If you're already starting to plan those family excursions for this spring and summer, you'll want to check out this little-known secret.

The Bronx Zoo is the largest zoo in the United States. With 265 acres of wildlife habitats and attractions, the zoo is home to over 4,000 animals. With such close proximity to the Hudson Valley, it's a must-visit for school-aged children and families.

While giving your kids the experience of seeing these animals up close and in person sounds like a no-brainer, financially strapped parents may feel a bit of sticker shock when faced with the park's ticket prices. A family of four can expect to pay over $75 for admission. That's not a small amount of money.

But what if I told you that your family could get into the Bronx Zoo for free? Well, you can.

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There is an unadvertised special that will let you and your whole family enjoy the zoo for free all day long. You don't need some special membership card or discount code to take advantage of this deal either. The best part of this freebie is that you just have to know about it.

The Bronx Zoo offers free admission to everyone once a week on Wednesdays. That's right, all you have to do is go to the zoo on a Wednesday and ticket prices for everyone in your party are waived. Of course, the zoo would appreciate any sort of donation you'd like to give if you're visiting on a Wednesday, but you get to set your own price according to how much you think you can afford. There are no rules, so if you don't want to pay, you certainly don't have to. No questions asked.

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So, this summer you may want to consider packing up the family to experience the Bronx Zoo on a Wednesday. It's a very easy drive from the Hudson Valley and something your kids will probably remember for the rest of their lives. Check out the Bronx Zoo's website for more information and details about special events and programs scheduled for the summer.

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