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Houston Zoo’s Zoobilee

By Katy Magazine

One Katy family’s first trip to the annual celebration did not disappoint

This is the first year that we are members of the Houston Zoo.  On a recent trip, we calculated how many times we visit the zoo, and becoming a member suddenly made financial sense.

A couple of bears at the Houston Zoo showing off for their spectators.

My girls are ages 18 months and 3 ½ years, so it is especially nice not to worry about how much each zoo trip costs.  Some trips, the girls are ready to stay all day, but on other occasions, 2 or 3 hours is all they can make it before we have to head home.  I never worry about if the trip will be an all day event or a quick stop now that we’re members, since we don’t pay per visit.

One of the perks of being a member of the Houston Zoo is Zoobilee, an annual event for members only.  Two nights a year (this past Thursday and Friday were the chosen nights this year), the zoo closes to the public at 4:30 and from 5:00 until 8:00 pm, members roam the zoo, filling their “passports” with stamps of chosen animals, watching the animals come out to play at night, and even getting to touch a snake and an enormous rabbit.  There were dancers dressed as animals (a crocodile, zebra, lioness, and even giraffes on stilts!), snacks, and carousel rides. 

We had never been to Zoobilee before and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the zoo takes online reservations and sets a limit on people, so the crowds were mild.  The animals were either enjoying the time of day or the weather, because they were more active and alert than we’ve ever seen them before.  The bears swam and rough housed, the mountain lion prowled, the otters swam and pushed at each other.  It was a wonderful evening for the children, and a special chance to spend an evening as a family of four doing something just for them.

What about you?  What local memberships do you enjoy?  If you are a member of the Houston Zoo, did you get a chance to head to Zoobilee this year?  Post comments below!

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