This article was originally published on 13 June 2019 and updated to reflect the latest price changes.
Ever since the good old days when Ah Meng the orangutan was a mainstay at the Singapore Zoo, prices of tickets have steadily and quietly crept up.
Today, a single pass admission ticket to the Singapore Zoo costs $39 for an adult or youth (13 to 17 years old), $26 for a child (3 to 12 years old), and $18 for senior citizens ages 60 years and above. You do enjoy discounts up to 20% on adult and children tickets if you buy them online.
But let’s face it, we seldom go to the zoo alone. So what would the best option be if you are planning to go with your family? Your options include buying the tickets a la carte, get an annual pass or buy a family package.
We do the math to find out which is the most cost-effective option, based on different family sizes and needs.
#1 Annual Pass
An annual pass for an adult cost $105. Benefits include unlimited admission throughout the year (except Chinese New Year, Labour Day, and Hari Raya Puasa), complimentary tram rides on weekdays, and a 20% discount when you dine at F&B outlets across all parks.
A parking pass is also available for a one-time fee of $20 instead of paying $10 per day each time you visit.
Likewise, a child and senior citizen annual pass costs $65.This means that compared to a single admission ticket, a child only needs to visit 3 times for the annual pass to be worth it. On the other hand, the senior citizen needs to go at least 4 times.
Let’s assume that family packages do not exist at this stage. In this scenario, if you were going with your spouse, your parents, and your two kids, consider getting the annual pass for everyone except the 2 senior citizens.
For the senior citizens, opt for the “a la carte” i.e. single admission ticket. This is because it is safe to assume that you and your spouse will be more inclined to bring your children to the zoo repeatedly in a span of a year, compared to your parents, who might not be as active or interested in animals.
After all, what are the chances of bringing your parents to the zoo 4 times in 1 year compared to bringing your kids 3 times in 1 year?
#2 Family Packages
|2 Adults + 1 Child||$215|
|2 Adults + 2 Children||$225|
|2 Adults + 3 Children||$235|
|2 Adults + 4 Children||$245|
|2 Adults + 5 Children||$255|
From the chart above, we can deduce 2 points:
- There is no package for just 2 or more adults (or 3 or more adults for a “family package”)
- With each additional child, only a top-up of $10 is required
The cost savings are more clearly represented below:
|Family package (A)||Total cost if you were to buy individual annual passes for each person (B)||Total cost savings
(B – A)
|2 Adults + 1 Child||$215||$275||$60|
|2 Adults + 2 Children||$225||$340||$115|
|2 Adults + 3 Children||$235||$405||$170|
|2 Adults + 4 Children||$245||$470||$225|
|2 Adults + 5 Children||$255||$535||$280|
From the chart above, the 2 adults and 1 child family package cost a total of $215. This contrasts with the $275 you will have to pay for 3 individual annual passes ($105 + $105 + $65 = $275).
We can deduce that the Singapore Zoo wants to encourage families with many children to opt for the family package instead of individual annual passes —which explains the mere $10 increment for each child. Furthermore, the $65 price tag for a child annual pass discourages people from buying it since it is totally not worth it.
Additionally, the Singapore Zoo earns money from the sale of adult annual passes. If you noticed, there is no “family package” for just 2 or more adults. Because if there were, couple with no kids might want a package for adults only so that they can go themselves or bring their parents or adult relatives along.
Thus, having no family package for 4,6, or even 8 adults forces every single adult to spend $105 on an annual pass.
It is interesting to revisit the fact that to the Singapore Zoo, a youth ticket costs as much as an adult ticket. This means that if you are a parent with two teenagers, every person must fork out $105 for the annual pass, or $39 for the single admission ticket.
How To “Game The System”
#1 If you are coming with your spouse and child: Get the family package. It is always more worth it than annual passes no matter the number of children. The exception is when you are only planning to visit once —in this case, get the single admission ticket for each person.
#2 If you are in situation #1 but want to bring along your parents: Get the family package but buy a single admission ticket ($18) for each parent. It is unlikely your parents will revisit the zoo 3 more times in the year.
#3 If you are coming with 3 other adults: Get the annual passes for each of you unless you are confident that you won’t be returning 2 more times in the one-year period.
Annual Passes Have Their Merits
Enjoying unlimited admissions is not the only attractive factor about annual passes. There are also other benefits you can enjoy as a Friend of Singapore Zoo member. You can view the full list of benefits here.
So, go forth, have fun, and marvel at the sight of the beautiful animals at the Singapore Zoo!