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!