Brent Bernasconi

Experience New Excitement at San Diego Attractions this Summer 2012

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Summer in San Diego means sunshine, beaches and barbecues. During your visit this summer, why not check out some of the awesome new offerings at San Diego attractions, including roller coasters, battling pirate ships, chinese acrobats and more!

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giraffes along a Africa Tram Safari - San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Get Up Close During a Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Enjoy a Summer Safari at the Park from June 30-August 19 for unique viewing opportunities of exotic wildlife like a cheetah sprinting just seven feet from where visitors stand. This festive summer celebration also includes interactive drumming, puppet performances and acrobats who entertain guests throughout the day.

LEGOLAND California

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Climb Aboard LEGOLAND's newest ride at Pirate Reef

LEGOLAND’s new adventure ride, Pirate Reef, takes to the high seas where riders board rival pirate ships and battle one another with splashing water cannons.

The park also expanded its popular STAR WARS Miniland, which now features seven live-action LEGO displays of memorable scenes from the classic Star Wars movies, along with three life-sized LEGO models of its famous characters.

San Diego Zoo

Chinese Warriors - San Diego Zoo Nighttime

The Wonders of China Await at the San Diego Zoo

During June 23 – September 3, roam through the park until 9:00 pm for Nighttime Zoo: China Celebration and experience special summer offerings. In honor of the Year of the Dragon, witness a 20-foot-long serpent puppet, trampoline acts and performances by breathtaking Chinese acrobats, robotic actors and stilt walkers.


SeaWorld's Manta

Ride the New Manta Coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

From June 16-August 19, visit SeaWorld San Diego for Summer Nights at SeaWorld. The summer showcase features extended park hours, nightly firework shows, live music and special nighttime animal performances.

This summer experience Manta, a new mega-attraction that combines the thrill and excitement of a roller coaster with an incredible marine-life exhibit, featuring a 100,000-gallon aquarium.

> Save With San Diego’s Fabulous Four Attractions – Tickets Package

What are you most looking forward to while in San Diego this Summer?


20 San Diego Green Facts

San Diego’s commitment to the environment and the protection of its most treasured resources – 70 miles of beautiful beaches and the best year round weather in the country – is far reaching.

Below are 20 Green Facts about San Diego. On your next visit to San Diego, be sure to check one of them out!

San Diego International Airport

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5 to Try: Grandparents Edition

Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 12th! In honor of all the grandparents out there, here are our 5 to Try with the grandparents. Our kids and the grandparents have tried all of these activities and I think all would give them two thumbs up!

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center: On Sunday, September 12th, the Science Center is offering free admission for grandparents and their grandkids! The Science Center offers exciting “do touch” science exhibits for visitors age 1 to 101. Our favorite area is the “block buster’s.” Visitors can build fun structures with thousands of KEVA planks – no glue or connectors necessary!

San Diego Botanic Garden: This is a great outdoor activity for both grandparents and kids. The grandparents will love the 36 acres of distinct garden displays and the kids will LOVE the largest demonstration children’s garden on the West Coast, which features a 20-ft climbable tree house. I can tell you first hand, that tree house is super fun!

USS Midway Museum: When my dad came to visit a few months ago, he suggested visiting the USS Midway Museum with him and the kiddies. At first I think I was the only one with some hesitation. But I have to say it is one of my favorite places to bring guests when they are visiting San Diego. It’s really fascinating to learn about the ship, and the kids love to walk up and down the stairs and explore the different areas of the ship. This museum has a lot of stairs and small corridors to walk through therefore I would only recommend it if the kids are big enough to maneuver it on their own and the grandparents are up for a lot of stair climbing.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park: We have taken both sets of grandparents to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Why? Well for starters, it’s only about 15 minutes from our house; but it could be 15,000 miles. Our favorite is of course the Park’s Journey into Africa tour. This open-air vehicle brings visitors to eye level with animals. On one of our last visitors we did the Balloon Safari with the grandparents. It provides a birds-eye view of the Park. It’s really fun!

