Investing in Our Children- a Trip to the Zoo
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Money can buy video games, candy, toys, and all sorts of things that make kids happy. But money can’t buy what they need most- and that’s special time with them. Parental interaction is the biggest positive influences on a child’s life- and that is true both in the school system and at home. Every year we invest in an annual pass somewhere- and every year we change where we buy passes. One year it was Sea World (FL teachers get FREE passes!), one year it was Gatorland (they graciously gave our family passes for free!!), the next year it was the Imaginarium Science Museum, this year we have decided it’s the zoo!
There are a lot of benefits in buying annual passes as opposed to a daily admission. One is obviously the price vs. the amount of times you can go in a year. If we went to the zoo twice during the year, it would cost the same amount of money as if we had bought an annual pass- and we can go an unlimited amount of times! The other is that many of the locations offer reciprocal memberships. Generally your larger chain locations do not such as Sea World and Disney. But your smaller locations such as zoos, art museums, science museums, children’s museums, etc. will usually be a part of a larger organization.
Last year we bought our family annual passes to an Imaginarium Science Museum that is 3 hours from our house. WHY? Well they are located by the great-grandparents, so it was easy for us to get there during the year. They offered the cheapest family membership ($75/year for 2 adults + 4 kids), and we were able to use it not only at great-grandparents house, but as a reciprocal member up by our house at our local museums, and also when we travelled to Chicago and ALL the way up to Chicago on our road trip last summer. That membership got a serious amount of mileage!! You have to think “outside of the box” a little- but it’s definitely worth it!
The zoo we decided to join this year was Lowry Park Zoo, which was rated the #1 zoo in the US by Parents Magazine (again!). I actually grew up going to this zoo, and it was great when I was little, but it has changed SO much- it is really awesome now! It is the PERFECT kids zoo- for all ages! In addition to the numerous animal exhibits you can also feed the lorakeets, pet/feed the stingrays, ride a camel, go on a carousel, feed the giraffes, and ride the mini-roller coasters, water ride, and pony ride. You can walk into a kangaroo yard, play in the splash pad area, ride a safari jeep, ride a small train, and SO much more!
What better way to invest in your children than spending quality time with them AND providing them an educational hands-on experience that they will remember forever!
This is an uplifting post. I have been sitting here, homeschooling my son, feeling lonely and adrift and unsure. Thank you for reminding me that it's probably the best investment of time I have ever spent. We just got a zoo flyer advertising a small fee for an annual membership. I think it would be a great resource for us. I appreciate your message today:)
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