Best Zoo Membership

Maria Garcia
• Sunday, 22 November, 2020
• 7 min read

All share a commitment to wildlife conservation, education, science and animal care. AZA also welcomes public members who support the conservation work of zoos and aquariums.

zoo louisville gifts holiday plush
(Source: louisvillezoo.org)


AZA offers a number of membership levels for both individuals and for organizations. Now that we have been on the road for over 7 years, we have learned some tips and tricks to traveling with a family and getting the most for our money.

One of the ways that we have been able to afford to go to so many great educational destinations is thanks to reciprocal zoo and museum memberships! Reciprocal zoo and museum memberships mean that you have purchased a membership to a zoo or museum that belongs to one (or more) of four associations that serve these destinations: AZA, ATC, ACM, or ARM.

River otter exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Each member receives free admission (and often other perks) to the park where they purchased the membership, this park is the member’s ‘home’ zoo /museum. T. rex to be exact, at a special exhibit while visiting the Greensboro Science Center! If you are looking to purchase any zoo and museum memberships for their reciprocity, here is some basic overview information.

An ACM premium family membership is pretty cut and dried since they revamped the program in 2013: membership will give you free admission to your home park and 50% off of admission to ALL other ACM museums (none are free), for a family of up to 6. Savanna takes over the kitchen in ‘Nana’s house’ at the Greensboro Children’s Museum in North Carolina.

Learning about heart rates at the Gulf Coast Explore um in Mobile, AL. Keep in mind that there are some restrictions to the programs: Also, zoos and museum within 90 miles of your DL address do not have to offer you reciprocity discounts (except your home membership location).

festival lights pnc cincinnati zoo garden
(Source: cincinnatizoo.org)

With a family of 7 or 8, depending on how much you are going to use it, it may be cheaper to have one membership, then just pay for a child’s ticket (or 2) at each location; also, if you have babies/toddlers, they are often free. Benefits that come with reciprocity: your reciprocal zoo and museum membership gets you free admission to your ‘home’ zoo or museum location for a full year, and often includes notices of special events and discounts reserved only for members.

There is a rare location here and there that does memberships on fiscal or calendar years, so be sure to verify when it will expire before purchasing. Generally ranging from 10 to 20%, this is a great bonus if you are already buying souvenirs, so don’t forget to ask (more common at AZA than ATC) if you have a local member location, please consider supporting them even if their membership is more expensive than another location.

These reciprocal memberships were initially set up to reward families who have supported their local communities, by purchasing a membership to their neighboring zoo and/or museum, to enjoy other zoos and museum in locations they are traveling to. Buying local also means that your membership won’t be invalid should your neighborhood museum start to check ID addresses.

Shopping around to find the best deal on an AZA membership saves us a lot of money on the road (I do try to support a location that I think we will be visiting that year tho!). Keep in mind that not all zoos/aquariums are AZA members, or offer reciprocity (this goes back to being clear about membership benefits!).

inquire whether you can place both parents’ names on the membership card so that either one can take the kids to the zoo ! If your card(s) get misplaced, lost, or ruined on your trip, then you will still be able to visit other locations under the reciprocity.

birds park potter zoo exhibit visitors under animal lansing down wings exhibits enjoy mlive shade kalamazoo inner feed living sign
(Source: www.mlive.com)

Hopefully, these reciprocal zoo and museum memberships will make it easier and more affordable, for your family to experience these fun locations also! Supporting your local zoo /museum is an investment worth more than the few dollars you will save getting a membership somewhere else.

Your membership helps the zoo's efforts in preserving threatened and endangered wildlife and makes it possible to continue to develop new, world-class habitats and animal enrichment. Free zoo admission for one full year (excluding special and separately ticketed events).

List of participating locations Discounts on food and beverage purchases at select zoo restaurants (see list here), including Mobile Ordering for Africa Exclusive discounts for special event tickets, Behind-the-Scenes Tours, zoo camps and classes, gift shop purchases, and more (some restrictions apply; some experiences may be unavailable at this time) Early renewal discount opportunities (online only) Your membership helps support animals here at the zoo and in the wild General admission infant tickets cannot be added to member reservations ; your membership only covers the total number of children and guests listed for your level.

All members, their children and guests must have an advance timed-ticket reservation to visit the zoo at this time. Children and/or guests, including unnamed nannies, babysitters or caregivers may not access the zoo if at least one of the named cardholders is not present with a photo ID.

Named Caregivers may be added to memberships that specifically cover children (Family level or greater). KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Purchasing or renewing a membership does not guarantee same day availability for your zoo visit.

zoo carousel wilt five louisville
(Source: louisvillezoo.org)

Due to high demand, we recommend reserving tickets several days in advance of your visit. Friends of the National Zoo (FOND) helps the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute save species through educational and fun experiences, the power of our members, and funding for critical work.

Your membership helps feed and care for more than 1,000 exotic animals including Sumatran tigers, grizzly bears, African lions, Humboldt penguins, Komodo Dragons and more. As a nonprofit organization, the Akron Zoo is required by the IRS to provide written disclosure of the fair market value of benefits received.

Please note that prices and fair market values are subject to change. Akron Zoo recommends you consult a tax advisor with further tax-related questions.

With the recent surge of positive COVID-19 cases in the state of Arizona, we are making some changes to our face covering policies effective Friday, December 11. Due to recent observations, it is clear that despite our previous conditional face covering requirements (upon entry, when in any line and when social distancing cannot be maintained), many of our guests are not consistently complying with these rules.

* Adults with children two to five years old must make a reasonable effort to assist the child with wearing a face covering. Please know that we will be taking numerous precautions to create a clean, safe and enjoyable visit.

zooplankton taxonomy
(Source: www.forbio.uio.no)

For Supporting and Guardian Conservation Society Memberships, please contact Shannon Kinsman. Fill your year with adventure on land and under the sea with unlimited daytime admission to Zoo Atlanta and Georgia Aquarium.

Benefits at Zoo Atlanta include all annual Membership benefits for up to three adults and up to four children under the age of 18, as well as two single-day admission tickets and a Passport to Adventure for each child in the household. Learn more When you sponsor an animal, you offer a full year of support for the care of a species here at home and become part of the conservation of its counterparts in the wild.

Learn more Conservation Society Members provide critical support to the Zoo’s mission and enjoy the opportunity to engage with the animals and staff on a significantly more personal level than the public. Behind-the-scenes experiences with some of our wildest residents turn a trip to the Zoo into the chance of a lifetime.

*Not valid on half-price Wednesdays or for special events; may not be combined with other discount offers; limit six tickets per visit, please. Due to the pandemic, we are unable to honor the AZA reciprocal membership discount at this time.

Click here for additional information on the Zoo's membership program. Mail in your ticket and application form or visit Member Services and present your ticket in person. Become a Fort Worth Zoo member today and begin enjoying your tremendous savings.

hippopotamus hippo front hippos open wide mouths three zoo fiona cincinnati wider times than cincinnatizoo
(Source: cincinnatizoo.org)

Customize your annual Fort Worth Membership with these flexible options: Your membership is valid for one full year from the last day of the month of purchase.

Download Complete the application form and submit via fax, mail or in-person at the Zoo. In-person Visit Member Services, located at the front of the Zoo by the turnstiles.

Mail completed application with payment to: Fort Worth Zoo Attn: Membership 1989 Colonial Parkway Fort Worth, Texas 76110 ** Please allow seven days for processing. All Annual Fund donors of $250 or more receive all the benefits of membership for two adults and up to four children, ages 3 to 17.

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