Old Town San Diego: Old Town, considered the “birthplace” of California is a really fun way to spend the day with the grandparents. We took my mom there recently and she loved the historic Victorian houses. My kids loved the candy shop! They really have the best taffy.

What are your weekend plans?


Your Journey to Africa Begins Here

Last night, I was among the lucky few that got a sneak preview of the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park’s new African Summer Festival, which opens tomorrow (June 19 – September 6).

This festival is sure to be a big hit, because I only got a small sample of all the new activities and entertainment that will be offered throughout the park and I was blown away! 

Keep your eyes and ears open for:

Robert, the digital talking zebra (who I unfortunately didn’t get to see)

(not Robert)

Adorable animals (don’t forget to check out the baby elephants!!)

cheetah, rawr

These AMAZING Tanzanian acrobats

I can't do that...

can't do that either...

definitely can't do that!

These AWESOME and inventive drummers

rhythmic geniuses

water jug drumming

tether ball drumming

And friendly faces


The Park will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.  Click here for more information on all the festival fun!

Guest Blogger

Ein toller Tag im Wild Animal Park

Letztes Wochenende war ich nun auch den San Diego Wild Animal Park erkunden, der Teil des San Diego Zoo ist.  Der östlich von Escondido liegende Wild Animal Park befindet sich 51 Kilometer vom San Diego Zoo in San Diego entfernt und hat unter anderem die Aufgabe in der Freilaufbahn bedrohte Tiere zu schützen. Es bestehen etliche Zuchtprogramme zur Rettung dieser bedrohten Tiere, die vom Wild Animal Park nach erfolgreicher Aufzucht in ihren eigentlichen Lebensraum zurück entlassen werden.

Der Park ist mit einer Flaeche von 7 Quadratkilometern, mehr als 3000 Tieren und 400 Arten einfach riesig und besitzt wie auch der Zoo eine unglaubliche Tiervielfalt. Das Besondere für mich war, dass die Tiere im Wild Animal Park in wirklich grosszügigen Gehegen leben und ihnen so eine unglaublich natürliche Umgebung geboten wird.

Das grösste Gehege, wo Giraffen, Garzellen, Nashörner, Antilopen, Büffel usw. friedlich zusammenleben, kann man als  Besucher von Aussichtspunkten beobachten oder mit einem Eisenbahnfahrzeug um das Gehege herum erkunden. Besonders gefallen haben mir auch die Löwen, bzw. in diesem Falle der Löwe, der es sich auf dem Auto in seinem Gehege bequem gemacht hat. Auch die Gorilla und meine Lieblingstiere, die Erdmännchen, konnte ich in Aktion erleben.

Doch da es noch so viel anderes zu erleben gibt, ist es für mich ganz klar, dass ich den San Diego Wild Animal Park wieder besuchen werde.

Post by Guest Blogger, Sina-Sophie Ostermeyer


It’s A Boy!

Already standing tall!

This little guy, born about 8:30 pm on Monday, April 12th, is the newest member of the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park family. 

He’s the second elephant born at the Park this year and they are expecting one more later this spring.  They are having a mini elephant baby boom!

This newborn is the first for his mom, Swazi, and both she and baby are doing well.  

They are both part of a herd of elephants that were brought to the Wild Animal Park in 2003 to keep them from being culled in Swaziland due to overpopulation.

Guest Blogger

Fly High With the Butterflies

Yesterday I took my two kids ages 7 and 9 to the Wild Animal Park’s Butterfly Jungle.  It’s the Wild Animal Park’s big exhibit running through April 18th.  As you walk toward the exhibit located in the Hidden Jungle, there were people dressed with butterfly wings giving out information and entertaining visitors.  When we arrived at the Butterfly Jungle, the line looked long however it moved a lot faster than I expected.  We only had to wait about 15 minutes to get in.  While waiting there were guides offering visitors a chance to taste flavored meal worms and crickets as well as offering interesting facts about butterflies.  There was no way I was going to try a meal worm; however my 7-year old son decided to go for it. I couldn’t watch – but he did it.  He said it tasted like sunflower seeds. 

