The Thankful Mama

Thanksgiving Safari Park Style

Hunte Nairobi Pavilion

This review is a little late, but still close enough to Thanksgiving to count. 🙂 We decided to do something a little different for our Thanksgiving celebration. The San Diego Safari Park put on a holiday feast complete with all of the trimmings. It was held at the Hunte Nairobi Pavilion, a lovely covered area that could seat a few hundred. The heat lamps were blazing keeping it nice and cozy on a damp and chilly day. We had a table reserved for us and they scheduled the seating so that it was provided for us for two hours. Plenty of time to eat slowly and enjoy the atmosphere.

The menu was a perfect blend of all of the traditional favorites. We filled our plates with juicy turkey, beef strip loin and the most delicious butternut squash lasagna. The sides were just as delectable, with choices of creamed corn, sweet potatoes with a perfectly prepared pecan praline topping and root veggies. There was also a kids buffet with lots of great choices for the little ones. The mac and cheese seemed to be the favorite…as it always is! The desserts were, of course, delicious as well, my favorite being the Pumpkin Pie. It tasted so incredibly homemade, I could swear there was a grandma in the back slaving away making pie after pie for the crowd.

One of the nicest parts of having our Thanksgiving meal there, besides no clean up, was that after all that good food we got to walk around and enjoy the park.

The park was not very busy so it was a great chance to linger and see some of the more popular animals. We also stayed for the Cheetah Run, which is always exciting.

Baby gorilla Monroe hangin' with Mommy


I’m really glad we decided to go to the Safari Park for our Thanksgiving celebration. It was a perfect day spent eating great food and being with those we love the most.

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Cheetah Run!

We just purchased season passes to the San Diego Safari Park, which also includes entrance to the San Diego Zoo. Every time we have been I mention to Hubby how happy I am that we splurged and got them. I love the Safari Park as does our 13 month old little girl ! There are so many interesting animals and places to just walk around and look at. We always see something new and fun.

I wanted to share some of the exciting things to see and experience at the parks. This week is the Cheetah Run.If you haven’t seen or heard of the Cheetah Run, here is a little explanation from the park’s website:

“Witness the fastest land mammal up close and personal doing what it does best: run! The new Cheetah Run, located near Lion Camp and Balloon Safari, is a unique, jaw-dropping experience. During Cheetah Run, the spotted sprinter races on a straight 330-foot-long track that allows the cheetah to really stretch its legs and reach an astounding speed: 0 to 70 miles per hour in just 4 seconds while chasing a mechanical lure attached to its favorite toy. If you’re close enough, you may feel the wind as the cheetah passes by.”

We just happened to be in the right part of the park at the right time to get a good viewing spot for this. I really think the word “amazing” is completely overused, but in this case it definitely applies. Watching this animal leap out of a kennel and speed by only a few hundred yards from you is breathtaking…and slightly scary!

We found a great spot, thinking we were at the end of the course, only to find out we were at the starting line. It turned out to be a good place, though, since we got to see the cheetah before the run and watch him accelerate down the track. I tried to take a photo and hang on to a tired, wiggly 13 month old…all I got was the back legs

and tail speeding out of my picture. 🙂

Hubby was right on, though, with our new little video camera (another favorite I’ll have to talk about) and captured a decent film of it. Here’s an even closer look.

The Safari Park does this event everyday at 5:00pm. I would highly recommend seeing it if you can hang in there that long.

Watching this incredible animal get up to 70mph in 3.4 seconds gives you goosebumps!



And if you are walking around the park you just might see him moving at a little slower pace!



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