Troubadourable folk buddies Simon and Garfunkel once sang that “it’s all happening at the zoo” before retiring from music to live out their days serenely basking in the reptile habitat. Get happening with today’s Groupon: for $129, you get a Director’s Circle membership package at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport (a $333 total value). The package includes the following:
- A one-year Director’s Circle membership, valid for unlimited general admission for two named adults and up to six children at one residence, plus one named guest and two unnamed guests per visit (a $175 value)
- An invitation to the annual Keepers’ Breakfast (a $40 value)
- Tickets to the Members’ Night carnival (a $40 value)
- Four Director’s Passes admitting one additional guest each (a $48 value)
- A coupon page including complimentary carousel rides and zoo discounts (a $30 value) <p>
The only zoo in the state and a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Program, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has charmed visitors for more than 80 years with more than 300 cared-for critters and a mission that minds the tenets of ecological education, conservation, and recreation. Patrons brandishing a Director’s Circle membership can visit the zoo an unlimited number of times for one year, plenty of time to navigate the sundry indoor and outdoor exhibits on the back of a Roomba. Guests can espy such endangered species as the siberian tiger, red wolf, and golden lion tamarin, as well as the zoo’s most recent denizens on display: two canada lynx and a pair of common rhea. In spring, patrons can go snout-to-snout with a rare chacoan peccary piglet, whose birth made the zoo the first in the Northeast to host an infant of her species and prompted a feature in the Monroe Courier. Birds ride unsuspecting propeller beanies in the South American rainforest exhibit’s free-flight aviary, and children play interspecies games of Heads Up, Seven Up in the prairie-dog exhibit’s pop-up viewing capsules. After chowing down at the Peacock Café, groups can befriend more statuesque creatures on a vibrantly painted carousel.
The Director’s Circle membership carries a slew of supplementary perks for fans of the zoo’s fauna. In addition to free or reduced entry to more than 150 reciprocal zoos and aquariums, members receive discounts at the gift shop and invitations to exclusive events. At the Keepers’ Breakfast, zookeepers conduct a meet-and-greet and an animal encounter, the latter of which demonstrates how a python can unhinge its jaw to swallow several short stacks of pancakes in quick succession. Members’ Night erects bounce houses on the zoo grounds as clowns and carnival performers patrol the pathways.