Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reciprocal Agreements Can Save You Money...

There are a number of Utah attractions where you can buy season/yearly passes- Lagoon, Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary, etc.

But, what many fail to realize is that when you purchase these season/yearly passes, is that there are often other benefits to these purchases known as reciprocal agreements. These agreements get you into other attractions for free, for free on certain days, or give you a discount off the regular admission price.

But, not all reciprocal agreements are crafted equally, or, one yearly pass may offer you access to attractions that you would use more than those offered with another pass' agreements. When buying season/yearly passes, take these different factors into account:

1) What season/yearly pass will you use the most? For example: if you buy a yearly pass to Hogle Zoo, will you use it enough to make it pay for itself PLUS save you money on additional visits? Are you more likely to visit Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary, or Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park, etc.?

2) What reciprocal agreements does that yearly pass have? Does it offer enough value to make it worth buying that particular pass or should you consider a different season/yearly pass that gives you access to other attractions that might be of more interest to your family?

3) Do the reciprocal agreements offer free admissions to other attractions, discount admissions, or a combination of both, and which of these would you use most often?

4) Some reciprocal agreements offer free admission on certain days of the month (usually weekdays). Can you make the time to take advantage of these reciprocal agreements?

5) If you live in Logan, for example, would buying a yearly pass to Thanksgiving Point in Lehi be worth the time you would need to make to travel? In this case, buying a pass to the Willow Park Zoo may be a better value and still give you opportunities to visit other attractions for free or discounted rates. Consider the distance that you would need to travel in order to take advantage of passes and reciprocal agreements.

Here is a list of some of the attractions in the state that offer season/yearly passes that also come with reciprocal agreements. While I try to list as many as I can, this is not intended to be a comprehensive list, nor does this list guarantee that all the reciprocal agreements will be honored, as they can be changed by participating parties at any time.

Hogle Zoo- Tracy Aviary (50% off admission every Thursday); Willow Park Zoo (50% off admission Nov. 1 thru Feb. 28); there are also reciprocity agreements with other zoos and attractions in many other states, usually a 50% off admission.

Tracy Aviary- Hogle Zoo (50% off admission every Thursday); Willow Park Zoo (free admission); Thanksgiving Point Farm (free admission on 1st Thursday of every month); Red Butte Garden (free admission); Ogden Nature Center (free admission 1st Thursday of every month); Living Planet Aquarium (50% off admission); Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park (free admission on weekdays only, excluding holidays and special events); there are also reciprocity agreements with other zoos and attractions in many other states, either free or discounted admission.

Willow Park Zoo- Hogle Z00 (free or discounted admission. Willow Park Zoo's website is not clear on the reciprocity policy); Tracy Aviary (free or discounted admission. Willow Park Zoo's website is not clear on the reciprocity policy); there are also reciprocity agreements with other zoos and attractions in many other states, either free or discounted admission. Call Willow Park Zoo to inquire about reciprocity agreements.

Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park- Tracy Aviary (free admission on weekdays); Ogden Nature Center (free admission on weekdays); Ogden Union Station (50% discount on daily admission).

Red Butte Garden- Tracy Aviary (free admission); there are also reciprocity agreements with other gardens and attractions in many other states, either free or discounted admission.

Odgen Union Station (three museums included in pass- Utah State Railroad Museum, John M. Browning Firearm Museum, and the Browning-Kimball Classic Car Museum)- Ogden Nature Center (free admission); Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park (free weekday admission, excluding holidays and special events).

Getting season/yearly passes is both a great way to explore and save money.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Feed the Family Today- June 23, 2011

If you are out and about today discovering the cool places and things that Utah has to offer, be sure to save some room for lunch at Jimmy John's sandwich shop. You know these guys. They have the freaky, fast delivery commercials. Today, they have the freaky, cheap customer appreciation day.

Sandwiches, menu items #1-6 are only $1.00 each at lunchtime. That right $1.00!

Be at a participating location between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and fill up the family on the way to your next adventure.

Participating Utah locations are: Salt Lake City, West Valley, Midvale, Lehi, Ogden, South Ogden, American Fork, Bountiful, Clinton, Layton, Provo and Logan.

When: June 23, 2011. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: At participating locations (see above).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This Year, Make It A Stay-Cation! Start Here...

It's June 21st, 2011, the first official day of summer! What are you going to do with the kids this summer?

Gas prices are still high. Airline tickets can cost you your firstborn. And, have you seen some of the entry fees at amusement parks and other places of interest around the country? It's enough to cause a case of depression.

Why not travel around Utah this year? There are a lot of amazing things to do right in our own backyard, many of them inexpensive or even free. You can look back through this blog and find great places to go and things to do, and you can check back with us each week throughout
the summer as we add more and more places to go, even updating some of the things we've mentioned before.

This week is one of my favorite events of the summer- Taylorsville Dayzz. Now, I'll admit that I'm biased, since this is my hometown, but this annual celebration has just gotten bigger and better every year.

Taylorsville Dayzz begins on Thursday, June 23rd with the opening of the Carnival Midway. This is a pretty good sized carnival with a lot of rides, games, petting zoo and lots of midway style food. The Thursday Special- all carnival rides only $1. The Carnival opens at 4:00 p.m. and goes until 11:00 p.m.

Things really ramp up starting Friday, June 24th. The Carnival
is open again at 4:00 p.m. The Taylorsville Symphony begins a show at 6:00 p.m. and the night is highlighted by an Elvis impersonator starting at 8:00 p.m. Fireworks after the performance cap the night.

Saturday, June 25th, is when all the stops come out. The Taylorsville Dayzz Parade starts at 9:00 a.m., going up 5400 south from about 1800 west to 2700 west, then turning north on 2700 west and continuing down just past Valley Regional Park. The Carnival is open all day and the classic car show starts at 11:00 a.m. (with a burnout competition at noon). That evening, rock to some of the great ABBA classics with ABBA impersonator group, ADBACADABRA starting at 8:00 p.m. Once the show ends, stick around for one of the most spectacular free fireworks shows in the state.

The celebration concludes on Monday, June 27th. The Carnival will still be open if you haven't gotten enough food and rides. That evening at 8:00 p.m. the Utah Symphony will perform and the finale will be the 1812 Overture accompanied by real cannons fired by the Wasatch Cannoneers. And then, one final fireworks show.

I love Taylorsville Dayzz and so do my kids. Even better, it's cheap, it's close and it makes a great Staycation spot.

Where: Valley Regional Park, 5100 South 2700 West, Taylorsville, UT
When: June 23, 24, 25, 27, 2011
How Much: Mostly Free, Carnival rides and food cost extra.

View Valley Regional Park in a larger map