It’s time for a family activity and you have decided a trip to the zoo is what your family should do. But, with the cost of tickets, parking, food, and drinks. Add in the souvenir shop, and extra exhibits and you could easily spend a lot of money on your family outing!
Wait! Don’t skip your trip! With just a bit of planning ahead, there are easy ways to save money at the zoo.
You can keep the cost of this family adventure under control!
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How to Save Money on a Trip to the Zoo
Visit your zoo’s website. Look for discounts. Student discounts, discount days and group ticket purchases – most zoo’s offer visitors a group discount. Consider gathering a few of your family and friends together for a group discount. Maybe your zoo offers free days or free admission at certain times of the day.
Look into Reciprocal Membership
Many zoo’s offer membership programs. The reciprocal membership program not only offers discounts at the zoo also the aquarium.
For example here are my local Zoo member benefits:
- FREE regular admission to John Ball Zoo*
- FREE or reduced admission to over 150 other zoos and aquariums
- One year subscription to Zoo News Magazine
- Invitations to Members-Only events
- Special events discounts
- Birthday Party discounts
- Discounts and early registration on Education Classes
- 10% discount at our Gifts of the Wild gift shop
- 10% discount at any of our concession stands
- 10% discount on seasonal experiences such as the Zip Line, Ropes Course, Camel Rides
There are a variety of discounts that each of the Reciprocal Zoo & Aquariums offer. Be sure to check your local Zoo for their membership discounts.
Bring your own Food and Drinks
I think this is a given. Buying food and drinks for an entire family at the zoo can be expensive. It is always best to bring your own. My zoo does not allow food to be brought in but they do provide a really nice picnic area. We load up the cooler and half way through our trip we take a lunch break. It gives the family time to talk about all the animals we have seen and what we are looking forward to seeing next.
How cute are these!? Monkey thermos, water bottle, and insulated lunch bag. All are available on Amazon.
Skip the Souvenir Shop
Bring your own! It is so much cheaper to pick up a few fun zoo animal treasures before your trip to the zoo. I found some really cute things on Amazon. Animal masks, sticker pages, tattoos, sunglasses, fun treat boxes, and animal figures.
Skip the Extras
Do you really need to feed the giraffe or the birds? How about touch the stingray? It can all add up real quick. Plan ahead for the extra exhibits. Visit your zoo’s website and talk to your family and let them choose what they absolutely have to do before going to the zoo. No meltdowns at the zoo because they just have to ride the camel!
Also, be sure to bring your own stroller or wagon. Why pay for a rental when you don’t have too?
Be sure to Pin these easy ways to save money at the zoo!