Few things hold a kids attention like the splash of a penguin elegant strut of a giraffe. Curious Bay Area kids can explore the animal kingdom at a number of world class Bay Area attractions. Here are a few top picks from the producers of Eye on the Bay:

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

1300 Senter Road
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 794-6400
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo

Happy Hollow is a must visit for South Bay animal lovers. The park recently added more rides and animal attractions, so it’s worth a new look if you haven’t visited since your childhood. The petting zoo is a real draw for little ones. Admission includes rides and attractions.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum

1931 1st Ave
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Adults $7, Children $5
Lindsay Wildlife Museum

Yelp readers say this relatively small museum is a great place to get up-close with the animals. Birds and native wildlife are the highlights.

Oakland Zoo

Hwy 580, Off 98th and Golf Links Rd
Oakland, CA 94605
(510) 632-9525
Adults $12.50, Children $8.50
Oakland Zoo

Liam Mayclem’s favorite zoo is often overshadowed by its San Francisco sister, but regular visitors say it shouldn’t be. The zoo sits on about 50 acres and is home to roughly 500 animals. Bears, lions, tigers and just about any other animal your little one is hoping to spot can be found on the grounds. The facility also offers a ton of opportunities for volunteers.

Marine Mammal Center

2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 289-7325
Marine Mammal Center

This functioning mammal hospital is an ideal place for children to learn about aquatic animals and the environmental factors that impact them. The non-profit is free to tourists during visiting hours.

Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp

3115 Porter Creek Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 579-2551 or 1 (800) 616-2695
Adults $68; Children 3-12 $30; Infants 1-2 $10.
Safari West Wildlife Preserve

This North Bay preserve features a variety of exotic animals presented in a safari-like setting. Day tours and overnight stays are available.

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
Adults: $24.95, Ages 12-17: $19.95, 4-11: $14:95
California Academy of Sciences

Golden Gate Park’s elegantly rebuilt hot-spot sucks in visitors of all ages. Many of the favorite attractions of your childhood have been woven in around the indoor rain forest and expanded aquarium. Little ones are particularly fond of watching the penguins and finding Nemo look-alikes.

Tilden Regional Park Little Farm

Central Park Drive
Berkeley, CA 94701
(510) 525-2233
Tilden Regional Park Little Farm

Kids in need of a farm animal fix will love feeding the livestock at this free zoo. Just minutes from Berkeley, this is a regular getaway for many East Bay children.