When we were planning out 2 week trip to Pasadena to spend the holidays with my parents earlier this year, my mom had come across a zoo outside of Palm Springs that looked interesting. Loving animals, we decided to try to fit it in our holiday plans while in Southern California. Fast forward a few months and we ended up planning to drive over to Borrego Springs for a couple of days while in SoCal to visit Nick’s parents who have a house out there. As we go right through the Palm Springs area to get to Borrego, we decided to make a day of it and visit the zoo at the same time. My parents drove over with us, spent the day with us at the zoo and then Nick and I headed onto Borrego. In short, we had such an amazing day at the Living Desert Zoo outside of Palm Desert and I would go back again in a heartbeat! Here is my review of our day at the Living Desert Zoo and everything I’d suggest if you’d like to visit as well!
Feeding the Giraffes – The hallmark of the Living Desert Zoo is definitely the option to feed the giraffes while you’re there! It’s one of the first attractions after you enter and was so incredible. It costs $8 per person and they give you a handful of lettuce to feed the animals. You get about 10 minutes feeding them and sneakily petting them and it was incredible!
The Natural Habitat – A lot of zoos end up being a lot of concrete. The Living Desert though was designed beautifully into a natural habitat for the animals and most of the pathways are dirt or sand which makes it really blend into the landscape and feel less like a zoo and more like you’re really in nature.
Playing with the Goats – I love goats and was so excited to find out that there is an entire area where you can just pet and play with goats. We spent a lot of time here, and in all honesty, Nick had to coax me out of this area because I was enjoying it so much!
Surprisingly Good Food – We had lunch from one of the cafes at the Zoo and it was pretty good food. We also got to sit and eat it while watching antelopes and camels which was a win win for me.
Prices of Food – While the food was pretty good, I definitely didn’t love the price. It ended up being about $70 for 4 people ordering burgers and fries… so just be aware that you’ll get charged quite a bit for food.
NOTES TO KEEP IN MIND
Go Early. As we drove over from LA that morning, we got to the zoo around 10am. That was a great time to start and the animals were up and roaming around. I will say that by mid afternoon, there were tons of kids running around yelling (so if you would rather a somewhat kid-free visit, start earlier) and the animals were mostly napping. So if you go early, you’ll have a quieter visit and see more animals up and about!