Last year my Auntie Krista got Baby E a zoo membership to our local zoo for his 2nd birthday (thanks, Auntie!) The membership is great because it allows us to go as a family but also our particular membership “level” allows guests as well.
The closer we’ve gotten to his 3rd birthday the more in love I fell with the membership. When we first started going E would stay in his stroller for most of the time and would become easily disinterested if he had to search too hard to spot the animals (our zoo does a pretty good job at having habitats that allow animals to live their lives away from little — and big — stares should they want to.)
But now? E loves to find the animals and learn about them, he knows what to expect and where to find certain habitats, and he can absolutely run through the entire zoo… which means it doesn’t have to be a big production.
Just the other day, we were already driving the 35 minutes to our zoo and I realized that the hours had changed. Luckily, they extended the closure time for us — I assume that’s because we are members and knew which animals E had said he wanted to see — and we were able to go to the 3 areas we were interested in on foot and still have time to spare. It was our most chaotic and hectic visit yet, and we undoubtedly had the most fun!
So if you have kids (or you know someone who does) and they love animals, I highly recommend a zoo membership… and I guarantee if you go even just a few times in the year, you’ll be absolutely in awe of the changes they’ve made in how they interact with the various elements of being at a zoo (which makes the experience that much more exciting!) Plus, sometimes kids are just off… and the visit doesn’t turn out the best, so having a membership takes the pressure off having to see the whole zoo because you can always try again tomorrow.
P.S. In my aunt discussing E’s 3rd birthday that’s next week, she actually got us another membership! Such a blessing and a wonderful gift!