Spring is in the air and that means it is a perfect time to head to the San Francisco Zoo to meet the new babies that are making their arrivals. If you know where to look, you can spot the newest addition—a tiny howler monkey who was just born on February 13. Read on to learn more about this amazing animal and the other babies making their debuts at the San Francisco Zoo.

San Francisco Zoo

Photo by Marianne Hale

Monkeying Around
If you want to get your fix of tiny animals, head over to the monkey habitat which is located in the Primate Discovery Center near the main entrance. The black howler monkey baby is only a few weeks old and mostly hangs out with mom. You will need good eyes to spot it as it just looks like a tiny ball of fur. The habitat has two viewing areas so if you aren’t able to spot the baby from the lower level, head up to the upper deck for better luck.

Also making the Primate Discovery Center its home is a brand new Patas monkey that was born in December 2015. Interesting fact: often the zookeepers don’t know the exact date when a baby is born (or whether it is a boy or a girl) because the newborn is so tiny and well hidden by mom.

san francisco zoo

Photo by Marianne Hale

Jump for Joy
Hop on over to the Australian WalkAbout and you may have a chance to spot the newest addition to the wallaroo family that was born at the zoo last June. Wallaroos are marsupials, or pouched animals, in the same family as kangaroos and wallabys. Baby wallaroos spend up to a year in mom’s pouch—now that’s some dedicated “baby wearing”! Kids will enjoy playing “spot the joey” in this area as there are plenty of good areas for wallaroo watching.

San Francisco Zoo

Photo by Marianne Hale

The King of the Jungle
A male cub joined the lions living in the zoo’s Cat Kingdom on August 30 last year. During the early days after his birth, the zookeepers kept the public away to allow time for mom and baby to bond. The new addition seems to be thriving and you can often spot him lazing in the sun with his mother in one of the cat grottos.

San francisco zoo

Play the Crazies Out
If your cubs are itching for some active fun while at the zoo, then make a pit stop at the Elinor Friend Playground located near the Australian WalkAbout. Three zones make up the playground – a river area for toddlers, a polar zone for pre-schoolers, and a banyan tree climbing structure for older kids. A bathroom is conveniently located right next to the polar zone and there are plenty of shady spots to sit and eat your lunch or watch the kids. There is also a cafe offering lunch items and snacks with tables next to the toddler playground.

san francisco zoo

Climb aboard a salt water crocodile or a leatherback sea turtle to see how massive these animals actually are in the wild. These and other animals make up the Sculpture Learning Plaza adjacent to the playground. Print out a bingo card before you go and the kids will love trying to spot all the animal parts found in the sculpture garden.

san francisco zoo

Must-See Exhibits
Kids will love stepping into the humidity of the new South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary building. Colorful parrots, a massive 15-foot anaconda (kept behind glass, thank goodness!) and a two-toed sloth are some of the highlights.

san francisco zoo

Got a kid who loves bugs? Then spend some time in the Insect Zoo, located within the Children’s Zoo area. This building is full of all sorts of creepy crawlies like millipedes, centipedes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and tarantulas. See how the bees enter the building through a tube into an indoor hive. Outside, kids can climb on a rope spider web.

As you head out of the zoo, stop at the carousel where $3 gets you dizzying amounts of fun.

san francisco zoo

The Details
The San Francisco Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The zoo offers discounted admission to San Francisco residents who are able to show proof of residence as well as retired and active military. They also offer free days for San Francisco residents a few times a year. Visitors who arrive via Muni get $1 off admission.

Admission: $19 adults ($16-SF resident); $16 seniors ($11.50-SF resident); $13 kids 4-14 ($9.50-SF resident) and kids under 4 are free
Parking: $10
Location: 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco
Online: sfzoo.org

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What is your favorite animal at the San Francisco Zoo? Let us know below!

–Kate Loweth

All photos by the author except where noted.