An Investment in Family Fun

by Tammie Polk, guest writer from Choice Home Education Consulting


All of us are looking for ways to have fun and to do it as frugally as possible. Well, I’ve had a lot of people asking me how I manage to do so much across the country for little or no money. My answer? Attraction memberships! Yes, they are expensive, especially when getting them for more than one place. May I share something with you? The benefits far outweigh the expense! Those memberships also last for 12 months, meaning that you can go as many times as you want!



Scenario One:

I was trying to convince a friend to purchase a zoo membership. She thought that $99 was too expensive…until she actually went! The Zoo is free on Tuesdays, but you have to live here to get the discount, which she wasn’t aware of. She was there with her husband and their five children, all in different age ranges. Her tab for the zoo, including parking, was almost double the price of the membership.


Scenario Two:

For Spring Break this year, we went to The Children’s Museum of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The cost of both trips…$21! Why? I have a membership to The Children’s Museum of Memphis and to The Pink Palace Family of Museums. These museums have reciprocal admission programs that allow me to get into places similar to these all over the country either for free or with a discount. I saved a little over $20 for one trip and almost $70 for the other. I’ve also been able to go to zoos in other places for a discount or for free.




Scenario Three:

I have the ability to help someone else. Many of those memberships come with guest passes that you could give to others. I do! Whenever someone is looking for something to do and talking about the expense of it, I will give them enough guest passes to go to the place they are wanting to go to, if I have them.


Scenario Four:

I’m a homeschooler and attraction memberships have helped with school assignments. My daughter had to do a report on sea lions. There was a seal lion show at the zoo that day. I saved $30 on a forty-five minute show simply by having that membership.


How much do I spend? To be honest, it’s about $500-$700 a year; however, we are a family of five and, when we add those costs of going without the membership, we either look for free days or play rock, paper, scissors to see who goes! I would encourage you to think about it. Look at your favorite places, do the math, come up with a savings plan, and get those memberships!


Check out Tammie’s blog at, her website,  on, or on Twitter you can find her at @choicehomeed, and Atkah’s Choice blog page on Facebook.