We love our Members. Their incredible support allows us to make a difference to animals both locally and all over the world. This month, we’re spotlighting Zoo Members that deserve recognition. We’re thrilled to introduce you to August’s Featured Members: the Riley family.
We asked the Riley’s to share a little bit about what being Zoo Members meant to her family. Here’s what she had to say.
“We have been members of the Houston Zoo for the past three years. We have two sons, Cormac, 5, and Kellan, 3, and the zoo is one of our regular attractions. Since the boys were walking, we have enjoyed planning weekend adventures where we explore areas of Houston such as walks along the railroad tracks, hiking trails in Memorial Park, museums, Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo. We visit the zoo a few times each month and both our boys are animal fans and have their favorites, Kellan the elephants and Cormac the cheetahs. Kellan enjoys looking through the fence and watching all of the construction equipment building out the new elephant facility and is excited for it to open.
Our family lives inside the loop and it’s a great way to get outside and learn about the animals around the world.
There is a great range of animals to see. We recently visited Animal Kingdom at Disneyworld and the boys were excited that they had seen okapis and Egyptian longhorns in Houston when we came across these animals on the safari. The boys also love trains so we can make a fun day of it by riding the Metro light rail from downtown and walk through Hermann Park to the zoo entrance.
Our regular zoo stops include the tunnel through the piranhas, the elephants, the cheetah statue, the carousel and the gorilla exhibit, since they like high platforms and the watching the gorillas up close through the glass in the air conditioned areas. Feeding lettuce to the giraffes is another favorite along with eating lunch on the patios next to the giraffes or rhinoceros. Some of our favorite times to visit are days where the weather isn’t always cooperative. There were a few of these rainy mornings where it felt like we were the only ones there. The animals are often out and we enjoyed the gorilla exhibit as if it were a private event.
One of the best features of being a zoo member is that you can go as many times as you like and even visit for short periods of time on weekend mornings, especially with the boys at their young ages, since birthday parties are a regular event later in the day. Birthday parties at the zoo make it even better. The early morning membership Saturdays are another favorite. Both kids are early risers, so we can get up and out to the zoo at 8am. We were able to hear talks on the elephants, see the piranhas being fed and the zoo staff is ready to visit and answer questions. Five year-olds have a lot of questions.
The different special events at the zoo are great for the boys and the Zoo Membership News keeps us current on what is in store so we can plan for it. The boys were excited to meet Spiderman and Iron Man last Fall, enjoyed the dinosaur animatronics and Zoo Lights and Zoo Boo are annual traditions for the Riley boys and our extended family.
We will continue making the zoo a regular weekend activity for years to come. We thank all of the Houston Zoo staff for keeping it fun, clean and always scheduling interesting events.” – The Riley family
From our team here at the Houston Zoo, we want to say thank you to all of our Zoo Members. As a Houston Zoo Member, your support truly makes an impact on the growth of our Zoo and wildlife conservation efforts. THANKS!