Thursday, March 15, 2012

Free Zoos in the United States

Living in Madison, Wisconsin offers many great things. Near the top of the list is the Henry Vilas Zoo, which is free to the public.  For devoted readers for Frugal Upside, you may remember that instead of purchasing tons of Christmas gifts, we give to charities instead.  Last year one recipient was the Henry Vilas Zoo.  And just last week I discovered that our gift came with a gift back to us -- reciprocity with other zoos all over the country.

Image taken by Author, Melinda Gustafson Gervasi

On its web site is a list of zoos.  Included are several other free zoos.  The list, confirmed with a phone call, also tells me that our donation will get us in free to both the New Zoo in Green Bay and the International Crane Foundation.  Both were on our Spring or Summer destination list, and now admission will be free.  Discoveries like this put a smile on my face, and ensure that we'll be skipping the holiday gifts again this year and instead donating to charities.

Oh, and those free zoos are:

  • Cabrilo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, CA;
  • National Zoo, Washington, DC;
  • Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL;
  • David Traylor Zoo, Emporia, KS;
  • Lee Richardson Zoo, Garden City, KS;
  • Hutchinson Zoo, Hutchinson, KS;
  • Salisbury Zoo, Salisbury, MD;
  • Como Park Zoo, St. Paul, MN;
  • St., Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO;
  • Cape May County Park and Zoo, Cape May, NJ; and
  • Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison, WI.
Do not rely on this list....always call before going if you want free admission.  We live in an ever changing world, and this could be out of date within a day of publication.

For you zoo fans, what is your favorite exhibit?


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  3. This is a great post for the animal lovers. Thanks for sharing good information with us. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for commenting, it lead me to revisit the post and I see we are near one of the zoos listed, but have not yet seen!