We're so lucky to have a beautiful zoo right here in Utica. But the zoo wouldn't be able to stay up and running if it wasn't for help from the community.

And what I mean by that is, the people in community coming to visit the Utica Zoo. People coming to special events put on by the zoo, bringing their family and friends to this special feature, and even buying products that support our local zoo. These are all ways you can get more involved with the Utica Zoo, but there's also one other thing you can do. You can become a member of the Utica Zoo.

So what's so special about being a member? Well, here's 5 things you can look forward to if you decide to become a member of the Utica Zoo:

1 - Discounts on Event Tickets: When you're a member, you'll save on tickets to Wine in the Wilderness, tickets on Brewfest, and tickets to other events and activities they have going on throughout the year.

2 - You Can See the Animals as Much as You Want to: This is probably my favorite part about having a membership to the Utica Zoo. You don't have to plan in advance.  Beautiful summer day? Go check out the lions at the zoo. Bored on a Saturday? Visit the Red Pandas. You can use your membership for a full year, as much as you want. You could go every single day the zoo is open, if you wanted to.

3 - You'll Be Helping Out a Good Cause: It's not just that you'll be helping to keep the zoo up and running, but you're also helping out the animals. I don't mean your membership goes to pay for their food and their exhibits (although, I'm sure part of the money raised through memberships may go towards that), but you're also helping with the Utica Zoo's efforts on conservation. You can get more information on what the zoo is doing to help with conservation by visiting: UticaZoo.org/Conservation

4 - Special Membership Nights: If you're a member of the Utica Zoo, you'll get invited to special events at the zoo including their annual "Membership Appreciation Night." This year they had animal meet-and-greets, food, live entertainment, and even a few members of the Utica Blue Sox Baseball team on hand, taking photos and signing autographs. The event was free, but you had to be a member to be invited.

Photo From the Utica Zoo's Annual Membership Appreciation Night
Naomi Lynn/TSM

5 - Discounts on Utica Zoo Goodies: From coffee to stuffed animals to ornaments and clothing, if you're a member of the zoo, you'll save on items inside the gift shop. That can be really handy if you're bringing the kids to the zoo and they all want a souvenir. Helps around the holidays for Christmas shopping, too. I mean, who wouldn't want a Utica Zoo hoodie?!

I actually asked for my Utica Zoo membership for Christmas last year. I wanted to be able to help out the zoo, and let's be honest, I wanted to be able to visit the zoo as much as I wanted to without having to pay each time. If you want more information on memberships and everything that's included with them, visit: UticaZoo.org/Membership




More From Lite 98.7