Celebrate Holiday Cheer with Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo

This holiday season, embrace your inner animal and visit Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo! With all of the fun offerings this year, it’s impossible to see everything in one night. We aren’t lion to you–you’ll have so much fun monkeying around, it’s almost unbearable!

What is Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo?

Jungle Bells is the San Diego Zoo’s holiday celebration! At nights during select days, the zoo transforms into a holiday wonderland. The zoo fills with entertainment, activities, special food opportunities, musical performances, animal encounters, and more!


There are many incredible entertainment offerings at this year’s Jungle Bells event.

  • Jingle Brass
    • Join the brass band as they perform jazzy carols to help you embrace the holiday spirit
  • The Tinseltones
    • For another fun musical performance, The Tinseltones will perform a cappella versions of holiday favorites at showtimes throughout the night
  • Dr. Zoolittle’s One Wild Night Before Christmas
    • Dr. Zoolittle retells the classic Night Before Christmas poem, but it’s all about the zoo! This fun new version will captivate the audience, from children to adults.
  • Toy Shop Hop
    • Santa’s elves are here to put some pep in your step! Instead of cleaning Santa’s workshop, they’ve brought out their giant trampoline and are all about having fun!
  • “Celebration of Lights” Experience
    • Every 30 minutes during the night, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s toog tree comes to life. The tree is decorated with hundreds of lights, and they’ll twinkle to the sounds of the season.
  • Aurora Pathways
    • Visit one of three areas of the Zoo and let a specialty sprite guide you to the Aurora show. There are three sprites: Wind, Water, and Ice. Special lighting and sounds will illuminate the magic of each element as they lead you to Aurora.
  • Aurora
    • This new show blends music and 3D projection mapping to transport you to a magical world. The nature sprites (Wind, Water, Ice) have arrived and share their stories of how they relate to nature. This spectacular performance concludes with an even more magical sight: the Aurora Borealis!


  • Reindeer Games
    • We’ve all heard of the infamous reindeer games–now you can join in too! You can even learn how to dance like a reindeer!
  • Gingerbread Landing
    • Gingerbread Landing is a hot spot during Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo! Here, you can find delicious holiday snacks, meet your favorite furry zoo characters, and even visit Santa’s factory!
  • Northern Frontier’s Holiday Forest
    • This forest pathway has been specially decorated for the holiday season! Stroll through and see the beautiful decorations and lighted trees while you see polar bears, arctic foxes, reindeer, and other animals.
  • Animal experiences
    • Throughout the night, at various locations, you’ll be able to meet some zoo residents such as polar bears, lemurs, meerkats, rhinos, reptiles, leopards, and more, as well as the expert zookeepers who care for them.
  • The Polar Express 4D Experience
    • Take a ride aboard the Polar Express and visit the North Pole during this fun 4D adventure!

and more!


  • Happy Holidays Happens
    • Visit Albert’s Restaurant from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm and enjoy great deals on drinks and appetizers!
  • Aurora Dining Package
    • Before the Aurora show, you can enjoy a delicious dinner at Albert’s Restaurant, including a specialty dessert. When you purchase this dining package, you’ll also gain access to a special reserved priority viewing area so you’re guaranteed a great view for this new show.


Jungle Bells takes place at the San Diego Zoo from December 13 – 23 and December 25 – January 5.


You can buy zoo tickets here, and see the Jungle Bells events that require separate tickets included on this list.

Coming to Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo?

Stay at Crown City Inn in Coronado during your holiday visit! We’re right across the bay from San Diego, so you can see the beautiful skyline from the island. Crown City Inn is less than 15 minutes from Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo, and offers wonderful amenities for a truly relaxing stay. Check availability for your stay here. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with new events.

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