Less than 10 minutes from your cozy Skyloft apartment, hundreds of animals call the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park home. Throughout the park, exhibits showcase everything from monkeys and giant anteaters to farm life, Amazon aviary and much, much more. With so much to see and do, we thought we might help by providing a guide to your trip to the zoo full of the attractions and sites you won’t want to miss, along with admiring the animals!
An unusual request made by Joseph Prentice, the founder of the Santa Ana Zoo, has made it so that since 1952 the zoo has had 50 monkeys at all times. It has been said that Joseph ordered that for the zoo to exist, there must be “50 monkeys on the grounds at all times.” This request has been upheld, and even succeeded, in the decades to follow! Not only are there lots of monkeys at the SAZoo, but in addition, there is a 64-foot “Fifty Monkeys Ferris Wheel” uniquely designed to honor the request of the founder. It’s hard to miss, and definitely a must-visit while at the zoo.
You’ve visited the monkeys, saw the zoo from above in the Ferris wheel, now it’s time to sit back and relax for a ride on the Zoofari Express. This train has traveled throughout the zoo grounds since 1999, bringing riders for a journey through the Crean Family Farm and to the northern corners of the Santa Ana Zoo for decades. And although the train has continued to charter zoo visitors throughout the park for many years, in an effort to be more environmentally friendly and less noisy for the animals, in 2005 the train was converted to an electric motor. You’ll appreciate the serenity (and opportunity to rest your feet) that comes with the nearly 7-minute Zoofari Express train rides throughout the park.
After exploring the zoo for a while, there’s no doubt you’ll work up a lion-sized appetite. And when that happens, you’re in luck! Bean Sprouts is an on-site cafe at the Santa Ana Zoo with a variety of tasty menu options that are both healthy and delicious. And this isn’t your typical zoo cafe; Bean Sprouts utilizes clean, organic ingredients, compostable packaging, and a kid (and allergy!) friendly menu. Enjoy a refreshing and delicious meal before you embark on the remainder of the zoo exhibits.
As you can see, one could easily spend an entire day at the Santa Ana Zoo admiring the animals and the colors of the Amazon, relaxing on the train rides, and strolling through the exhibits. Once you’re there, be sure to tag Skyloft on Facebook and Instagram so we can see your wild adventures too! While you’re at it, keep following the Skyloft blog here for more Irvine experiences.