Celebrate the beginning of 2014 by enjoying free admission for children at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo during the first weekend of January. Children through age 12 can visit both parks for free (regular admission charged for those over 12) when accompanied by a paying adult both Saturday and Sunday. During your trip to Franklin Park Zoo, kids can participate in Veterinary Saturday (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) by bringing their own stuffed animal for a check-up, dress as vets, and learn about the importance of good veterinary care. You can also check out regularly scheduled zookeeper encounters throughout the day. At Stone Zoo, you can learn more about river otters by stopping by the exhibit at 2:30 p.m. and meet a zookeeper who will share facts about these animals. Or check out the daily animal encounters in the Animal Discovery Center at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It's a great chance to spend a memorable day with family and friends while discovering all the animals at each zoo. Note that free admission is not valid for the evening ZooLights at Stone Zoo. Please note that admission prices at both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo will increase as of Jan. 1, 2014. Sat., Jan. 4, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free for ages 2-12. Regular Franklin Park Zoo admission: adults, $17; seniors, $14. Regular Stone Zoo admission: adults, $8.95; seniors, $7.95. Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Dorchester. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham. www.zoonewengland.org
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.