10 Ways to Save Money at the Zoo
Looking for ways to save money at the zoo? If you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, a trip to the zoo is always a great option. But if you’re on a budget, it can be easy to rack up some serious expenses quickly.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save money at the zoo because having fun does not have to be expensive. Taking a trip to the zoo doesn’t have to break the bank so let’s go over a few different ways to save money at the zoo.
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Here are some tips to save money on your Zoo Trip
If you have been to the zoo, you know how expensive it can be, making it hard to save money on your zoo trip. But that shouldn’t deter you away from taking a midwest vacation or trip to your favorite zoo.
Below, we will show you how to have fun at the zoo without breaking the bank we will also give some friendly advice on zoo etiquette.
1. Bring your own snacks and drinks to save money on food.
This is a great way to save money at the zoo, and it also means you can eat what you want and cater more to your picky eaters.
If you plan on taking your own food and drinks, you’ll want to research on their website to make sure that any food you bring is allowed into the zoo. You may also want to pack a picnic lunch so you can enjoy it in the park.
Here are some ideal snacks that you can take to the zoo to enjoy:
- Peanut butter and celery sticks
- Veggies and dip
- Cheese and crackers or everything bagel cracks
- Yogurt tubes or fruit leathers
- Granola bars
- Lunch meat sandwiches
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or peanut butter bread
- Chips or crackers
Make sure to pack a cooler with plenty of ice to keep your food cold, especially if you take something like chicken salad sandwiches.
2. Make Your Own Supply Pack
When we went to the zoo one year, I had a total mom moment and forgot all about taking sunscreen and other necessities with us. This left us with having to purchase these items at the park and spending way more than we should have.
To help avoid this, when you make plans to visit the zoo, start gathering the little things that you may need. Sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, or bug spray are just a few items that you should include in your zoo pack.
3. Plan your visit around the free days at the zoo
Almost every zoo offers a number of free days each year. Make sure to check the schedule before you go, and take advantage of these special days when admission is free.
Most of the time, these free days are during the week and not on weekends when there are less crowds. So you will want to plan your trip and itinerary around those days.
4. Arrive early or visit later in the day
If you arrive early, when the gates open, you’ll avoid the crowds and have a more peaceful experience. In some zoos, you can do this to take advantage of the early bird specials.
You may also be able to save money on your admission by visiting the zoo during off-peak hours, or later in the day.
5. Volunteer to help out at the zoo and get free admission
Some zoos offer volunteer programs where you can help out with the animals or assist with educational programs. In exchange for your time, you’ll usually receive free admission to the zoo or discounted tickets.
If you live close to the zoo, this can be a great way to get the kids involved with volunteering while saving money on entrance fees.
6. Ride your bike or walk instead of taking a taxi or Uber
This is a great way to save money and get some exercise in at the same time. Since zoos often charge for parking, you can park away from the zoo and walk. Taxis and Ubers can get expensive too, which makes avoiding these a great way to save money going to the zoo.
If you live close to the zoo, riding your bike or walking to the zoo will be easy. When you walk or ride your bike to the zoo, you’ll also be helping to reduce traffic and pollution, in that sense you are also helping the environment.
7. Purchase a membership or annual passes
Most zoos offer yearly memberships or passes that you can purchase to get free or discounted tickets and items during your visit. For instance, you can purchase annual passes for Bush Gardens in Tampa starting at under $200. With the annual passes, you save money on parking, admission, and can get some discounts on purchases in the park.
Now, if you don’t live close to a zoo that you will visit often, this won’t be a promising option. However, if you live near a zoo or take multiple trips to the zoo each year, it may be worth it.
9. Skip the Souvenir Shop
I know you want to remember your trip to the zoo and maybe grab a souvenir or two from the trip, but avoiding the shops can help you save a ton.
If you do choose to buy a souvenir from the zoo, go with an inexpensive item that everyone can enjoy to remember the trip.
10. Buy tickets in advance to get a discount
If you buy your tickets online, you can often get a discount. Many zoos also offer package deals if you purchase tickets to multiple attractions or between certain dates.
Plus, buying your tickets in advance will help you save money and avoid long lines at the gates and give you more time to spend at the zoo.
Bonus Tip: Go With A Group
Getting a large group together can also help get you discounted prices when it comes to admission at the zoo.
Ask friends and family if they’d be interested in going. You can also get a group together for your tween or teen’s birthday. This gives you an affordable birthday idea for tweens and teens.
Saving Money at the Zoo
These are just a few of the ways you can save money at the zoo. With a little planning, you can have a great day out without spending a fortune. Just remember to be respectful of the animals and follow the rules of the zoo.
You may also like this polar bear activity printable.
Proper Zoo Etiquette
Visiting a zoo is a great experience for everyone of all ages. However, there are certain things you should and should not do when visiting a Zoo. These are:
- DO NOT feed the animals. This can be dangerous for both you and the animal.
- DO NOT touch the animals without permission from a zoo employee.
- DO NOT run or make loud noises around the animals. This can scare them and disrupt their natural behavior.
- DO take care of your trash and put it in the proper receptacles, don’t just throw it on the ground. This will help keep the zoo clean.
- DO have fun! Zoos are a great place for people of all ages to learn about animals and nature.
By following these simple tips, you can have a great time at the zoo while also respecting the animals. Always remember that in every zoo, the animals are the stars and they deserve our respect.
Final Thoughts On Saving Money at the Zoo
Visiting a zoo will provide a great experience for you and your family. Keep our tips on how to save money at the zoo in mind for you to save extra money.
By following these simple tips, you can have a great time without harming the animals or disrupting their natural behavior plus you’ll have more money for your next trip.
We hope you enjoy your next zoo visit! Do you have any other ways that you save money at the zoo?