Nothing seems to warm our hearts like spending time among amazing animals. While our Los Angeles Zoo may currently be closed, there are many other wildlife centers all around Los Angeles, some of which are currently open!
As you head out to explore, please be sure to confirm the hours of operation and safety rules for each place you want to visit.
Wildlife Centers Open Now
Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary
8545 Buttemere Rd., Phelan, CA 92371
Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary is “dedicated to preserving the lives of abused, neglected and abandoned exotic animals through rescue, rehabilitation and education.” Families can arrange for a guided tour on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with appointment times at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors 50+; $10 for children 3-12; and children 2 and under are free.
California Wolf Center
2775 B St., Julian CA 92036
The California Wolf Center is “dedicated to the return of wild wolves to their natural habitat and to the people who share the landscape with them” and is happy to welcome visitors. Several tour options are available including a Public Wolf Conservation Tour as well as a Public Behavioral Enrichment Tour. Masks and/or face coverings are required as are advance reservations. Additionally, the Visitor Center and Nature Store offer a “children’s education station with interactive learning experiences.” Children 4 and under may attend the tours free of charge.
The Gentle Barn
15825 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390
The Gentle Barn is a very special place. Here, you’ll find animals who are rescued from “severe abuse and neglect who are too old, sick, lame, or scared to be adopted into homes.” Pigs, peacocks, emus, turkeys, llamas, and more all call The Gentle Barn home. Families may opt to enjoy a 2-hour Virtual Tour or can visit the site for “A Gentle Drive-Thru” on Sundays through August 30th. This special drive-thru experience “will take you behind the scenes to areas of our California property that is normally not open to the public.” All tickets must be reserved in advance. Drive-thru tickets are offered for a suggested donation of $28 per person (with a two-person minimum). Lunch is included and provided to your car.
Wildlife Learning Center (WLC)
16027 Yarnell St., Sylmar, CA 91342
Wildlife Learning Center is a “zoological park nestled in an old olive grove in San Fernando Valley.” At WLC, families will have the chance to “appreciate and learn about animals from around the world.” While the WLC is currently closed for general admission, families can currently enjoy a private Zoofari Tour. Enjoy a 30-minute guided tour and the opportunity to meet an animal up-close including the option to feed a giraffe or touch an armadillo. Details and reservations are available online.
Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center
21900 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach 92646
Dedicated to the care, rehabilitation, and release of local wildlife, that are sick or injured.
5200 Escondido Canyon Rd., Acton, CA 93510
Farm Sanctuary was “founded in 1986 to combat the abuses of factory farming and encourage a new awareness and understanding about farm animals.” At Farm Sanctuary, animals are regarded as friends not food. The 26-acre Sanctuary provides shelter for about 100 animals (including pigs, turkeys, cows, and other farm animals) and also offers one-hour guided tours. Tours are $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 4-12; and free for children 3 and under. Farm Sanctuary is currently closed to visitors.
Pacific Marine Mammal Center
20612 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
At Pacific Marine Mammal Center, it’s all about “Rescue, Rehab, Release, Educate, Research.” There are 37 animals (including California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, and more) being cared for, and most are visitor from the visitor yard. The visitor yard also features interactive displays, marine mammal artifacts, and a gift shop. Admission is free, though donations are gratefully accepted.
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
29322 Modjeska Canyon, Silverado, CA 92676
There is much to do at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. Families can explore the nature trails, wildlife observation areas, and seasonal creek. The Sanctuary is also a popular birding site. The Mission of the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is to “support science and environmental education and to act as a sanctuary for the preservation of the local native habitat and wildlife.” With short trails and a family-friendly nature center offering hands-on, interactive activities, kids will find lots to keep them engaged. Tours are generally offered from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is free, though a recommended donation of $3 per person is gratefully accepted. The Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is currently closed.
Marine Mammal Care Center
3601 S. Gaffey St. #8, San Pedro, CA 90731
The Marine Mammal Care Center (MMCC) was established in 1992 and serves to rescue and rehabilitate injured and ill sea animals found along Los Angeles County’s coast. Their goal is to treat and release sea animals including sea lions, harbor seals, and elephant seals. Additionally, the center seeks to inform the public about conservation and environmental issues. Visitors are welcome every day of the year during daylight hours, and volunteers are happy to answer questions. Check the website for details about tours. Admission to the MMCC is free.
Related: Things to do in San Pedro with Kids
STAR Eco Station
10101 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
The STAR Eco Station is the place to bring kids who are interested in animals and their role in making sure these animals are safe. Partly a science museum and partly an exotic wildlife rescue facility, the STAR Eco Station is a special place. Here you’ll find animals that you won’t find anywhere else. Families will participate in hands-on ecology lessons and be able to observe a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Public tours are generally offered each Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, beginning on the hour. The tours are 45-60 minutes in length and will introduce families to more than 200 hundred different rescued wildlife. Adult admission is $8; seniors are $7; children are $6; and children under 2 are free. The STAR Eco Station is currently closed.
Animal Tracks Inc.
10234 Escondido Can Rd., Agua Dulce, CA 91390
At Animal Tracks families are provided with “up close animal encounters” with animals that “can’t be returned to their natural habitats.” Animal Tracks is home to a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, arachnids, insects, and amphibians. Currently, all tours are virtual and offer families the opportunity to spend about 10-15 minutes with an animal of your choice. A $50 donation is recommended for each virtual meeting. Details are available online.
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