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Have you ever had one of those days when you’ve been home with the kids all day and everyone is starting to bounce off the walls? When your home starts to feel WAY too loud and chaotic?
Especially when my kids were preschool age, I needed somewhere to take the kids and get a change of scenery. The same four walls start to feel like they’re closing in on you after a while. Can you relate, mama?
Fresh air and some fun distractions can be just the solution to family boredom. We love our local pool, recreation center, art museum, science center, and zoo.
The cost of daily admissions could add up very quickly, though. If your family is going to pay for admission anyway, buying a family pass can save you significant money over the cost of daily admission.
Even though family memberships can be cheaper than daily admissions, but they are also still quite expensive, often well over $100/year each. Luckily, there are a variety of ways that you can save money on these memberships. Here are some ideas:
5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Family Memberships
1. Resident Discounts
Check for resident discounts for the city or county you live in. My local pool is about half the price for city residents as it is for non-residents.
The resident discount does require going in person to the recreation center to prove my residency status by showing ID or a utility bill with my current address. It’s worth the hassle for such a large discount.
Our local zoo also has some extra benefits for county residents because we have a county real estate tax that helps to support our zoo.
2. Early Bird Discounts
Keep an eye out for early bird discounts. Most pools and other summer memberships have discounts if you purchase in the winter. My local pool is less expensive if you pay for the membership by March 15th.
A nice benefit is this can spread out the cost of summer fun in your yearly budget. Instead of your daily pool admission being part of your summer budget, you can pay it during the (less expensive) winter months.
3. Month of Purchase
Choose carefully what time of year you purchase your membership. For example, if a zoo membership is good for 12 months, it might make sense to wait until July to purchase it.
Then it’s good from July of one year through June of the next year. That way, you get the opportunity to visit the zoo during two summers for the cost of one year.
Of course, this might be canceled out if there is an early bird discount offered. My local zoo offers a special deal in May that you can purchase a 14-month membership for the price of 12, so that would be a better value than waiting until July.
4. Day of the Month
Also carefully choose the day of the month you purchase your membership. Many memberships are good until the last day of the month, regardless of when you purchased them.
For example, if you buy a membership May 1st, it will expire April 30th next year. If you buy the same membership on May 30th, it will also expire April 30th, so why not buy it on the 1st of the month and gain an extra month?
5. Reciprocal Membership Agreements
Check for reciprocal membership agreements, which means that your membership to one museum or zoo might get you free or discounted entry into other museums and zoos.
How does your family save money on family memberships? Please leave your ideas in the comments below!