The Wild Life Sleepover at the San Diego Zoo

visiting-the-san-diego-zoolast weekend the boys and i went on an adventure! we were invited to a weekend to celebrate the opening of the movie The Wild Life which is opening in theaters on September 9th. the weekend included taking the train to San Diego, previewing The Wild Life movie, then an awesome sleepover at the famous San Diego Zoo. yep, spending the night in the wild.

this was an exciting weekend for the boys. their first time on the Amtrax Surfliner which we boarded at the Arctic in Anaheim.

the_artic_train_station_orange_countyorange_county_metrolink_amtraxorange_county_surfrider_amtraxthe boys lived it up in business class where they got all the muffins and juice they wanted…plus a fun snack pack for lunch. they loved it.taking_kids_on_amtrax_orange_countyand we headed toward San Diego for the weekend. it was a 3 hour train ride down from Orange County, but it was worth it, because you can enjoy the ocean views, use the free wifi, get food in the dining car, sleep and miss all the traffic getting down there. it definitely was a fun experience for our family, and i recommend it for families.traveling_with_kids_on_southern_california_amtrax

once we arrived in San Diego, we headed to the theater to preview the movie The Wild Life. it’s an animated movie about the Robinson Crusoe and the funny and adorable wild life he encounters on a deserted island. from the over-exuberant parrot Mak, to the snack-obsessed tapir Rosie, from the persnickety echidna Epi, to the acrobatic pangolin Pango, from the ditzy goat Scrubby to the commonsensical kingfisher Kiki and the always-cool chameleon Carmello, things are larger-than-life on the tropical island paradise Robinson is deserted on. the marooned human, arrives in the midst of a furious storm, and these exotic animals’ lives are forever changed by this bewildering new “creature.” but no matter their differences, castaway human and quirky animals embark on an hilarious new adventure, building the island’s first tree-house and surviving together.

the adventure takes a drastic turn when two conniving members of the animal kingdom — the savage cats Mal & May – pounce into a battle for control of the island, Crusoe and his animal posse must uncover the true power of friendship against all odds (even savage cats).

the boys really enjoyed the movie. if you like pirates, animals and adventure, then this movie is perfect. what i liked was that it introduced animals that you don’t normally see in the movies. the kids left wanting to learn more about these animals…which was excellent, because we were next heading down to the San Diego Zoo to do just that.the_wild_life_movie_review

with bellies full of popcorn and fun memories of The Wild Life movie. it was time of the fun to continue at a sleepover at the San Diego Zoo. and in case you are wondering if you too can do a sleepover at the San Diego Zoo, the answer is YES!!!! anyone over the age of 6 can do a sleepover. you just need a group of 35 people or more. click here to find more information on the San Diego Zoo Sleepovers.

san_diego_sleepoverswhen you arrive at the sleepover, you don’t have to worry about a thing. they gather your luggage and take it to the campsite, while your party is taken into the zoo to begin the wild life experience. also, everyone is given the most adorable reusable lion water bottles to keep hydrated.

first up was the first a many up-close and personal encounters with the animals. a tortise, a screech owl, a sloth and a toucan were very exciting to see up close. plus we got to learn more about the zoo and animals we saw in the movie The Wild Life,


then we loaded up onto one of the zoo buses and drove around to tour the zoo. it was so fun to see all the zoo exhibits. my boys absolutely LOVE animals.san_diego_bus_tourtram_bus_san_diego_zooalpaca_san_diego_zooelephant_san_diego_zootiger_san_deigo_zoosan_diego_zoo_tourshibiscus_san_diego_zoosan_diego_zoo_sky_bucketsflamingoes_san_diego_zoomonkey_san_diego_zoosan_diego_wild_animal_park_tours
then we arrived at “Camp Timbuktu” where all our luggage had already arrived.

san_diego_sleepovers_camp_timbuktucampout_san_diego_zooall the families….especially the kids were excited to get there things into the tents and set up for a night sleepover at the zoo. it was fantastic.san_diego_roar_and_snoretent_camping_san_diego_zoo

after we got settled into our tents, it was time for dinner. the San Diego Zoo offers catering at their sleepovers if you don’t want to bring your own food. we fueled up on dinner so that we could enjoy some nighttime experiences in the zoo. it would be a late night.dinner_buffet_at_san_diego_zoo_sleepoverdinner_at_san_diego_zoodinner wouldn’t be complete without some The Wild Life cupcakes!the_wild_life_movie_cupcakesthe_wild_life_cupcakes

after dinner, the fun continued in the DARK!!!!! 

we met a kookaburra who sang for us…

kukabura_san_diego_zooand did some fun animal crafts. Vann was pretty pleased with his reusable snack bag he made with the help of daddy.

animal_crafts_san_diego_zoosan_diego_zoo_craftwe got to make yummy s’mores at a campfire, and learn some interesting facts about animal poop. yes, you heard right….POOP! apparently, you can tell a lot about an animal by its’ poop.making_smores_at_the_zoo eating_smores_at_the_zooand they even gave us some bugs to eat. YUCK!!!! but apparently, lots of the other campers really enjoyed them. we kind-of tricked Vann into trying a cricket. he didn’t think it was very funny LOL!

eating_bugs_san_diego_zoothen, just before bed, we got to explore the zoo in the dark with a scavenger hunt and also a tour to check out the nocturnal animals. it was pretty amazing to have the entire zoo to ourselves….well the animals were there too of course.night_scavenger_hunt_san_diego_zoogiraffe_san_diego_zoonight_scavenger_hunt_san_diego_zoo_sleepovernight_scavenger_hunt_at_the_san_diego_zoonight_time_fun_at_the_zoothen it was time for bed. Good Night!night_fun_san_diego_zoo okay…so sleeping in a tent isn’t my cup of tea. especially not while pregnant. but it was actually a lot better then i imagined. i did get some good stretches of sleep. they did give us some foam mats to sleep on. we did bring our own sleeping bags and pillows though. sleeping_in_a_tent_at_the_zoohere we are the next morning. see….I SURVIVED THE NIGHT at the zoo!surviving_a_zoo_sleepover

after we packed up our stuff, it was time to head back into the zoo for breakfast. we got to have the zoo to ourselves for a few more hours as well.


we ate a good breakfast at one of the restaurants in the zoo…

breakfast_at_the_san_diego_zoobreakfast_at_san_diego_zooand got to meet another animal from The Wild Life. an Echidna, which is an Australian animal that is sorta like a porcupine/hedgehog. it eats bugs and meal worms and has spines.echidnas_san_diego_zoolastly, we headed to the Wegeforth Bowl for once last meet-n-greet with some special animals. they included some wolves, a cheetah…and her dog friend.

then it was time to head home. it was sad for such a fun family weekend to end.

what a special weekend we had as a family. a train adventure, the awesome movie The Wild Life, and sleeping over IN the wild life at the San Diego Zoo. i highly recommend all these experiences because i feel they really create memories your children will never forget. and experiencing wild life in person is just amazing!san_diego_zoo

{Disclosure: We were invited guests of The Wild Life. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

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