San Diego Zoo — October

My family is going to the San Diego Zoo for FREE in October.    Children’s admission is FREE in October.   Adult’s admission is FREE if with a pre-registered group of at least 10.    You can organize your own group or join others.  Anyone is welcome to organize a group to receive this deal.  You need to meet up with your group at 8:30 am in order to enter at the same time.  You do not need to stay with your group after you enter.  The zoo is located at 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.  It is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m.  As you can imagine the zoo is very crowded during October.

This year I will be taking a car load of kids on October 30th.  If you would like to go this day, join and look for the last post regarding the San Diego Zoo to sign up.

For more information about zoo, visit

The following are educational links:

The following are links to deals in San Diego:

Planning My Visit

This trip is a 92-mile, one-way drive for me.  Morning traffic has always been fine, but evening traffic has been stop-and-go.  My car gets about 28 MPG on the freeway without heavy traffic.   The first time I tried to come home from San Diego at 5pm or 6pm I sat in traffic for at least an extra hour and the car only got 17 MPG.  Ever since then I have avoided the northbound 15 freeway between 3pm and 7:30pm.

I pack for all likely weather and bring more low-perishable foods than I think I will need for the zoo and afterward so we can avoid long lines.   I pack blankets so my child can sleep well on the way home.

On the way to San Diego, we found that the Starbucks at 12889 Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard, San Diego,  CA  92129 is at just the right location for bathroom breaks.   It is 75 miles from home and a half mile off the exit.  We stop here because the bathrooms just outside the zoo entrance are extremely crowded before it opens.  It is 17 miles from here to the zoo.

After the zoo, we used to wait out traffic at the McDonald’s play land across the street from Starbucks on Rancho Penasquitos.   When my son grew too big for play lands, we played board games.    If you are interested in joining us, leave a comment below.  We haven’t decided where we will be playing board games.  Now that my son is older, we would like to explore San Diego a little bit more before heading home.

I am searching for kid-friendly places to explore, eat and play a board game or two from 6pm-8pm.   Here is where I will add places that meet that criteria:

  • – Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays (12 and under) with purchase of one combo meal valued at $2.49.  Ikea’s Bistro is open Monday-Saturday until 8:30pm.  It is located at 2149 Fenton Parkway
    San Diego, CA 92108 (less than 5 miles from the zoo).
  • (This is on the same website as above.) – IKEA San Diego restaurant offers FREE KIDS Birthday Parties on the first Tuesday of every month at 4:00pm-6:00pm.  The party is for all children turning 10 years old or younger during the selected attended party date.   Each birthday child is allowed to invite two of their friends to the party. Event includes face painting, a magic show, soda, and cake. Plus, each birthday child will receive a gift from IKEA.  Call (619) 563 – IKEA ext. 1330 to reserve your place at the party.  (If your child has an October birthday, just think how cool a zoo and birthday party would be!)


I haven’t explored San Diego area as much as I want to.  The following list of coordinates

t helps to have addresses grouped together so I can map out and the new area with the area I am already familiar with.

  • 25757 Fairview Avenue  Hemet, CA 92544 – The library closest to my home.  This is the address I use when coordinating get-togethers on a public forum.   I posted this so online friends give me suggested stops along the way from San Diego and home.
  • 4730 Hwy 76, Fallbrook, CA 92028 – The intersection of 76 and 15 freeways.  I don’t stop here.  I just need this point on the map.
  • 12889 Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard, San Diego,  CA  92129 – Starbucks/McD playland – Convenient pit stop before launching into heavier traffic.
  • 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 – zoo
  • 500 Sea World Drive  San Diego, California 92109 – SeaWorld
  • 1 Legoland Drive  Carlsbad, CA 92008 – Legoland
  • 2149 Fenton Parkway, San Diego, CA 92108 – Now that my child is older, I look for places where I can leave him to play board games with friends while I go on a quick shopping excursion nearby.   Ikea fits my search criteria because it has both kid-friendly bistro and store.   This Ikea is next to a – Of course, I want to add a math lesson to all this plotting and planning.


About Hemet Sunshine

I am a homeschooling mom living in Hemet, California. I am interested in building a better community for the ones I love.
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