North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro
April 16, 2016
Guest blog by Melissa McRae:
Looking for something to do this weekend? The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro is a wonderful place for a day trip! Only an hour from Pinehurst, there is a lot to offer for a day full of fun. Here is everything you need to know from guest blogger, Melissa McRae, owner of The Iron Tractor (etsy shop) and great friend!
We visited the NC Zoo with the kid’s school today. My littles are 4 years old and 18 months. We love going to the zoo whenever we get a chance, it never disappoints! There are two different sections to enjoy; North America and Africa, and you can easily spend your whole day there! The Aviary is a great stop along your trek through the zoo where you can explore different types of birds in their habitats.
The zoo is open year round except on Christmas Day. From the end of March through October they are open from 9am-5pm and from November through March they are open from 9am-4pm.
Tickets for adults are $15, children 2-12 are $11 and seniors are $13. If you plan to visit at least twice a year, you should consider becoming a member of the zoo. We purchase the “Family Plus” membership every year for $104. That includes two adults plus all their children under the age of 18 and one extra person. If we went just once we would pay $52 for just our family, so the membership is definitely a great deal. As a bonus for being a member, you’ll receive free or reduced admission to many other museums and aquariums here in North Carolina and nationwide. (Click here for details)
We love both sides of the zoo but always end up spending more time on the African side (except for the Polar Bears on the North American side, which were sadly sleeping this trip).
The elephants were up pretty close this time, as were the ostriches and giraffes. They have a giraffe feeding deck that is open from 11am-2pm but they cannot guarantee the giraffes will be up there to eat. We have fed them in the past and I highly recommend it, the kids love it! My oldest loved seeing all the monkeys, snakes and frogs. While my 18 month old loved the fish in the aquariums and the owl that watched us as we went by. There are a couple of kid’s areas where the little ones can get out and stretch their legs (for those riding in strollers of course). They’ve done a great job adding interactive playgrounds and exploratory areas for the kids to get more out of the zoo experience.
If you visit both sides while you are there (since we have the membership, we usually do one side per visit) there is a tram that runs between the two sides and then out into the parking lot. There are a lot of food options available, many healthy choices as well as kid-friendly items. However it is somewhat expensive, so I always pack a lunch and drinks in my diaper bag/purse to enjoy while we are there. The space for walking is fine for strollers and even double strollers, if you plan to use the tram though you’ll have to break down the stroller and carry your belongings, just keep that in mind if you start running short on time. You can also rent strollers at the zoo, the rentals are similar to what you’ll find at Disney. In the center of the zoo, at “Junction Plaza” they have a carousel and some other attractions to enjoy including a 4D movie. At various times of the year they have special features and exhibits. These are at an extra cost so just be aware when you go!
There are a lot of extras available from the North Carolina zoo including home school educational opportunities, field trips, birthday parties, camps and more! Check out their website for more information on everything they have to offer. Be sure to read up on their website before your trip to be as prepared for the day as possible. The section “Plan Your Visit” is super informative and helpful! They are currently adding more animals and more exhibits so take the trip soon, only an hour from Pinehurst! Check here to be aware of any renovations or closed exhibits before you go.
Let us know what you think! The zoo is fun for all ages!