Green Monster

Animal Encounters

Children’s Nature Retreat

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

America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College

Home of the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. Visit the zoo for special animal shows and demonstrations twice a day. Plus, behind-the-scenes tours and other up-close opportunities and special events.

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

Take a tour to get a hands-on experience with reptiles, ferrets, an armadillo, wolf hybrids, and more. The monkey experience allows visitors to interact with capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and baboon.

Aquarium of the Pacific

More than 12,000 ocean animals, including penguins, sea otters and shark touch pools. Educational programs, birthday parties, and camps are offered.

Birch Aquarium

Visit more than 5,000 fish in 60+ habitats. Get hands-on with sea stars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and more 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 science 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.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Popular exhibits include Rainforest of the Americas, Elephants of Asia, Campo Gorilla Reserve, Dragons of Komodo, and the Children’s Zoo. Special activities and tours include Flamingo Mingle, Giraffe Feedings, Behind-the-Scenes Tour, and Keys to the Zoo Tour. Camps also offered.

Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles

The Marine Mammal Care Center rehabilitates seals and sea lions rescued from the LA County coastline. The center is open to the public every day of the year during daylight hours.

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. The zoo also features a barnyard. School group tours, toddler program, scout group program, guided tours and audio tours available. Look out for the discovery cart where guests can see and touch educational artifacts.

OstrichLand USA

A zoo of 50 ostriches and emus. Guests are invited to feed and interact with these large birds.

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 for an additional fee. Hand-led ponies around a trot track are also available, plus classes and trail rides. Pony Time also hosts birthday parties.

San Diego Zoo

Discover animals and upgrade your visit with special experiences like walking the grounds before the zoo opens, get your own personal tour guide, spend the morning with pandas, be keeper for a day and more.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Visitors can hop on a tram to see rhinos, giraffes, antelopes and gazelles. Enhance your experience with different safari add-ons that will get you up-close with animals and behind the scenes. Zipline and overnight camping adventures also offered.

Santa Ana Zoo

The zoo features over 80 species of animals, including the smallest monkeys in the world, the Pygmy Marmosets. Visit the family farm to feed goats and sheep, hop on the Zoofari Express train, walk through the Amazon Aviary, ride the carousel and more. The zoo also hosts birthday parties.

STAR Eco Station

This environmental science museum and exotic wildlife rescue facility offers hands-on ecology lessons and encounters with exotic birds, reptiles, mammals and ocean life in a tropical jungle setting. Annual events, seasonal camps, and party packages are available.

Susie Q Ranch

Pony rides, petting zoo and trail rides. Kids (ages 4-7) will be on their own horse led by a guide.