I like the St. Louis Zoo. I never really thought about a zoo as being anything overly special. I grew up in Indianapolis, which also has a nice zoo, though theirs is not free. But still, we probably went one or more times a year, either with my Mom or some school or girl scout event.
Over the weekend, we attended the wedding of some friends in Minneapolis. We stayed until Monday to enjoy some of the sights, treating it as a sort of mini-family vacation. Before we headed to the airport on Monday, we spent some time at the Minneapolis zoo, which was also nice, though we didn't really see much because we were more pressed for time than we wanted. Because we're members of the St. Louis Zoo, we actually got free admission--it saved us $24 in entrance fees. Way to go, Zoo membership!
While we were there, my husband commented that he'd been there once or twice growing up. He's from northern Iowa where Minneapolis, Chicago, or St. Louis are the closest cities with a zoo. His family spent a lot of time here in St. Louis visiting his grandparents, so he got to visit the zoo here quite a bit. But it certainly made me think about all the kids who grow up in areas like that and might get to see a tiger or elephant close up only on a rare trip to somewhere else. That's kind of sad.
I was thinking about how lucky we are to not only have such a nize zoo, but that the regular admission is completely free. It makes me even more glad that we did pay for the zoo membership to help support it. To be fair, we didn't do it completely selflessly--we get free parking in a close lot, free railroad passes, free admission to the petting zoo, and apparently, a hefty discount to some other zoos around the country. So, I guess this post has turned into a bit of a plug for the zoo and for paying to join it, but that's ok. We're lucky to have the opportunity to do so.