8 Tips To Save Money At The Zoo {And Brookfield Zoo Pictures}

We are lucky to have two large zoos and a handful of small ones in the Chicago area. Our favorite is Brookfield Zoo. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our first zoo trip of the summer (and ways we saved money while there):

Money Saving Tip #1: Brookfield Zoo has a dinosaur exhibit so instead of paying a lot in the gift shop for a souvenir, we picked up these dinosaur hats for just a couple dollars at Target.


Money Saving Tip #2: Pack a cooler with drinks and food. We packed our drinks, snacks and the boys lunches. My mom and I ate food from a snack shack at the zoo and we splurged on ice cream since it was so hot outside.


Money Saving Trip #3: Check into joining your local zoo, especially if you plan on going there often or are going to pay for attractions anyways. Our membership includes 4 tickets to the dino exhibit, 4 tickets to ride the tram, 4 tickets to the dolphin show, unlimited access to the Children’s area, free parking and guest passes. Once you pay for parking, it’s often cheaper to get a membership! Plus, zoo memberships often get you a discount on food and souvenirs.

Other ways to save?

#4: Look for coupons online.

#5: Check to see if your local library has any passes to local attractions (here in Chicago they do).

#6: If you are going to be purchasing a drink, look for refillable cups.

#7: Check to see if your zoo has free admission days.

#8: Enjoy a free show. A lot of times you can see zookeepers feeding animals or talking about animals around the park. These talks are free. Check the schedule at your local zoo.

How do you save money at the zoo?

Tot School: Zoo Animals


Activity: Visit the library for Zoo themed books

Craft: Sponge paint animal shapes

Song:The Elephant Song

Snack: Animal Chips


Activity: Play with Little People animals

Craft: Paper Plate Lion

Song: Five Little Monkeys


Activity: Dress-up in animal costumes

Craft: Foam Animal Sticker art

Song: Barney Alphabet zoo song

Snack: Animal shaped sandwiches (cut w/ cookie cutters)


Activity: Playdough with animal cookie cutters

Craft: Animal print paper bag puppets

Song: The Bear Went Over the Mountain


Activity: Animal movements (act like an animal)

Craft: Paper Plate Snakes

Song: Sally the Camel

Snack: Animal Crackers