Today is part of my extended weekend, taking a few vacation days from work. We love going to the zoo, which is exactly what we did today. Earlier this year, I wrote a post discussing whether or not you can save money by purchasing a zoo pass.
To summarize, we spent $80 on a zoo pass that allows me and my wife, our little boy, and one guest to go to the zoo an unlimited number of times this year. One normal admission costs $8, so I calculated the breakeven point to be 10 admissions. As long as we went to the zoo a total of 10 times, the zoo pass was a good purchase.
Well today we reached our breakeven point. Our zoo is open for nine months of the year, starting in April and going through November. So, here at the end of June marks one third of zoo season, and we’ve already used 11 admissions. Back when we purchased the pass and I was going through my calculations I estimated that we would probably use a total of 28 admissions, which would result in a cost savings of $144 with the zoo pass compared to purchasing admission individualy each visit. Now that we’re one third of the way through the season and have already used 11 admissions, I think we’re going to go past my original estimate. If we keep up the rate we’ve been going we’ll reach 33 admissions, resulting in a cost savings of $184 versus paying for individual admissions. Basically, every trip to the zoo from now until the end of the year represents pure cost savings!
And the thing is that with a 15-month old, he doesn’t get bored with seeing the same animals all the time. I can see that when he gets older, he might get bored with it easier (hopefully not, though). Also, he isn’t at the point where he’s asking for snacks at the food stands or asking to buy things from the gift shop. Spending money on these things every time we went to the zoo would eat into our cost savings pretty quickly. To be honest, even once he is older, he will learn pretty quickly that mommy and daddy aren’t going to spend money on all that. However, I am a strong believer in supporting our local zoo. They have a program where you can “adopt” an animal (they have various sponsorship levels) and receive a certificate, a picture of the animal, and some other things. I think once our little boy gets older, that’s something we will definitely look into doing.
Do any of you have a zoo nearby? How frequently do you visit (if ever)? And most importantly, what’s your favorite animal to watch? Personally, I like the chimps…