Let your hungry little caterpillars feast their eyes on thousands of colorful butterflies taking flight at San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle. The winged-beauties may even perch on their shoulder for an up close look in this dreamy, must-see springtime exhibit that opens this Saturday. Keep reading for more details on making this magical experience one your kids will always remember.

butterfly-junglePhoto: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

It’s a Jungle Out There!
You’ll enter an aviary that’s filled with over 30 species of butterflies from North, South and Central America. Be in awe over the vibrant patterns on the wings of the zebra longwing, orange-barred tiger, Grecian shoemaker, giant swallowtail and blue morpho. Get a closer glimpse as the butterflies stop to enjoy nectar from the wealth of flowers and plants that fill the aviary. Bring those birdwatching skills as well, and you’ll spy 11 exotic species of feathered friends including the endangered Bali myna and Mariana fruit dove.

butterfly jungle5

Photo: Leah R. Singer

Tips for a Most Enchanting Experience
Think flower power when you’re choosing what to wear to the Butterfly Jungle. Butterflies will be most attracted to you if you’re wearing bright colors and more likely to pay you a personal visit. It’s also recommended that visitors move slowly if they want a butterfly to perch upon them. If you’re lucky enough to be a landing spot for one of the enchanting creatures, be still and look, but don’t touch the butterflies, as they are very delicate.

Bring a fully charged camera along, as you’ll want to capture the many glorious photo ops throughout the aviary as butterflies land on lush greenery and flowers… or your kids!

Make sure you pick up a Butterfly I.D. guide at the Jungle entrance. Your kids will like spying all of the different types of butterflies, and this adds an educational component to your visit. Learn something new every day!

Kids ages 11 and younger are invited to participate in the Park’s butterfly coloring contest. Download the coloring sheet, follow the directions and be entered into a weekly drawing to win a free plush and t-shirt.


Photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Soar to the Head of the Line
This popular exhibit attracts many visitors, so plan accordingly to avoid crowds and long lines. Arrive when the Park opens at 9 a.m. so you’ll be among the first in line for the day. You may also visit the Lorikeet Landing ticket booth to get priority butterfly viewing for a nominal fee. This will allow you to queue in a separate line from the general public and you will enter the Butterfly Jungle aviary from a priority line.


Photo: Leah R. Singer

Butterfly-Themed Treats
You can bring your own snacks and lunch into the Park. But if your kids want a pick-me-up during your visit, the restaurants around Butterfly Jungle will be offering treats decorated in a butterfly theme.


Photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
Escondido, Ca 92027
Online: sdzsafaripark.org/butterflyjungle

March 11 – April 23, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Cost: Included with park admission

What do your kids like best about Butterfly Jungle? 

–– Beth Shea