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Up until a couple of years ago, I hadn't been to the zoo in years.  We've gone a couple of times over the past couple of years, but the other day my wife brought up the idea of purchasing an annual membership.

When I looked at the cost, it makes sense.

We first both agreed that we thought it would make sense based on the fact that we now have Baby Beagle.  Even though he'll be too young to fully understand, we want to build his awareness of things and expose him to different things.  Plus, he loves to be out and to look around.

We're thinking that on days that we're looking for something to do or just want to get out of the house, the zoo would be a great place to go.  It's only a twenty minute drive from our house, and the cost breakdown is pretty favorable.

Each trip, without a membership, would cost us $27.  This includes $11 each for my wife and I plus $5 parking.  Baby Beagle is free since he's under two.

A one year membership runs $69 and includes access for my wife and I as well as our kids.  It also includes parking!

So, the ‘payback' for purchasing the membership is three visits.  With the third visit, we'd be ahead $12 and each one after that would save us additional money.

Down the road, when Baby Beagle turns two, this becomes even more of a bargain as he would normally be charged an additional $7 without the membership.  By that point, two visits would probably make it equal out.

I think a zoo membership is definitely in our future this year.  What we're planning on doing is purchasing it at the next time we go.  The reason for this is that it gives you one year from the time you purchase it, so we might as well start the clock ticking right when we need it, and can enjoy it for the next year.

If you have a zoo in your area and are looking for some family fun, give a thought to a visit or even a membership.