Snow at Lions Tigers & Bears
Snow Monday at the Lions Tigers & Bears nonprofit animal sanctuary east of Alpine. Courtesy of the sanctuary

Skip the usual flowers and candy, San Diego’s Lions Tigers & Bears, an accredited big cat, and exotic animal sanctuary, is offering Valentine’s Day activities for couples, friends, and families— for the adventurous type, the romantic type — or both. 

Impress your Valentine with an un-“fur”-gettable overnight stay at White Oak Wild Nights, the sanctuary’s on-site luxury retreat overlooking the vast country meadow and big cat habitats.

Featuring two bedrooms, one bathroom, a jacuzzi hot tub, and an outdoor kitchen and firepit, the White Oak Wild Nights is a romantic and enchanting Valentine’s Day gift idea. For a limited time, all bookings made (or gift certificates purchased) through Tuesday, Feb. 14 will include a complimentary bottle of champagne and box of chocolates upon check-in. All guests must be 21 or over. 

Those looking for a daytime adventure can book a two-hour guided visit and spend time with their valentine(s) while encountering exotic animals that have been rescued and given homes in wide-open habitats at the sanctuary forever.

The 65-plus animals residing at Lions Tigers & Bears include retired circus animals, survivors of inhumane photo and cub petting opportunities, and abandoned or illegally owned big cats, bears, and ranch animals. Guided visits are offered Wednesdays through Saturdays and gift certificates are also available for purchase. 

“Whether you visit us in February or purchase a certificate to come out another time, Lions Tigers & Bears is the perfect adventure for friends, family, and loved ones to come out and experience the tranquility our sanctuary offers,” said Bobbi Brink, founder, and director of Lions Tigers & Bears. “Visitors love to see our rescued resident companions, including tigers Moka and Nola, splash in their pool, enjoy their mealtime, and discover enrichment and toys.” 

Guided visits are $43 for adults and $26 for children 12 and under Wednesday through Friday and $46 for adults and $26 for children on Saturday. Guided visits and stays at White Oak Wild Nights can be reserved online or by calling 619-659-8078. All proceeds benefit the rescued animals, providing food, enrichment, habitat maintenance, veterinary care, and more. 

Lions Tigers & Bears is a federally and state licensed 501(c)3 nonprofit rescue facility dedicated to providing a haven to abused and abandoned exotic animals while inspiring an educational forum to end the exotic animal trade. Lions Tigers & Bears is a NO CONTACT, NO KILL, NO BREED, and NO SELL facility that allows the animals in its care to live out their lives with dignity in a caring and safe environment. Lions Tigers & Bears is one of the few sanctuaries in the United States with the highest level of accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuary Association.   
For more information about donations, volunteering, or booking a visit, go to