San Diego Zoo Adds “The Journey to End Extinction” Finale to
Its Centennial Summer Celebration
The Annual Nighttime Zoo presented by Cymer Offers
Extended Evening Hours Through Sept. 5, 2016
Sunday night (June 19, 2016), as the sun set and the temperature dropped, the San Diego Zoo debuted “The Journey to End Extinction,” a daily performance at the close of Nighttime Zoo presented by Cymer. During each performance, a 10-foot condor puppet soars above the crowds along Front Street, trailed by five curious giraffe puppeteers, a flamboyance of 11 flamingo puppets, two orangutan puppets and four puppeteers powering the lumbering gait of an 8-foot tall elephant. Prince the lion, which measures 10 feet tall and 15 feet long, roars into the parade at the end; and a rhino calf puppet jaunts around wherever he pleases.
The animal puppets in “The Journey” made their debut during the Zoo’s May 14, 2016 Centennial Celebration at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Created by Puppet Kitchen, the handcrafted puppets, and their skilled puppeteers, move down Front Street generating awe and smiles from the gathering crowds. The 20-minute procession, led by the band The Chameleons, is a must-see ending to a visit to the Zoo.
The San Diego Zoo is open until 8 p.m. June 19–30 and Aug. 21–Sept. 1; and open until 9 p.m. July 1–Aug. 20 and Sept. 2–5. “The Journey” begins 30 minutes before closing. Nighttime Zoo activities and performances are free with Zoo admission or membership.
During Nighttime Zoo, the fun begins well before the sun goes down, as much of the featured entertainment begins at 2 p.m.—including an astonishing troupe of trampoline acrobats presenting a “Bouncing Birthday Bash” behind Sydney’s Grill. This party really “hits the heights,” and you won’t believe the amazing acrobatic feats these trampoline artists pull off. The 20-minute party is celebrated hourly. Nearby, at the Koalafornia Boardwalk, guests can laugh along with Dr. Zoolittle, who will perform “The Best of Dr. Zoolittle” complete with all the crowd favorites at 1 and 2 p.m. And later, during “Dr. Zoolittle’s Zany Zoo” show, he has his hands full as his puppet “helpers” steal the show and bring plenty of laughs. You can chuckle and cheer at the “Zany Zoo” show daily at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.
The always-popular Zoolahoops performance returns to the Front Street Stage at 6:15 p.m., to get everyone moving. Our enthusiastic emcees have lots of fun and games in store, so grab a hoop, no matter your age, and join in. Front Street Stage also hosts the group Rock and Roar, which gets guests rocking out to popular songs spanning the decades. All are welcome to get their groove on and sing along. And sharing the Front Street Stage are the Funky Monkeys, whose agile and exuberant dancers show off jazzy hip-hop-with-a-twist moves that just might work their way into your own dance style. Closer to the Reptile House, the Front Street Mariachis are a talented trio who provide a festive musical flair blending trumpet, strings and voices. The Chameleons brass band changes tunes like its namesake changes colors—from funk to Beach Boys and beyond—at Centennial Plaza by Wegeforth Bowl, at 5:15 and 6:15 p.m.
What goes with fun better than food and drinks? Nighttime Zoo guests can enjoy items from the limited-time “Happy Happens” food and cocktail menu at Albert’s restaurant, and indulge in hugs and fun photo opportunities with Sydney Koala, Churchill Polar Bear and other beloved costume characters. You can also enjoy acoustic guitar at Zoo Brews near the Orangutan exhibit daily at 3:30, 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30.
Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.
Dates and Hours of Nighttime Zoo:
June 19–30, Zoo closes at 8 p.m.
July 1–Aug. 20, Zoo closes at 9 p.m.
Aug. 21–Sept. 1, Zoo closes at 8 p.m.
Sept. 2–5, Zoo closes at 9 p.m.
- Animal puppets performing in The Journey, a finale performance at the Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo.
- Acrobats, musicians and Dr. Zoolittle performing at Nighttime Zoo.