Summertime Fun in Simi Valley for Kids at Moorpark College Teaching Zoo

Meet Ira the Lion at Moorpark College’s Teaching Zoo

Since Simi Valley and Moorpark are about an hour driving distance away from both the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Zoos, this quaint animal sanctuary is perfect for any family looking for a fun activity that’s close to home and budget friendly. The Moorpark College Teaching Zoo is home to Moorpark’s Exotic Animal Management (EATM) program, and features over 200 exotic animals that are trained and cared for by Moorpark’s EATM students.

A closeup of Ira the Lion at Moorpark College’s Teaching Zoo

What’s cool about this zoo is that it is almost entirely student-run, and most of the zoo’s animals were given to them by the US Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and other private donors. Visitors can come to watch live animal shows and demonstrations, and they can even watch the EATM students feed their animals. The zoo also holds summer camps for kids interested in one day working with exotic animals.

A Moorpark Zoo handler with a macaw (photo Dina Pielaet, VCCCD)

Additionally, admission tickets to the Moorpark College Teaching Zoo are HALF of what they would be at the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Zoos, which makes it the ideal day trip for families! Be sure to take the kids to see the famous Ira the Lion this summer; if that doesn’t amaze them, perhaps Moorpark’s massive, ninety-year old Galapagos tortoise will!


Visitor Information:

Hours: 11:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Weekends (Excluding Holidays)


Adults        $8.00

Children     $6.00

Seniors       $6.00

Under 2      FREE

Included in General Admission Price:
Animal Show Times: 12:00 and 2:00
Animal Demonstrations: 3:30 to 4:00
Discovery Stations and Animal Encounters throughout the day!

Ask about Behind the Scenes.Tours at 12:45 and 2:45 for an additional $7 per person.


Side notes:

Food available for purchase? Snacks are available for purchase, but it’s best to pack lunches!

Does the zoo take card for entry? No, cash or check only!

Do I buy tickets online or at the zoo? At the zoo!

Is parking free on weekends when the zoo is open for visitors? Yes!

An all-white cockatoo flaps its wings to exercise while a handler at Moorpark Zoo holds its' feet

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