The best kind of fun happens when you’re winging it, right? So take your little caterpillars to behold thousands of colorful butterflies taking flight at San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle. The delicate beauties may even perch on their shoulder for an up close look in this dreamy, must-see springtime exhibit. Keep reading for more details on making this magical experience one your kids will always remember.

photo: 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 18 exotic species of feathered friends.

NEW This Year: Butterfly and Friends Behind-the-Scenes Safari
For the first time ever, experience the new Butterfly and Friends Behind-the-Scenes Safari. In this experience, you’ll get to enjoy exclusive, early-morning guided access to the Butterfly Jungle during a guided two-hour audio walking tour that begins at 8 a.m. You’ll also get to enjoy crowd-free viewing of the butterflies before Butterfly Jungle opens to the public and may also have an opportunity to meet some other high-flying and furry friends, Earth’s major fruit and nut seed dispersers and flower pollinators, as well as a chance to meet some exotic birds and their trainers––that will provide additional photo opportunities. Pre-purchased reservations are required—space is limited and available only on select days. To find out more or make a reservation, call 619-718-3000.

Also NEW This Year: Butterfly Jungle Instagram Contest
This year you can share your Butterfly Jungle snapshots on Instagram with the hashtag: #ButterflyJungle for a chance to win a Flightline Safari for Four. Click here for more details.

photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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 and touching a butterfly can harm it.

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!

butterfly jungle5photo: Leah R. Singer

Learning on the Fly
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!

You’ll also be enlightened on how to bring some butterfly magic to your own backyard during the exhibit. San Diego area residents can learn how they can help local populations by including plants in their gardens that help support all stages of a butterfly’s life—from egg to caterpillar to adulthood. Selecting specific plants that attract butterflies will encourage them to hang out in a home garden throughout all of their life stages, providing hours of backyard viewing pleasure!

butterflyphoto: 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.

photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
Escondido, Ca 92027

March 10 – April 15, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Cost: Included with Safari Park admission

What do your kids like best about Butterfly Jungle? Share in the comments!

–– Beth Shea


Ring in Spring at 11 Festivals & Fairs That Celebrate the Season

There’s No Place Like Home! 12 San Diego Staycations for Families

36 Easter Egg Hunts for Little Bunnies