My family and I enjoyed the day exploring the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park. The kids loved walking through the aviary, watching the playful monkeys and riding the electric train. This post, however, is about the amazing Santa Ana Zoo playground found within the zoo! Right next to the zoo snack bar sits a decent-sized playground. There are two sets of play equipment that kept both my 2 and 7 year old kids entertained. Although my husband and I love playing with our kids during our park adventures, it was a nice treat to sit, rest our feet, hold hands, and relax while watching them play.
Location: The Santa Ana Zoo playground is directly off Interstate 5 at the First St/Fourth Street exits. The parking lot is off Chestnut Avenue. I’ve mapped the zoo on our playground map, but the zoo website has excellent directions (click here).
- The playground is right inside the entrance plaza
- Nice Prentice Park shade is provided by canvas overhangs (designed to look like giraffes) and beautiful trees
- Monkey bars set up like the “rings” we used to play on as kids on a winding track
- Extend the playground play with a ride on the Conservation Carousel ($3) or Zoofari Express Train Ride ($4) – or take a walk through the farm
- The zoo! The 20-acre zoo is a great place to explore with its Zoofari train ride, endangered animal carousel, and interactive exhibits
- You have to pay admission to enter the zoo and have access to the playground. Children 0-2 are free. Children 3-12 and seniors 60+ are $7 and adults are $10.
- Train ride and carousel costs extra and doesn’t necessarily run all the hours that the zoo is open.
- There is a snack bar and gift shop next to the playground.
- The playground can get very crowded.
- No swings.
- Parking is free.
- Zoo Admission ranges from FREE-$10. (They used to only accept cash/checks – but they now accept Visa/Mastercard.
- Only open 10am-4pm.
- Recycled rubber and sand play surface
- Restrooms in the snack bar building
- Drinking fountain
- Shade from playground shade cover and trees
- There are plenty of places to sit while keeping an eye on the children.
- Click here to find official information on zoo admission and hours