AZA Reciprocal Admissions - Another Great Discounted Access Program

by Gary Hawkins, July 19, 2018

In a recent blog article, we looked at the ASTC Travel Passport Program.  If you hold membership in an organization participating in the ASTC Travel Passport Program, you're eligible for free or discounted admission to hundreds of science and technology facilities across the USA, and a few overseas. 

In response to posting this article, Mike Dusty Evans, who is also a member of the Facebook Group Full-time RV Families, kindly made me aware of another similar program called the AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program.  AZA stands for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Many thanks, Dusty.

Meerkats Playing at the San Diego Wild Animal Park

Meerkats at the San Diego Wild Animal Park

One of the benefits of becoming a member of your local AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium is discounted (typically 50%) or sometimes free admission to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums that participate in the AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program.  For details and links to the current list of participating facilities, along with program rules, go to the AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program website.  There are hundreds of participating facilities across most of the USA including:

  • Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco, CA;
  • Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix, AZ;
  • Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park, Carlsbad, NM;
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus, OH.

We are eligible to take advantage of this excellent program through our membership of the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Like the ASTC program, participating institutions located in close geographic proximity to each other are not required to offer free or discounted admission to each other's members.  Call ahead to check benefits before you arrive, and be sure to be carrying proof of zoo or aquarium membership, and your ID.  Of course, this limitation is not much of an issue if you're traveling.

Xaria Playing At San Diego Zoo

    Xaria Playing At San Diego Zoo

    The AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program is another fantastic way of ensuring when we're traveling we can cost-effectively take Xaria to a host of zoos and aquariums in almost any state. Great for her homeschooling and kind on our wallets.  Gary Hawkins will discuss travel, more types of reciprocal pass, homeschooling and many other topics in his upcoming book A Life Redesigned.

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