Good decision: Zoo membership

In July we decided to become zoo members, more specifically a Conservation Supporter Member of the Wildlife Conservation Society. We’d recently received half off our tuition for a week of day care as a twice-a-year vacation option, so we decided becoming zoo members was an outstanding way to spend our “extra money.” Henry and I had taken my sister and father to the Central Park Zoo earlier in the summer, and Henry, after a short time of rightly wondering what the heck was happening to him, caught on that there were new creatures to watch do things. He especially liked the sea lion feeding. And spending time with his Pop Pop and auntie, who knew exactly where the birds were in the bird sanctuary.


So we felt the zoo membership would at least be a valid experiment. Now, we can come and go as we please at the Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium (plus some other perks). We’ve already visited the Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, and we will get the others before it snows, or at least before it should snow. We’ve done a Members Evening at the Bronx Zoo and a Morning at the Zoo in Central Park, and this alone made the (partly tax-deductible) expenditure worth it. Let me tell you about it.

Central Park Zoo

On a sunshine-filled summer Sunday morning in the most visited park in one of the most visited cities in the world we enjoyed peace, quiet, peace, quiet and doughnuts and coffee and learning about snow monkeys in a peaceful, quiet zoo. Henry could walk freely around without worrying about a triple-wide stroller running him over or getting edged out by a pushy adult in the penguin house. Ahh. Sundays are the busiest days at the zoo, so finding ourselves alone at the red panda exhibit on a summer Sunday felt like Vanilla Sky, but not as creepy.

Henry listened to the zookeeper and watched the monkeys for a little while,


then he went to look for the polar bear (who recently passed away – rest in peace, Gus).


then cawed at the parrots.


The red panda was like, “Hey guys.”


And we got front row in the penguin house (where it’s hard for amateur photographers to get photos of penguins).


And at the puffin house.



And then we went to Belvedere Castle, which is kind of like a people zoo.


Bronx Zoo

This was a members evening, meaning the evening started just a little before bedtime. We knew the risks. Blueberries cure everything temporarily, even if the stain lasts forever.


We only managed a few photos on this outing, because bedtime. After parking the stroller and getting our hands and face sufficiently dirty, we were read to go.


The monkeys were a little worrisome


But he loved the tapirs. Yup, tapirs.




Then we called it a night. We saw all of the Wild Asia exhibit, including no line at the monorail because of our sweet members-only night.

We went to the Bronx Zoo one or two more times and the Central Park Zoo many times over the summer, even if it was just to pop into the Penguin House on the hot days we spent all day in Central Park. The membership has made itself worth it just for that. I’m looking forward to see Henry’s reactions and questions as he gets older, because we will be renewing.


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