Zoo Membership = Frugal Fun  

Posted by: Julie in

In just a few short days school will be out for summer. I am truly looking forward to it. I love having the kids home, even if they do bicker from time to time ;-)

I love not having a set schedule that we have to follow. The days are laid back and easy going. However, what fun is summer break if all you do it stay home...all day...every day....for weeks?

We need a few fun activities to keep things interesting. For us, a BIG family vacation is out of the question most years. We own an ice company so this is a busy, busy, super busy time for our business. That means Dad works 7 days per week with little time for getaways.

Another draw back to that BIG family vacation is the cost. With a family of 6 just eating at McDonald's is expensive! Going to an amusement park? Not in our budget.

So what is a mom to do? Find some really fun, local and frugal alternatives.
Here's an idea for frugal fun I came upon today.

Greenville Zoo Memberships!!!

(picture taken at Greenville Zoo Hot Dog Day 2008)

A Household membership is $49.00 per year. Okay, I realize that it sounds like a nice chunk of change but let's look a little closer:

"Annual admission for two named adults living at the same address, plus their accompanying children under age 18. In addition, you'll receive six guest tickets

If my family of 6 goes to the Zoo just 1 time in a year it will cost us $24.00. Well, right there that is 1/2 of the price for a yearly pass. Go 2 times a year and the pass is paid for. Go 3 or more and we're saving money.

But...it gets better! Your membership also includes:
  • FREE Year-Round Zoo Admission

  • Early sign-up and discounts on all Education Programs, including Zoo Camp!

  • FREE or Discounted Admission to Riverbanks, Zoo Atlanta and more than 130 other zoos around the country. Click here to see the complete list.

  • FREE or Discounted Admission to Special Events such as Boo in the Zoo and Hot Dog Day.

  • 10 percent discount in the gift shop

  • Quarterly Newsletters, Updates and Notices of Special Events

  • Guest Tickets that are good for an admission to the Greenville Zoo

(picture taken at Greenville Zoo 2008)

We were already planning a day trip the the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC this summer. The cost of 1 trip for the 6 of us will cost $48.50. Not if we are members of the Greenville Zoo! With our membership we can go to Riverbanks Zoo for FREE!!! How great is that?

How about another FREE trip? I found a very interesting zoo in Asheville, NC called Western North Carolina Nature Center and was considering a day trip to visit. The cost for the 6 of us will be $26.00. With our Zoo membership the cost of admission is FREE!!!

(picture taken at Greenville Zoo 2008)

Are you planning on going to Atlanta, GA this summer? If you plan to visit Zoo Atlanta while you are there, the price of admission is $18.99 for 12 and up and $11.99 for 11 and under. With your Zoo membership you would get a 50% off discount.

The Free and Discounted Rates apply to many Aquariums, too. Click HERE to see the entire list of Zoos that offer Free or Discounted rates with your membership.

(picture taken at Greenville Zoo 2008)

Let's do the math:

1 trip to Greenville Zoo = $24.00
1 trip to Riverbanks Zoo =$48.50
1 trip to WNC Nature Center = $26.00
Total: $98.50

Cost of Zoo Membership:

That's a savings of almost 50%!

(picture taken at Greenville Zoo 2008)

And by having a year round pass to the zoo, we'll be more likely to pick up and visit one day "just because". Pack a picnic lunch and you've got a great, fun, frugal afternoon.

Lot's more ideas for frugal fun coming!

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We love our zoo membership and it is well worth the $49 we spend yearly. This year, alone, we have already been to Columbia and Greenville twice. Over the summer we are planning several day trips to different zoos. If you are around the Knoxville area, they have a great zoo and Atlanta is good too.

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