Once inside the Butterfly Jungle it is truly a beautiful sight. There are butterflies of all sizes and colors.  The kids attempted to have a butterfly land on them, but you have to be still.  Not easily done.  We were told the largest butterfly is the most apt to land on you. My son found one and put his hand toward the front of the butterfly and he walked right on to his hand. He was so excited!  There is also a guide you can print out from  The guide shows the different types of butterflies in the exhibit which made it fun for my daughter to try and identify them.

We love visiting the Wild Animal Park and always find something new we hadn’t seen before and the Butterfly Jungle is definitely worth checking out.  Dress for warm weather as it can get pretty warm up there.

-Post by Suzzanne Ravitz


Free at Last

He's eagerly awaiting your visit to the Zoo

He's eagerly awaiting your visit to the Zoo

Today is October 1, which means for the next 30 days kids and families can enjoy:

Free admission into the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park during Kid Free Days. All children ages 3 – 11 will receive complimentary admission into both parks for the entire month.

Free admission on any one- or two-hour Harbor Cruise of San Diego Bay with Hornblower Cruises & Events. Complimentary tickets will be provided for up to two children, ages 12 and under, per each paying adult for the entire month.

Half-priced admission into four museums in Balboa Park: the Mingei International Museum, the Museum of Man, the Museum of San Diego History and the Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA) will offer half-priced admission every Saturday and Sunday morning from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Note: this offer is actually valid through May 31, 2010 with some blackout days effective after October 31; please check museums to verify for half-priced admission days.


5 to Try This Weekend

kids always have all the fun

New Children's Museum pillow fight room! Yet another reason why I never want to grow up

Labor Day weekend is upon us, which unofficially marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  And while the transition of the seasons might go unnoticed in San Diego because our beach days and sunshine will last well into November (I’m not bragging, I’m just saying…), this weekend does mean “LAST CALL!” on some of San Diego’s summertime specialties:

  1. This weekend, catch this year’s final celebration of  Summer Nights at SeaWorld with fireworks, live music, special animal shows like Shamu Rocks and Sea Lions Tonite and the award-winning dance show Riptide. The park will be open 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Monday. Note: It’s also the VERY LAST weekend to catch the Dolphin Discovery show before SeaWorld begins construction on a brand new dolphin show, Blue Horizons, coming in May 2010.
  2. Spend your evenings exploring the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park during Park at Dark where you can see the park’s nocturnal creatures emerge, take a sunset tour on the Journey Into Africa tram and catch special summer shows. The park will be open from 9 a.m. – 8p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
  3. Check out the Caras Silvestres celebration during Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo. Honoring the cultures of California and Central and South America, the Zoo will present live music, colorful dance performances and amazing shows with stilt walkers and exotic animals. The Zoo will be open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
  4. Hurry over and place your bets at the Del Mar Racetrack for the last weekend of horse races. Races will be in full swing Saturday through Monday but I suggest you try your luck on Sunday when the country’s top horses compete in the $1 Million Pacific Classic, Del Mar’s richest and most prestigious race (and if you win big, you owe me). Later that day, following the last race, stop by the Reggae Festival with featured performances from Ziggy Marley and Nikka Costa; entrance to the concert is free with racetrack general admission tickets.
  5. This Saturday, Sunday and Monday, The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego is celebrating the FINAL weekend of its first exhibition, childsplay, before they close in preperation for their new exhibition Animal Art, opening in October. So come on by for your last chance to jump in the pillow room, navigate through a two story maze and dance around in the Rain House. Note: Ziggy Marley will also make a special appearance at the museum on Saturday while he debuts his new children’s album, “Family Time.”