, featuring touch tanks with tide-pool animals. Plus year-round field-trip programs, kids’ classes, party packages, special-themed event days, and summer camps.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Home to more than 1,400 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles representing more than 270 different species, many of which are endangered. Special activities and tours (additional fees apply) include Flamingo Mingle, Giraffe Feedings, Behind-the-Scenes Tour, and Keys to the Zoo Tour. Safari Days day camp, school-break camps, and Family Nature Club are also offered.

Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles

Visitors can view rescued seal and sea lion patients from a safe distance; free. Docent-led tours are available for groups of 10 or more. Volunteer opportunities for high schoolers; plus educational events and activities offered throughout the year.

Oasis Camel Dairy

Camel rides, animal shows, and private tours. Open one weekend a month, check website for dates. Special family-friendly events throughout the year. Hands-on camel camps also available where participants learn to care for camels, knot-tying, leading, and riding.

Orange County Zoo

See a variety of animals and plants native to the southwestern United States and, visit the barnyard. School group tours, toddler program, scout group program, guided tours and audio tours available. Look for the discovery cart where guests can see and touch educational artifacts.

OstrichLand USA

A zoo of 50 ostriches and emus, where guests are invited to feed and interact with the large birds. See the baby emus, chicks typically hatch in late-winter and early spring.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals. After-school and Girl Scouts programs available. Participants can learn how to rehabilitate seal and sea lion patients through a series of mock activities including weighing fish, preparing fish smoothies, cleaning pens and learning the art of marine mammal rescue.

Pony Time

Petting zoo includes goats, rabbits, chickens, sheep, an alpaca, llamas, and a cow. Feed the goats, hand-led pony trot-track, classes, trail rides and birthday parties.

San Diego Zoo

Discover thousands of animals at the San Diego Zoo. Upgrade your visit and walk the grounds before opening; get your own personal tour guide; spend the morning with pandas; be a keeper for the day, and more. Field trips, assemblies, summer camp, overnight camping adventures, and teen programs available.