Last weekend Lionsgate invited my family on a wild adventure to the San Diego. To help promote their newest movie, THE WILD LIFE, my family was given the chance to do something totally out of the ordinary. When I first got the invite, I totally hesitated. On the agenda was tent camping at the San Diego Zoo… and I’ve never camped… but I knew my family would have the best time. I took myself right out of my comfort zone and decided to have a wild time! Before I had kids, I had a list of movies that would be a “no go” for me. I wouldn’t watch anything that was animated, would make me cry or had animals, especially if they were talking animals. After kids, you realize that you’re probably going to need to branch out from only watching romantic comedies. Thank goodness, because this list had everything on my original list except it didn’t make me cry.
The movie is set on a deserted island where wild animals live together in harmony. All of that changes when a shipwreck leaves a human, Robinson Crusoe, stranded on the island and they have to learn if they were meant to live together as friend or foe. The addition of two savage cats help the animals and human to realize that through teamwork and strength of friendship, they can work through anything.
The studio arranged for us to take the train down to San Diego. I did my best not to over pack but it was hard. Much like Robinson Crusoe, I had no idea what to expect as we headed off on our adventure. I highly recommend the train for family travel! From Orange County it took about 2 1/2 hours and didn’t include any road rage. It was fun to just enjoy each other’s company and watch the scenery which is something the driver never gets to do.
As soon as we arrived in San Diego, we were taken to a local theater for a screening of THE WILD LIFE (in theaters everywhere September 9th!). Skip down to the end of the post to see the full trailer! I loved that the animals in the movie were not your standard movie animals. They were made up of animals that you don’t see everyday and included a macaw (named Tuesday), a pangolin (Pango), echidna (Epi), kingfisher (Kiki), chameleon (Carmelo), tapir (Rosie) and a goat (Scrubby). This unlikely group shows how strong friendships can get you through anything. After the movie, we arrived at the San Diego zoo and got to meet many kinds of animals that were in the movie. This macaw was so colorful! It was a truly cool experience for the kids to get to see these animals in person after seeing them in the movie. We toured the zoo in a double-decker bus and got to see some of the animal exhibits including HUGE elephants, lions, camels, meerkats (hysterical – I could watch them for days) and more.
Then it was time to check out our accommodations for the night… that’s when it got really real. No, I take that back. About an hour later when I went back to get a sweatshirt and realized there were no lights in the tent, THEN it got real. Sleepovers at the zoo are reserved for large group reservations and include a full itinerary. We were introduced to tons of animals and had a bunch of activities for the kids to do (like a conservation craft, s’mores and a scavenger hunt). We also went on a night tour of part of the zoo which was such an amazing experience. You guys! I made it! And camping wasn’t so bad. My husband is threatening to take me again sometime. We met a few more animals before departing the zoo and hoping on the train to head home. This experience was so cool. I’m sure that being shipwrecked is harder than camping, but my experience was a little bit similar to Robinson. I made new friends, I bonded with my family and slept outside. Oh yeah. And I also ate a cricket. It tasted like a sunflower seed! Totally wild!
You can find out more about San Diego Zoo sleepovers and book one for your group! THE WILD LIFE hits theaters September 9th. Download these fun coloring pages to introduce your kids to these colorful characters!
*My family was hosted on this THE WILD LIFE inspired weekend adventure by Lionsgate but, as always, all opinions are my own!