Escondido Wedding Venue
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, California 92027
A herd of gazelles calmly roams the vast plain, while a group of giraffes clusters under a tree. Maternally, one lowers her long neck to groom her youngster. Sound like an exotic scene from Africa? It could be, but it’s actually a lot closer to home, and you can have the fun of sharing it with those you love on your wedding day.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, an 1,800-acre conservation center, will stir your soul with the wonder of seeing nearly 400 wild and often endangered species like zebras, bison, gorillas and condors. Perhaps the most popular attraction is watching different animals—rhinos, antelopes and yes, those gorgeous giraffes—graze together harmoniously in their natural habitat. So, it’s an unexpected treat to use this idyllic tableau as a backdrop for your celebration.
After the public has left for the day and the park takes on a hush, your guests begin their safari with a shuttle ride to the Heart of Africa. This grassland ceremony site, shaded by a grove of trees, is within site of the cheetah habitat, and if you’re lucky you might see a couple of these magnificent creatures lazing on the hillside. (By the way, for something your guests will never forget, arrange a close encounter with a cheetah or another exotic critter.) Bronze statues of African tribesmen peek out from the surrounding bush as you take your place at the altar, which frames that distant plain.
The adventure continues with a journey past African landscapes to the edge of Nairobi Village and the Hunte Nairobi Pavilion, a spacious, covered venue-in-the-round, for dinner and dancing. Boasting a 35-foot vaulted ceiling and screened-in sides, it lends a wonderfully airy, indoor/outdoor feel to your reception. Gourmet menus add a touch of elegance to the affair, but the icing on the cake may be ending the evening astride a galloping elephant (or crocodile) when the park opens its unique carousel for everyone to take a private spin.
If, however, you prefer a waterside event (or don’t want to wait until after hours), you can host your wedding at the Mombasa Island Pavilion. Begin at the Lagoon Overlook, a short walk from the main entrance that meanders past playful meerkats and sparkling waterfalls. Friends and family gather at the ceremony site, a wide plaza that extends in a semicircle above the lagoon, where you’ll arrive via cart down a private pathway. Just beyond the altar are a series of small water islands, home to rare birds and plant life. The entire setting is lushly landscaped with flowering shrubs and tall water grasses.
Just steps away, your reception is held at the Mombasa Island Pavilion, a thatched-roof hut with flagstone flooring, rough-hewn wooden columns and tribal painting designs. This rotunda-style building has virtually no walls, allowing for unobstructed views of the waterfowl preening outside while you dine and dance.
And if all of the amazing assets of Safari Park aren’t enough, there’s another benefit to having your event here: A portion of the proceeds helps support ongoing conservation and wildlife protection efforts. Imagine, by celebrating your new life, you will also save the lives of animals in danger around the world…how wild is that!
CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The site holds up to 250 seated or 400 standing guests indoors or outdoors.
25% of the total event cost is required to reserve your date. Partial payment of the balance is due 30 days prior to the wedding day, and the remaining balance is due 5 days prior. The ceremony site fee ranges $1,500–2,000. Wedding packages range $85–112/person and include: all-day admission for your guests on your wedding day; complimentary general parking; first hour hosted beer, wine and soft drinks; butler-passed hors d’oeuvres; jungle juice toast; your choice of plated entrées or buffet service; linens; waived cake-cutting fee; complimentary floral centerpieces; and a complimentary 1-year membership to the Zoological Society of San Diego for the newlyweds. Tax and alcohol are additional; there is no charge for a gratuity.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: some provided
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: CBA
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
AV/Meeting Equipment: provided
Parking: large lot (complimentary, included in wedding package)
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: CBA
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: BBQ CBA
View: canyon, hills, lagoon, waterfall, landscaped grounds; panorama of fields, mountains, park and valley
Other: in-house florals, picnic area, wild animals, event coordination
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: not required
Year-round, daily, 9am–11pm.
Alternate Info: San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, San Diego Zoo's Safari Park