“Monkeys, monkeys, and oh... more monkeys.”
I first have to admit that I've been spoiled by having memberships to the San Diego Zoo. But we got free tickets for the SA Zoo from the Discovery Cube, so why not check it out?
Parking is free, but get there early. When we left there were a bunch of cars just trolling the lot waiting for a spot to free up. The zoo itself is small, and there really aren't any impressive enclosures. There are a couple that had a little bit of landscaping, although I actually couldn't spot any animals in them. The vast majority of the cages are just that: cages. Take about a hundred cubes and stack 'em side by side and fill 90% of them with monkeys, and you have the Santa Ana Zoo.
I did like that they had a bald eagle (that injured its wing and couldn't fly. Can't imagine where else that poor bird might be able to go). There was also a single camel, but it wasn't in the camel enclosure. It was in some sort of weird pen NEXT to the enclosure where all it could do was walk back and forth about twenty feet. Kinda sad. There were two squabbling macaws that would repeat "Hello" to you if you said it to them enough times. And the aviary was alright. They had turtles, which are my personal favorite, so bonus points for that.
All in all, my toddler enjoyed it enough for an hour or so, but even she got sick of all the monkeys and said she wanted to go home. There's also a nice playground inside, but come on, you can find playgrounds OUTSIDE anywhere.
At the end of the day, the tickets were free, and it was worth checking out once. But I honestly don't think we'll ever bother to come back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.