Thursday, March 25, 2010

Zoo's and Garden's cheap

Do you love to stop at Zoos and Gardens when you travel, well here's how to do it cheap.
We love to visit the different garden's and zoo's around the country and we found that the best and cheapest way to do this is to become a member of one of the gardens or zoo's.

We joined the Toledo Zoo about ten years ago with the Grandparents membership which allows us to enter with any kids under the age of 18 at about 125 different zoos across the country, free, a few are ½ price, but most are free. Our membership is $45.00 a year, we usually save about $250 a year in admission charges.

We do the same with our membership to the University of Michigan (M GO BLUE) Botanical Gardens which cost us $50 a year and allows us entrance into about 250 gardens around the country. With this one we probably save about $300 plus a year.

It's a great feeling to watch the party in front of you pay between $8 and $20 a head and then all you do is show your membership card.

List of Zoo's:

List of Gardens:

It pays to check out the membership fees at the different zoos or gardens in your area as some of the membership will be $35 and some will be a hundred plus and both will accomplish the same thing. Another benefit is the 10% discount at the gift stores.
Just something to look into.

Now since it's a nice day we're going to head down to the Knoxville Zoo and take a little walk around, for FREE.

It's been a few years since we toured the Knoxville Zoo and they have made a bunch of changes, normally you would think this is a good thing, not in the case of Knoxville. First of to paraphrase a line from the movie Jurassic Park “Eventually you are going to have animals in your Zoo,right”.

There were very few animals that were in an area that they could be viewed, many of the exhibits were marked with signs that the animals were somewhere else or this exhibit is being worked on. They have moved a lot of the animals but the new enclosures had to be designed by some one who was about 7 foot 6 inches tall, because all of the main beams and such were right at eye level, for a normal person, so you couldn't see anything. At least it was a beautiful day and we were able to enjoy it outside walking around.

We did have to pay five dollars for parking, this is also something new, but because of our membership we did NOT have to pay the $17.00 per adult admission to be disappointed.


Margie and Roger said...

Great info! Thanks for sharing! Added a link to it from my blog too.

Tina Rolen said...

Thanks for sharing the details and wonderful photos of your visit to Knoxville Zoo! I am sorry to hear you were disappointed in the number of animals that were on exhibit; we try to create naturalistic exhibits that are comfortable for the animals as well as exhibits with indoor viewing areas, such as chimps, elephants, reptiles and penguins, so visitors can see as many animals as possible in a natural setting. We are in the process of renovating our big cat area, which necessitated moving some of the animals in those areas, and if they weather is a bit on the cool side, as it often is in East TN in the spring, we give animals access to their dens so they can choose what's most comfortable for them. If you would be so kind as to email me more details about the areas where you noticed animals were moved or off exhibit, I would like to follow up with our animal staff to make sure we're giving our visitors the very best experience possible. My email here at the zoo is
Tina Rolen
Assistant Director of Marketing
Knoxville Zoo