Holiday Shopping is Wild at Zoos and Aquariums

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Photo credit: Houston Zoo

If the mall is a zoo, why not go to the zoo?

Nov 22, 2010

Silver Spring, MD – This year, go wild and do your holiday shopping at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoo or aquarium near you. Gift shops are always stocked with fun toys, beautiful ornaments and unique environmentally-friendly products you won’t find anywhere else.

“Spend Black Friday with a black rhino or blacktip reef shark; do your shopping at the zoo or aquarium,” said AZA Senior Vice President for Marketing, Jill Nicoll. “Not only will you find gifts that will make your friends and family feel warm-and-fuzzy, you will also be supporting wildlife conservation.”

“While others claw their way through crowds at the mall, you can have a peaceful shopping experience with the animals at a zoo or aquarium,” Nicoll added.

While you shop, you and your family can get in a festive mood at the holiday celebrations of your local AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium this season. Not only will you find special gifts, but your entire family will enjoy Zoo Lights or a meeting with Santa. Many zoos and aquariums are open 365 days a year, including Thanksgiving. Find a great zoo or aquarium near you at

Unique, affordable holiday shopping ideas from the AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium near you:

  • Eco-friendly Products
    Zoos and aquariums are going green and have the gifts to prove it. With everything from bird-friendly coffee to colorful totes, jewelry and stationery made from recycled materials, you will be sure to find something for the person who seems to have everything!
  • Animal Creations
    Forget ‘Made In China’- How about made by your favorite zoo or aquarium animal? Animal art painted by waddling penguins or majestic elephants is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
  • Holiday Cards and Ornaments
    Send holiday greetings with cards featuring your favorite wildlife. You can also decorate your home with hand-painted glass ornaments and even ones made from reindeer droppings! 
  • Zoo or Aquarium Family Membership
    Membership is the gift that keeps giving the whole year round! Membership will give an entire family one full year of free entry to the zoo or aquarium and lots of other great benefits such as magazine subscriptions, in-store discounts, and special events tickets.
  • Adopt–an–Animal
    From aardvarks to zebras, give the gift of honorary parenthood to your loved one. With your gift, the zoo or aquarium can buy treats, toys, and medical supplies for a special feathered, furry or scaly friend.
  • Name-an–Animal
    Name a favorite zoo or aquarium resident after a friend or family member and contribute to the zoo or aquarium’s conservation efforts.
  • Toys and Games
    At the gift shop, you will find toys for boys and girls, and for the young and young-at-heart. Whether your loved ones are into computer games, puzzles, stuffed animals or sports, you will be sure to find a fantastic gift.
  • Books
    Learn about exotic animals in far-away lands or the nature in your own backyard. Whether you’re buying for a new or avid reader, the zoo or aquarium gift shop is bound to have a book they will love.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.

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