If you're eager to see monkeys, lions, and tigers up close, finding zoo coupons is a good way to save money while having fun.
The best way to find zoo coupons is to simply look on the website of the zoo you plan to visit. Be sure to join their email list and follow their social media profiles, such as Facebook and Twitter, to receive exclusive access to admission specials and various other promotional offers.
However, keep in mind that the best coupons are usually those which are given to zoo members.
If you live near a zoo and visit more than two or three times per year, investing in a membership may be a smart move. For example, members of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens get:
- Free admission throughout the year
- Free guest passes
- A discount at the gift shop
- Access to exclusive members-only events
The membership also entitles you to discounts at other zoos and aquariums which have cooperative agreements with the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens - a major perk if you want to include visits to other zoos as part of your vacation plans. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Parks offer similar options for members, as do most major zoos.
A lot of zoos offer steeply discounted or complimentary admission on certain days of the year. Check the zoo's calendar for more information.
Check with your local travel agent, employer or educational institution to see if they offer discounts to affiliates. If you are a member of an organization, such as AAA or AARP, you may also qualify for a discounted rate.
Students, teachers and military members may also be eligible for discounted admission prices. Contact the zoo to find out if these or other discounts are available.
Receipts from the gift store or zoo cafe may contain a discount code or promotional offer for your next visit to the zoo. Also, inquire with the zoo in your area to learn more about the organizations they partner with as their receipts may also contain similar specials.
Students often sell souvenir books throughout the school year that may include coupons or free admission passes that can be used at the zoo.
Other Online Resources
Popular Zoo Discounts
Select zoos throughout the United States are known for the promotions they offer guests.
Visitors affiliated with the military are eligible for $3 off ($2 off for children) the regular admission price to Cincinnati Zoo. Discounted tickets are also available through the Discover Book, Entertainment Book, Kroger and AAA.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo offers discounted rates to members of AAA, military affiliates, seniors, travel agents, airline and cruise line employees and large groups. Kids also receive free admission during the month of October.
Discounts are offered to college students, large groups, members of the military and seniors. Visitors of Zoo Atlanta can also receive a free ride to the zoo through Checker Cab partnership.
On the first Tuesday of each month during the months of September through May, guests are permitted to enter the Houston Zoo free of charge after 2 pm. In addition, free admission is granted to SNAP and WIC recipients and Bank of America cardholders through the Lone Star Access and Museums on Us programs, respectively.
Discounts are also available to METRO riders, military affiliates, students, Zoo 'Rack' cardholders, AAA members and employees.
Located in Portland, the Oregon Zoo offers group rates, business discounts and free admission for social service agencies. In addition, admission is reduced to $4 on the second Tuesday of each month.
St. Louis Zoo
Visitors are granted free admission to the St. Louis Zoo throughout the year. However, there are entry fees for select attractions.
Lowry Park Zoo
The Lowry Park Zoo, located in the heart of Tampa, Florida, offers reduced admission to members of the military and free admission to birthday guests. On select days throughout the years, visitors can also take advantage of $5 admission.
Other Ways to Save Money at Zoos
Zoo coupons are a great resource for saving money, but they are not the only trick available for travelers on a budget.
Inquire About Discounted Tickets
Call the zoo and ask if they offer a discount for tickets purchased in advance. Many zoos will offer a 10 to 20 percent discount for advance purchases, which can generate a substantial amount of savings if you are traveling in a large group.
Bring Your Own Lunch
Pack a few snacks to avoid the need to buy overpriced refreshments. Granola bars, trail mix, and apples are all examples of food that keeps well during a day trip. Pack a few drink mix packets and give each family member a bottle of water to refill as needed.
Budget for Souvenirs
Give your children a set budget for souvenirs. If you can only afford to spend $10 per child, give them $10 and tell them they are free to buy whatever they want as long as it's less than this amount. Another alternative is to skip the souvenirs and snap your own photographs instead.
Purchasing Your Tickets
Be sure to contact the zoo prior to your arrival to ensure that restrictions do not apply when using coupons or taking advantage of special offers. In many instances, these promotions require that tickets be purchased beforehand.