"Because as a parent, YOU need to be happy too."






When I was growing up, we only had one zoo and it was an African wildlife safari kind of deal. You probably remember this too if you were a child in the 70s or early 80s. They usually involved a day trip that saw you and your siblings sardined into an un-air-conditioned car and driven slowly through an array of hungry lions, fearing for your lives.

I am very happy to tell you, however, that A LOT has changed since then and since moving to Melbourne, I’ve been oh so lucky to find that not only is the zoo here beautiful, it is, for a parent, a total lifesaver.

Many a weekend, we’ve wondered what to do – something that will be fun, interesting but that also won’t cost the earth. It’s more than that though – because as a parent, YOU need to be happy too. YOU need to be entertained and to be able to deal with the day. So here are six reasons why Zoos Victoria’s Melbourne Zoo is my happy place.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this is an advertorial for Zoos Victoria.

1. Zoo Twilight Sessions.

This is undoubtedly THE single best reason to visit the zoo over the summer. At dusk, over 12 glorious nights, artists like Paul Kelly, Bernard Fanning, James Reyne and wait for it, the VILLAGE PEOPLE, play for those lucky enough to get in and secure tickets, on the lawns of the zoo. Beforehand though, you can explore the zoo with special lion and elephant presentations. It truly is magical and something that will stay with you forever. The best thing is that these concerts are wholly dedicated to fighting animal extinction, something the zoo is intricately involved in.

2. It’s an easy gift solution.

The butterfly effect.

If you are anything like me, and struggle to find the perfect Christmas and birthday gift solutions, then a Zoo Victoria gift membership is the perfect solution. Not only does a membership help contribute directly to fighting wildlife extinction, it can be used 365 days a year at Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary AND kids under 16 join free on adult memberships. Gift shopping solved.


3. The Butterfly House.

I probably don’t need to sell this too much. Kids, all kids, love butterflies. It probably stems back to reading ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ over and over and over as kids. To walk through this enclosure with gorgeous butterflies landing ever so delicately on my daughter’s nose is really a memory I’ll always cherish.

4. Easy access.

I do NOT need to tell you how much stress goes into just getting places when you are travelling with kids. Chaotic traffic makes even the most patient parent turn into a former shell of themselves so to know that we can get to the zoo by tram or train or easily park means we arrive calm and civilised. The member fast-track entry lane takes it to another level of ease too.

You get up close and personal with the animals.

5. It’s interactive.

My kids, like almost every other child in Australia, have embraced the animal cards handed out by the major supermarket chains. As such they have become very interested in all kinds of animals and after telling them we were heading back to the zoo soon, they downloaded the official Melbourne Zoo app onto their devices. They planned out which walking trails we would do when and set reminders so we didn’t miss the shows and animal presentations they really wanted to see.

6. It makes THEM happy.

Lastly, the reason that the zoo is my happy place, is because it makes THEM happy. Every time we visit, the kids see or experience something completely new, something neither of us can anticipate. Zoos Victoria’s Melbourne Zoo, is nothing like what I grew up with, I am almost envious of that. It’s clean, it’s safe and it’s a wonderful adventure.

What’s your favourite thing about visiting the zoo?

This Christmas, give them a happy zoo year with a Zoos Victoria gift membership. Membership receivers enjoy unlimited entry to Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary 365 days a year. Plus, kids join for free on an adult zoo membership.

Members also receive exclusive offers and VIP previews to new zoo exhibits, 15% off at zoo shops and 10% off on selected behind the scenes experiences. Plus, a Zoos Victoria membership will also even give members free entry to five interstate zoos. Buy online or learn more at