San Diego Zoo Safari Park invites kids to lace up their running shoes when they visit during “Kids Free” in October. Each day at 3:30 p.m., weather permitting, one child at Shiley’s Cheetah Run will be given the chance to see how their running speed compares to the fastest land mammal. The young volunteer will run before the cheetah takes to the track and will be timed by the animal trainers. Participants will wear a special racing bib they can keep as a memento of their experience.
Kids Free celebrates the founding of the San Diego Zoo in October 1916 and offers children 11 years old and younger free admission to the zoo and the park every day of October.
Cheetah Run gives park guests the opportunity to witness the world’s fastest land mammal do what it does best. The cheetah runs off-leash, chasing a mechanical lure down a 330-foot track, showcasing its ability to go from 0 to 70 mph in just 4 seconds. Guests can line up along the track to be just feet away from this amazing exhibition of speed.
Allowing kids to “race” at Cheetah Run is just one of many special experiences planned for “Kids Free” at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. The zoo has celebrated “Kids Free” in October for 26 years; this is the fourth year the program has been offered at the park.
The zoo and the park are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but for opening weekend only, the zoo will be open until 6 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 2. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a paid adult during their visit to either location.