Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!

…or foxes and wolves and otters – same difference.

I may have mentioned back in December that a great alternative to gobs of toys for Noah at Christmas would be a small monetary gift (maybe paired with an animal figurine/stuffed animal for those who believe a child should open something “fun”) that we would then pool together and become members at the Knoxville Zoo for the year. Well, a little birdie over the mountains told us that it was in fact cheaper to become members at the WNC Nature Center over in Asheville – home to many native creatures of the Carolinas – than at the Zoo.

And why would we want to join the one further away?

The obvious answer – to save money. But the not so obvious is because they, along with Knoxville Zoo and about 275 more, are a part of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association – where you get in free or at a discounted rate if you are a member of one of their affiliates.

Typically kids under two are admitted free of charge, but the mama and daddy are not. So to put it into numbers:

Nature Center Adult Entry Fee: $8
Knoxville Zoo Adult Entry Fee:  $19.95 (holy cow!)

Annual Family Membership Pass: $62

We’ve already covered a quarter of our pass with only visiting the Nature Center once – and as you see, that one is the lowest on the list. I only listed the two nearest to us, but there are various cities of interest where we could potentially use our pass – Atlanta, Jacksonville, Kansas City.

I highly recommend this investment for any family who enjoys nature and getting outside. Noah loved every minute of the hour and a half we spent the other day – and we can’t wait to go back! Our membership cards are like cash- burning holes in our pockets!

Zippity do dah…
zippity ay!
My, oh my, what a wonderful day!
Plenty of sunshine…
coming my way…
Zippity do dah…
Zippity ay!
Mr. blue bird on my shoulders…

Thanks to everyone who attributed to our Zoo Pass fund – Aunt Meg, Granny B, Aunt Edith, Papa Pace, Gramma Dot – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

What is your favorite family outing? We’d love to add more adventures to our list…

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