This past year, I have become very intentional about spending time outside as a family. At first this started out with more time in our back yard, front porch or walking to the park. Eventually, I wanted to expand our adventures, but not at the expense of our single income. After weighing the pros and cons I decided I was going to go for it. I was going to purchase a membership to the Wildlife World Zoo, which happens to be the closest zoo for our family.
A Zoo Membership is more affordable than purchasing single tickets
I have been a stay at home mom since 2020 and my husband has been our sole source of income for the last three years. While I understand that there is a privelige to this lifestyle, I also want to remind my readers that a single income in 2023 (hello, $10 eggs!) can be damn hard!
When I got the itch to go to the zoo with my 2.5 & 1 year old, I was balking at the $40 ticket price. Was $40 really worth going to the zoo? What if my toddler didn’t like it? Would we skip our naps for the day?
Then I saw that the membership price for the Wildlife World Zoo was $200 for myself. Since my children were under the age of three, they would be free. And, Arizona’s weather is perfect for at least half of the year. . .
I told myself that a membership would be worth it if we could manage to go at least every week or two. And with that, $80 from my own wallet & $120 from their shared piggy bank, off we went to the Wildlife World Zoo to purchase our membership!
A zoo membership allows us to spend our time as we wish.
Now, $200 might seem like a lot, but we are able to visit the Wildlife World Zoo any day of the week. Knowing that I can come back has taken the pressure out of visiting the zoo. There’s no rushing about to see all the animals or shows. There’s no worrying about mid-day meltdowns due to the hot Phoenix sun or because we’re skipping nap time.
Nope. I purchased a membership to the WIldlife World Zoo knowing the kind of day we might plan out. We start off with breakfast, our daily calendar routine and getting dressed. This allows us to arrive within the 10am hour, which is perfect for the winter and spring seasons in Arizona. I ask my son, “What animals would you like to see today?” and we’re off! By 12:30, we’ve had a full morning and are able to leave to go home and eat a quick lunch and take our naps.
Besides keeping a daily rhythm, it’s also nice that I can follow my toddler’s lead. I ask him what he would like to see. We also normally go his pace, so there’s no stress if he’s walking slow or – as of late – hopping between the animal exhibits like a frog! There’s no need for fear of missing out with a membership!
A membership to the zoo affords us microadventures
Alastair Humphrey, who coined the word “microadventure” describes it as an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.
We’ve had a membership to the wildlife world zoo for only two months, but we’ve been nearly every week. Yet, my toddler still loves to go! There have even been times where he will ask, “Zoo? Go to zoo?” as I’m driving home from the grocery store!
The WIldlife World Zoo is great for microadventures! Not only are they a zoo, but they are an aquarium, as well! Their aquarium has sea lions, who do perform twice a day, penguins, & very friendly sting rays that you can pet. The zoo also has rides and animal encounters of all kinds.
The offerings at the WIldlife World Zoo allows us to create a new micro-adventure at every visit! (Although, I will admit we see the sea lions every time– they are definitely a favorite!)
Preparing for your visit to the Wildlife World Zoo
Whether you are planning for a full day at the zoo, or a morning microadventure like my family, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. If you are planning a day trip, I highly recommend looking into Groupon; I’ve noticed there are almost always groupons available for the zoos in our area.
I often make sure to pack our bag with plenty of snacks and water for the kids and myself. Now that the sun seems to be out, I’ll be making sure to have an additional sunscreen in our bag, as well. Having our wagon is definitely useful – when either of them get tired, they have the option to sit back and snack while mama pushes them!
I will say, no worries about cash or card at the Wildlife World Zoo. Every attraction and cafe does have the ability to run cards – even the train (another fan favorite for us). The only thing you may want to consider bringing is quarters, but they have those, too!
Consider getting a membership to your local zoo
Getting a membership to our local zoo, the Wildlife World Zoo, has brought a lot of value to our day to day life. It has allowed us opportunity to nurture a love of animals and diversity in our children’s lives. It’s also been a worthwhile microadventure while we are tracking our 1000 hours outside for 2023.
We chose the Wildlife World Zoo because we live in the west valley of AZ, but a zoo membership in any municipality is an investment I encourage you to look into, especially with young or homeschooled children.