Saturday, April 26, 2008

Super Saturday Savings! Memberships!

Of course, this post won't be for everyone. It all depends on where you live, what you find enjoyable, etc.

But, I have found that buying year long passes to parks, museums ( read my previous post ), zoos, aquariums, etc can really be beneficial. If you are a family that loves to be on the go on the weekends, like us, these can be just the thing.

Luckily, we live one town away from Kings Island Amusement Park. With 3 small kids, to go once a summer for a WHOLE day to get our money's worth would not be worth it. And, we could skip it altogether, but our family LOVES it. Mainly, because in the summer, we ONLY hit the waterpark. In April, May, September and October ( when it is cool ) we hit the rides. It works out perfectly for us.

I usually go at least once during the week ( meet other Moms there ). Then, we tend to go every weekend in the summer. We miss periodically, but not often. The park opens in April ( we already went opening weekend last week ). And, it is open through October for Halloween festivities. The rides are open until 5, I believe, and that is when they start getting ready for the Haunting at night. :-)

When buying family passes, see what the absolute lowest price is. For our park, if you get 4 or more adult passes, the price goes down. So, we always go in with another family and buy them all together. Then, someone just cuts a check to the other family.

Also, check with your park on the price of children. Since my kids have summer birthdays, in the past ( not anymore ), Kings Island based their age on when you BOUGHT the passes. So, under 3 are free. Even though my daughter was 3 for the summer, since we bought the passes the year before...she was only 2 when we bought them. Thus, she didn't need a pass.

Now, Kings Island has changed this rule since being bought by Cedar Parks...but other parks might still run that way. This could be a huge cost savings for you.

But, here are some examples of the cost of entertainment for us. For our family of five, we spent $320 on passes. Egads! That seems like a lot. But, if you do the math for us...and I divide that at the minimum of 35 times we will go ( and we will probably go more ), it comes out to approx. $9 for the WHOLE family per visit to the park.

And, this gives us something to do every weekend and me somewhere to go with the kids during the week. Since we tend to pack lunches/dinner when we go, this is actually keeping us out of restaurants ( where we would spend more ), and from any other activities that would probably cost us more than $9 for the family on weekends.

And, the enjoyment of spending the summer days/evenings at an Amusement Park for our family our priceless. Some things just are! We really enjoy it.

But, if Amusement Parks aren't for you ( or not near you ), don't forget about all the other options. I just heard another family talking about their zoo passes and how much they love them. We have tried the zoo, and it wasn't for us...but it might be just the thing for you!!

Whatever gets your family excited, and if they have passes the math before deciding against them. If you KNOW you will use them regularly, it may just be worth shelling out the bick bucks at the beginning. Even if the original price might just make your eyes pop!

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