The Starting Point
Arrive with a plan
The North Carolina Zoo is a large, sprawling zoo with two entrances. Having a plan for your visit is crucial. Don’t just let the zoo happen to you. Study the map and plot your strategy.
If the kids are dying to see elephants, plan to start at the “Africa” entrance. If polar bears are a top priority, park near the “North American” entrance. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so if seeing something specific is important to your zoo-visiting crowd, plan ahead so nobody is disappointed at the end of the day.
Speaking of a lot of ground to cover. Comfortable shoes are obligatory. If you’re bringing young children, even if they insist they’ve aged-out of their stroller, bring it. The walking paths are easy to follow and shaded for the most part, but there’s a lot of walking to be done. You don’t want to set the young ones up to fail. If walking is a challenge, there are shuttles available.
Conservation and Education
Conservation and education is the recurring theme at the NC Zoo.
In addition to the many conservation projects the zoo participates in, there are multiple education opportunities. From school and group trips to the kids’ zone to online teacher resources, and to the zoo school program for high school-age students, there’s an abundance of educational programs to tap into.
I’ll add a small caveat here and say I have ambivalent feelings about going to a zoo. For me, seeing these beautiful creatures in a confined area is a bit depressing. However, once I learned more about this zoo, its mission, and on-going conservation efforts, I felt much better about my visit.
North Carolina Zoo Exhibits
The exhibits are well designed to allow maxim traffic flow, but still, give visitors the ability to view the animals up close. There’s also wonderful signage detailing facts and statistics about the animals. But let’s face it, if you’re visiting with young children, you probably won’t have time to read it all.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the zoo features special exhibits as well. During our visit, Dino World was giving visitors who purchased an upgraded ticket the chance to step into a truly Jurassic display of life-like dinos.
Photo Ops Galore!
North Carolina Zoo Hours
The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro is ideal for day trips with the family. Plan your visit in advance, bring your camera, allow ample time for exploring, and you’ll enjoy a positive zoo-going experience.
The North Carolina Zoo: 4401 Zoo Pkwy Asheboro, NC 27205
Open year-round except Christmas Day
April through October 9 am to 5 pm
November through March 9 am to 4 pm
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