Like most big attractions, the admission prices to the Denver Zoo can provoke sticker shock, especially for larger families or groups. Regular Adult admission for Denver’s zoo is $15 per person. Kids under 12, are $12. Babies and toddlers age 2 and under are free. (That means your two-year old is free until his 3rd birthday.) So, a family of four will drop $54 just to walk through the door. It’s no wonder that people look for Denver Zoo discounts and coupons all the time. However, the best deal for the Denver Zoo are the free days offered during the year.
The Denver Zoo offers nine free days in 2014. As a member of the SCFD the zoo offers free admission to all comers on specific days. The zoo’s free days this year start right away at the beginning of January, and the next free day at the Denver Zoo may be coming up soon. While entrance to the zoo is free on these days, there are still plenty of ways to spend money, including train rides and carousel rides inside the park.
The free days at the Denver Zoo for 2014 are front loaded in the beginning of the year with six zoo free days in January and February and three in November.
2014 Denver Zoo Free Days List
- January 10
- January 11
- January 22
- February 2
- February 3
- February 20
- November 3
- November 14
- November 20
If you noticed that there are no summer free days for the Denver Zoo, you aren’t mistaken. The zoo makes much more money on admission during the warm summer days than during the winter months. As a non-profit organization constantly looking for more funding, you can can’t really blame them.
There are also no free Denver Zoo days in December because the popular Zoo Lights event draws in good crowds for that month.
If you go to the zoo more than two or three times a year, it is probably worth looking into a membership which gives you free admission to the zoo any day of the year. A family membership is $110 per year, which is less than the cost of a family of four going twice per year. Plus you get discounts on the rides, gift shop and food.
Remember, if you do have a membership, it is a good idea to stay away from the zoo on the free days. Even though the zoo free admission days are in the less crowded winter months, they are still very popular. You’ll get much smaller crowds and easier parking going on a non-free day. Since you get free admission with your zoo membership anyway, there is really no reason to fight the crowds if you don’t have to.
Can You Bring a Lunch or Picnic to the Denver Zoo?
You are welcome to bring your own food and beverages, so if you are on a budget that will help a lot. Just remember that straws are banned at the zoo for the safety of the animals. Nobody will kick you out for your juice box, but do be aware of the danger for the animals and make sure you don’t “lose” any straws on the ground. If you don’t want the standard, burger, hot dog, chicken sandwich and fries, options for food, head back to the Toyota Elephant Passage. The restaurant back there has some nice alternatives to the usual attraction food.