3 sisters. 2 states. 1 story.


How to Save Money on a Trip to the Zoo

Monday, August 12, 2013

If you're like me, your kids LOVE the zoo. We go every year. We also make a point to visit the Fort Fisher Aquarium each year when we're on our beach trip. What can I say, we like to knock things off of our Summer Bucket List.

If this is the case with your family too, then keep reading, this tip might also help save you some money.

First, we'll start with the simple math. I'll use my family of four and the places we visit in the example but the more people you have, the more beneficial it will probably be for you. (Sorry - I haven't known anything about being single or a mere couple in a very long time!)

In order to visit this guy at the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro, North Carolina, you'd have to pay these admission prices for a individual day pass (one-time visit):

2 adults: $24
2 children (ages 2-12): $16
TOTAL: $40

In the same summer, in order to visit this guy (the alligator - not Jaxon Walkush) at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, in Fort Fisher, North Carolina, you'd have to pay these admission prices for a one-time visit:

2 adults: $16
2 children (ages 3-12): $12
TOTAL: $28


Now here's where it gets interesting. Stay with me on the math!

What you may not know is that if you purchase a one-year North Carolina Zoo Society Membership, you'll fair much better. To purchase the membership, visit www.nczoo.com/Membership.

You'll note that for a one-year family membership, the cost is $74.

But, Donna, you're thinking, $74 is more than $68. I read this whole thing and you didn't save me any money!

Hold your horses - there's more! Because it's a one-year membership, this is a timing issue. 

If you purchase your membership in June or July, for example, you should be able to go to the zoo, and the aquarium at the beach this summer AS WELL AS next summer before the membership expires. Of course, make sure to purchase the membership whenever it coincides with your family's vacation plans and then mark it on your calendar to make sure you get the most out of your membership!

So to recap, that is four total family visits (to two different locations) for $74, which averages to $18.50 per visit. AND the $74 is tax deductible, unlike a regular zoo or aquarium admission.

Of course, in my example, I'm only using two very specific locations, but most zoos offer a membership, so please do some hunting to see if the math works out for your zoo locations. Our membership came with a list of 150 zoos and aquariums around the country that offer free or discounted admission with proof of membership - not too shabby!
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Anonymous said...

Great info. I will definitely look into that.

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