For the past 3 years, my family had a local, family zoo membership, and it was such a pleasure to have that family experience. The benefits are so much more than simply being able to visit the zoo anytime you want.
Keep in mind, these examples apply specifically to my local zoo. I can’t promise these same events will be offered in future years. What I can say is it has been enjoyable to have this family zoo membership.
Family zoo membership equals cost savings
Currently, it costs $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for children to visit my local zoo. That totals $32 for our family of 4 to visit the zoo once (and soon we’ll have to pay the adult price for my oldest when he turns 13).
A family membership to my local zoo currently costs $90 per year. This means if we simply visit the zoo 3 times during the year, it is worth it to buy the family membership.
Our membership also allowed us to get a 10% discount in the zoo gift shop.
Members only events
Annual membership swap day: Our local community has several attractions that offer annual memberships. One day a year, some of those attractions will allow families with a membership to any of the area attractions to visit any partner attraction for free using another attraction’s membership card.
We have visited a local museum and a wildlife park on membership swap days in the past using our zoo membership card.
We got to attend our zoo’s Howl-zoo-ween event for Halloween on a special member night before the general public. Because of that, our event was much less busy than it would have been. It was still pretty busy, but it was a fun evening.
We also attended a special member event on a Sunday evening when the zoo would normally be closed. That event included getting to enter the giraffes’ indoor enclosure. It was funny to see the giraffes pacing back and forth outside because they knew it was time for them to be inside. They had to wait while families were peeking inside their enclosure area.
That event also included animal crackers as a fun treat.
Truly experiencing the zoo
We have gotten to see baby animals that were born at the zoo and watch them grow. Our family has learned the names of some of the animals. We have followed the stories of animals being transferred to other zoos and then searched for those animals at the other zoos.
Members only publications
My husband would get excited when we got our Zoo Tales magazine in the mail. He loves to find fun and unique activities for our family to enjoy. This magazine would let us know about upcoming member events that weren’t posted on the zoo’s public website.
Visit other zoos at reduced rates
With our zoo membership, we got to visit other zoos for 50% off or sometimes even free!
The St. Louis Zoo is already free to the public, but with our active zoo membership, we could get half off the price of the Adventure Passes. The passes include unlimited train rides and a sea lion show. The passes also include visiting the stingray touch area, carousel rides, and a special children’s zoo, but these attractions are also free during the first hour the zoo is open each day.
This past summer we visited the Cincinnati Zoo and got half off of their regular admission price with our local zoo membership.
A zoo membership makes a great gift
My family received this membership as a gift. We had a family zoo membership for 3 years thanks to family members purchasing it for us for Christmas each year. When we were asked if we wanted to renew the membership for 2019, we decided not to.
I am so thankful we had the zoo membership for the past 3 years, but now we are focusing more on new experiences and seeing other parts of the country as a family. Here are some other gift ideas.
Try giving your family the gift of a family zoo membership.