Recently, I took my kids to the Denver Zoo. It is quite possible that I went a little overboard. By the time we bought tickets, souvenirs, lunch, and an overpriced tube of sunscreen, I had spent well over $100. We had a fabulous time, but I did leave with some buyer’s remorse and a few regrets:
- I should have packed our lunch.
- I should have remembered to bring sunscreen.
- I should have looked for discounted tickets.
Clearly, my failure to plan ahead was costly, and I’d like to think that we’ll be a bit more frugal next time. One thing we may consider for future excursions is attending on a free day. Those days are sure to be more crowded, but it just may be worth the savings. If not, we can at least search for cheaper tickets. Here a few suggestions for saving on various destinations:
- Scientific & Cultural Facilities District: This is one you’ll want to bookmark. Listed here are the free days for the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and various other museums and attractions. Here are a few upcoming events to consider:
- October 5th – Free Day at Denver Art Museum
- October 6th – Free Day at Boulder History Museum
- October 6th – Free Day at Denver Museum of Nature & Science
- October 7th – Free Day at Denver Botanic Gardens
- October 12th – Free Day at Denver Firefighters Museum
- October 12th – Free Day at Longmont Museum
- November 4th, 15th, and 21st – Free Day at Denver Zoo
- November 6th – Free Day at Molly Brown House Museum
- Fort Collins Museum of Discovery: If you don’t feel like fighting the traffic to Denver, stay in town for a free day at the local science and history museum. October 27th is the next free day, or check their calendar in the future for additional dates.
- King Soopers: This grocery store chain offers discount tickets to many Colorado attractions, including Elitch Gardens, The Denver Zoo, various ski resorts, and more.
- Do Your Research: At a minimum, check websites and do a simple Google search. Some attractions, such as Elitch Gardens, have significant discounts if you buy tickets online.
- Memberships: If there is an attraction you visit often, a membership or season pass may save you money in the long run. Sometimes, they even come with additional perks. For example, our membership to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery will also get us into many other museums for free. We’ve been to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for free, as well as a museum in Durango and one in Florida. For our family, a membership was the way to go.
Your Turn: Taking a family of four (or five or six) to certain attractions can be a costly experience. How have you managed to cut costs on such excursions?