San Diego Zoo – Jungle Bells 2011

December 8th, 2011

December 9, 2011 to January 1, 2012 – Celebrate the Holidays at the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is decked out for the holidays! Now in its third year, Jungle Bells has quickly become a fun, family holiday tradition full of lights, music, acrobats and animals.

The San Diego Zoo’s Jungle Bells celebration runs from December 9, 2011 to January 1, 2012 and is free with paid admission to the Zoo. During Jungle Bells, the Zoo grounds offers extended hours and will stay open until 8:00 pm (except for December 24, 2011, when the Zoo will close at 5:00 pm).

During the three-week Jungle Bells celebration, guests of the San Diego Zoo will be greeted by a traditional English hand bell choir, be amazed by elves who dance in the air and be delighted by a flashy light show. There also are twinkling lights in the shape of animals, sing along fun nightly at 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm, Santa’s workshop, extra encounters with animal ambassadors, Candy Cane Lane, the Treehouse “Blitzen” Light Experience, a Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer theme at the Skyfari, the “Reindeer Express” bus ride to see the lights and Dr. Zoolittle’s holiday show in the Children’s Zoo. 

Also making its debut during Jungle Bells is the Zoo’s new 4-D theater. The theater is a fun, family oriented sensory experience sure to delight the kids. The 50 seat theater combines the visual drama of a 3-D film with a variety of sensory effects that are built into the seats and theater environment, such as water mist, blustery wind, snow, bubbles, scents, seat vibrations, and more. Two films, each about 15 minute long, will alternate in the theater. The theater is across from the Skyfari’s west-end station, near the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge exhibit. Films show throughout the day to provide a great entertaining and educational experience for guests. The cost of viewing a film is $6.00 per person and is in addition to Zoo admission. 

Got the munchies? Again this year, the Zoo’s talented chefs are cooking up some holiday deliciousness to put guests’ taste buds in the spirit! Jungle Bells will be celebrated at Albert’s with “Happy Holidays Happen at Albert’s.” The event features a $6.00 appetizer, wine, beer and cocktail menu from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. There also will be a $30.00 prix fixe dinner featuring a tender baby greens salad, slow-roasted pork medallions and Amarula spiced cheesecake for dessert. Special taste treats will also be available throughout the Zoo, including holiday colored cotton candy for the kids while they coo over camels, coffee with Kahlua for adults catching the polar bears in play, and much more. 

Social Media Events During Jungle Bells 

There are several fun opportunities to get online and share your Jungle Bells experiences in the social media:

The Tweeting of the Bells (Twitter): Five bell-shaped “Jungle Bells” will be placed throughout the Zoo during Jungle Bells. If you find one, complete the photo challenge and tweet the photo to to be entered into a drawing to win a Backstage Pass for four.

foursquare Battle for the Mayor (foursquare): Whoever is the mayor of the Zoo on foursquare gets to light the Conservation Tree on December 10, 2011 to kick off Jungle Bells 2011.

Conservation Tree Photo Contest (Zoo Website): Submit photos of you and your loved ones in front of the Conservation Tree for a chance to win a behind the scenes experience. Every week during Jungle Bells one photographer will win an Inside Look tour for four, and one grand prize winner at the end of the month will score a Backstage Pass for four! Enter photos at 

Holiday Wishes for our Animals (Facebook): Post holiday wishes for the Zoo animals on the San Diego Zoo’s Facebook page and they’ll choose one every week to share with all of their fans. 

The San Diego Zoo’s Jungle Bells 2011 runs from December 9, 2011 to January 1, 2012. This family friendly event is free with paid admission to the Zoo. During Jungle Bells, the Zoo will stay open until 8:00 pm (except for December 24, 2011, when the Zoo will close at 5:00 pm). 

The San Diego Zoo is located adjacent to downtown San Diego in Balboa Park (at 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA, 92101). 

Happy Holidays!

Editor’s Note: Looking for Zoo and Safari Park ticket deals? Get the scoop on how to save: 10 Ticket Deals for the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park (Wild Animal Park)

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