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Season Passes and Getting to know the community

I love our area zoo.  It's not the biggest zoo I've ever been to (I've been to a few GREAT ones) but for our area it is nice sized.  It is a great place to visit when we need a change of pace and it has an indoor 'Rainforest' so even during the winter we find ourselves packing up and spending a few hours with the animals.  The boys love watching the otters, the toads, and creeping their momma out with the snakes.

But individual tickets are expensive - $5 to $10 a person.  Maybe that isn't terrible if you make a family-day of it but if you just want to visit for a few hours as a break from the day, leaving for home before the kids get terribly tired and crabby, that can add up.  So each year we splurge and buy a 'Family Pass'.  It gets us into the zoo whenever we want for 'free'.  How can you beat that?  After a maximum of three visits as a family we have covered the price of the year long zoo-pass.  (And we do go about 10 to 15 times a year)  Plus, we can use it at other zoos in the state, and I've even used it at a zoo in Michigan!  Either it's 'free admission' or discounted at the reciprocating zoos.  LOVE IT!

My brothers, wives and their kids get a pass to their area 'Botanical Gardens'.  Another great area-attraction.  The Meijers Gardens has a wonderful children's area that the kids can play in for hours.  Every time I am visiting we seem to end up there.  Last time I was there they even gave us a military-discount!  It isn't advertised ... so if you are in the Grand Rapids area, stop by the Meijers Gardens and be sure to ask!  

Just for fun they are doing a photo contest that I entered.  Click here and then click on the 'Thumbs Up'.  I would love a season pass :)  Thanks for your vote!  And if you are in that area enter yourself!  It is a great opportunity. 

As I wrote in my 'photo submission': "We enjoy the Children's Gardens. Each visit requires a stop in front of the "Mad Mom" statue for the perfunctory photo op and then we get to roam the children's area. We can spend hours there; laughing, learning, loving being outdoors. Life is good, and "Momma is not Mad" after a visit to Meijer's Gardens!"  I could easily fill in the blank with the name of my area-zoo and I'm sure you could fill in the name of your local attraction, too.  Get out, put the budgeted-money up front so it's not a burden each time you visit (That sure can take a lot of the stress away!), enjoy time with your family.

What a great way to get to know the community!  If you are PCSing this summer, or PCSed recently, I'd encourage you to ask around and find out a great place to get a membership.  A Zoo.  A Science Center.  Botanical Gardens.  Go often.  Get out with the kids.  It is an easy way to get comfortable with a new neighborhood!

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

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