The San Diego Animal Sanctuary & Farm (formerly known as the Children’s Nature Retreat), a 20-acre animal sanctuary in Alpine, is embracing the ‘dog days of summer’ with a new summer program. Kicking off on the first day of summer, June 20 through Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4), all guests will receive a free popsicle during their visit.

Additionally, the Sanctuary & Farm, with more than 200 animals, offers day camps ($195/day) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., as well as 3-day/week ($495/week) and 5-day/week (Monday through Friday; $695/week) experiences. Limited to just three children at a time, kids (7+ years of age) can shadow the Farm’s experienced Animal Keepers taking part in activities, such as feeding the tortoises, pigs, and barnyard animals, walking with the goats, cleaning pens, picking vegetables in the garden and more. For more information about the kids camps, visit

To compliment the kids camps, the Sanctuary & Farm is launching a new Parent Corner space for parents to work remotely for the day, while their kids are at camp. The area includes a cool and shady spot to work outside, free Wi-Fi, and other accommodations.

The Sanctuary & Farm also has misters on the trails throughout the farm.

“One of the common misconceptions is that it’s unbearably hot at the farm; however, we’re in a special spot – we’re at 2,600-feet in the mountains of Alpine, so we actually get quite a bit of ocean breeze,” explains Agnes Barrelet, founder and executive director for the Sanctuary & Farm. “One of my very favorite spots at the farm is our beautiful, and enormous, oak tree in the center of the farm, which provides so much shade, with lots of picnic tables. We also have a lot of other shady seating areas as well.”

The San Diego Animal Sanctuary and Farm is home to more than 200 domesticated livestock and exotic animals, from a bison to camels and zebras to a mélange of farm animals. Most of the animals were pets who lost their homes due to their previous owners’ illness, death, or financial difficulties. The Farm is open seven days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Reservations are no longer required. Guests can also feed orchard hay through or over the fence for $5/bucket and poultry feed for $2/cup.

Single day admission is $40 for adults and $25 for kids (children under 2-years are free); seniors (65+) are $36. Parking is complimentary. To buy tickets, visit

The Farm is located at 5178 Japatul Spur in Alpine (91901). For more information, visit