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Plan for a Wild Mother’s Day

What’s in this article:

  • The Bronx Zoo continues to offer various forms of gifts to make up for lost ticket and membership revenue in 2020
  • Now with Mother’s Day just around the corner, a 15-minute Virtual Wild Encounter with a Bronx Zoo alligator and surprise animal guest is on offer

“Plan something truly wild for your mom this Mother’s Day” is the subject line for a marketing email from the Bronx Zoo. They don’t mean a standard visit to the zoo but a special Virtual Wild Encounter made just for Mother’s Day.

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The email offers several points of value for Mother’s Day gifts in terms of coming up with something creative and something that offers a memorable experience.

The latest Statista survey on Mother’s Day show that’s important to a large segment of the Mother’s Day market: 43% look for a “unique or different” gift, and 41% want something that “creates a special memory.”

I clicked through to find out just how much this 15-minute gift of experience plus mug costs. It’s $60, a relative bargain for the zoo. All the other Virtual Wild Encounters cost $80 or $150  and don’t even include the souvenir.

Probably the zoo has learned that the $60 price point is the sweet spot for holiday occasions. As we saw in Valentine’s Day at the Zoo, $60 was the price tag for the February 14th Virtual Wild Encounter that included a plush roach, and that sold out ahead of time.

While the roaches for Valentine’s Day predate the pandemic, the new stress on virtual visits are very much a product of 2020. The zoo missed out on a significant chunk of revenue through admission charges that year as a result and remained closed to the public between March 16 and July 24.

The zoo is still operating under restricted guidelines and so cannot take on full capacity, leading to a shortfall it is struggling to make up. So it continues to offer various forms of gifts to make up for lost ticket and membership revenue.

Now if you really want to impress your mom, and she lives within driving distance of the zoo, my advice is not to just offer the standard $60 special but to spring for the $425 “In-person Wild Encounters” open to a family group. Now that the zoo is open to the public, nothing beats having an experience in-person for truly unique and memorable experiences.

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