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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we just moved to PA and haven't made it to the zoo yet. but we loved the one in DC and went pretty often. we were thinking of asking for a membership to the philly zoo for Christmas, but I wanted to ask here what everything thinks of it first. is it worth it?

(my kids are 8, 4 and one on the way if that makes an difference)
 

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We love our zoo membership. I haven't been to the DC zoo in years (since the mid-90's), so I can't really compare.

If you have specific questions, I'd be glad to try to answer them.

Stacey
 

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We love our membership too! The Philly Zoo is unique in that it's an old, old zoo, but they've done a pretty good job upgrading the habitats. I'm very excited for the new Avian Center (and the Rainforest Merry-Go-Round).

Compared to other zoos I've been to, it sometimes seems to have a lot of "extras" -- like face painting booths, little train rides, and swan boats -- that cost extra too, but we haven't had a hard time avoiding them (okay, except for the face paint).

Also if you're a member, they have a lot of classes, some geared toward homeschoolers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank everyone for your input!

I'm curious too, how pricey are the classes or "extras"? do they have food places to eat? and is there anything to do there in the winter months?

(in DC it's pretty dead in the winter, and most things are expensive, but they don't reall have much in the way of classes that are actually interesting lol) but I loved how easy it was to go in (it's free!) and bringyour own food... and maybe spend 20$ on the whole affair.
 

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We loved our visit there earlier this year. We went in February, so the swan rides were closed, as well as some other things, but I don't remember exactly what. I don't remember what food was open for business in the winter because we brought our own, but they do have places to eat at. It was somewhat dead in the winter as far as extras go, but there were still plenty of animals to see and we had a great time!
 

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We love our membership we do the deluxe family one so all the extras are included like the Air Balloon ride and the train horse ride camel ride etc. The only thing not included is the new carousel which costs too much for me to put my kids on so we skipped it last time we went for Boo at the Zoo. They have an open house for members in the winter that is fun they take you behind the scenes I cant remember when it was exactly but I remember it being cold. For the price it costs you cant beat it we take advantage of all the extras on every visit I love the zoo and so do the kiddos. I did love the DC zoo when we went there a few years back those monkeys that they study just swinging from tree to tree are so cool.
 

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There are food places -- they've been improving steadily (used to be just hot dogs and fries, now you can get sandwiches, salads, and veggie burgers) but it's still really just overpriced fast food. Although there is a Starbucks kiosk near the entry. Lotsa junk, but hey, you can bring your own stuff easily.

Face paint is like $6, train rides are like $5. Not bad with one kid, adds up with many.

I like going in the winter when there aren't a lot of people -- there are lots of indoor exhibits!
 

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I live in VA now, but we have a Philly Zoo membership. My husband grew up in Bucks Co and his parents now live in Mount Laurel, NJ.

We often visit his folks for a week at a time. Since my husband telecommutes, he's busy all day during the week, so I have to find things to fill my time. The Philly Zoo is pretty awesome.

It *is* an old zoo. The habitats are much smaller than those at the Nat'l Zoo in DC.

The compact nature makes it easy to take a toddler or kids and just spend a little time. I've spent as little as half an hour there and as much as four hours.

The membership includes access to the Tree House. It's basically an indoor play area with lovely, clean toilets and lots of stuff for kids to ramble over. On cold days, I pack a lunch and eat it there while my kiddo runs around.

Having a membership gives you a chance to go often at different times of the day/year. Some animals prefer certain seasons. It took me several visits to finally see the Red Pandas.
: They like chilly weather.


The Please Touch Museum recently relocated to the same part of town.

I always get my coffee before I go. I remembered the Starbucks kiosk and didn't get my latte once. Turns out the kiosk is a vendor. And there are also funnelcakes and other things behind the counter. Too much of a cross contamination risk for me (food allergies galore).

We just went the week of Thanksgiving (Monday, I think) and it was pretty much devoid of visitors. Our toddler ran the length of the zoo, looking in at all the animals. At that point, he wanted to be carried, so I nursed him in the Ergo and he fell asleep. It's pretty much my plan when I visit with him.


If you travel, the membership has the benefit of admission reciprocity at quite a few zoos all over the country. (Our local museum membership gives us reciprocal admission to the Please Touch Museum and the Garden State Discovery Museum--quite handy.)

I see lots of strollers and wagons there, but many of the buildings have steps and only have one entrance that is accessible to wheeled devices.
 

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And don't forget, zoo memberships are tax deductible! (Of course, if you're getting it as a gift, not sure how that would work!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post

I always get my coffee before I go. I remembered the Starbucks kiosk and didn't get my latte once. Turns out the kiosk is a vendor. And there are also funnelcakes and other things behind the counter. Too much of a cross contamination risk for me (food allergies galore).

yes we have milk and gluten issues here (my dd and I are celiac and my son is allergic to milk!) so I totally know what you mean!
we almost always pack food when we go out places b/c cross contamination is a big issue. plus so many things have milk and gluten in them.

all of your thoughts were veyr helpful, btw!! exactly the info I was looking for.

how big is the indoor play area? we're about 1.5 away, but if it's worth the travel (and since it's paid for already) I'd consider the drive on really boring days if it's worth staying at for a couple of hours.
 
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