Here's what I want to post on the Biomes Center's facebook page, but won't for obvious reasons.
Everyone likes a bargain, and I’m pretty liberal and haphazard about breaking the admission price here and there. I may let twins in as one, or if it happens to be a kid’s birthday I’ll let him in for free, or if I just think you’re being extra pleasant and I’m in a good mood I’ll give you back a little extra change. It makes me feel good to do that once in a while.
I can understand asking about discounts for seniors, military, teachers or whatever. Nothing wrong with that at all, even though my answer will be “yes, our discount is we only charge nine bucks”.
However, the center is supported by admissions, and only by admissions. We receive no grants or donations and don’t run fundraisers of any kind. So if you show up to Biomes with six people and six photocopied “one free entry” coupons, or a stack of free passes (which we generously give out to each child that we visit at a school classroom, day care center or library, so where did you get twenty of them anyway?) so your family and twelve neighbors who are with you can waltz in for free while everyone around you has paid the regular admission fee, or if you insist that a four-year-old groupon is still valid, or claim that your four-year-old child is actually two (even when he says “no, mommy. I’m four”), and yes, that has all happened in the past week, then you are depriving your family of the full Biomes experience. Because…
I’m there seven days a week and try to spend as much time as I can doing extra lessons, demonstrations, feedings and just interacting with our guests as much as possible for every minute of our open public hours. Showing you things that you are not going to see on your own, like the sand project, octopuses opening jars, barrelfish swimming through hoops. Those kinds of things. If you pull any of the nonsense mentioned above you will be allowed to come in, but you will be ignored. In fact, I will go out of my way to give families around you even more attention than normal.
Call me passive-aggressive, but you’ve deprived your children of the full educational and fun experience they could have had if you weren’t gaming the system so you could save nine bucks.