Winter With Us

Written by: Hannah Tulloch, Marketing Generalist, North Carolina Zoo

Come winter with us!

Winter is a unique time at the North Carolina Zoo, with the elk and bison more active and the polar bears being together for breeding season. We also have several new winter enhancements that you can experience during your visit with us.

On the weekends, you can warm up by a real fire by our fire pits manned by Zoo volunteers in the middle of the Zoo at Junction Plaza, weather permitting. We will also have s’mores stations set up in Junction Plaza where you can roast a marshmallow and make a s’more with our individually wrapped kits. We are offering hot cocoa for purchase in Junction Plaza as well.


Smores Station

S'mores Station

Once you have warmed up and enjoyed a s’more, you can experience snow on your way to Africa. We have a beautiful photo op set up with “snow,” made from bubbles! The “snow” is non-toxic and is safe for both animals and humans. The snow will also only be blowing on the weekends and is weather permitting.

Kids in blowing snow

"Snow" at the Zoo

During your visit with us, hopefully you will be able to see our new male polar bear, Payton. Payton came to us from the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee, as breeding recommendation from the AZA’s Species Survival Plan (SSP). Payton loves to play with his barrel enrichment, so be sure to stop by Rocky Coast on your trek through North America where you can also see the arctic foxes in their full winter coats. With the start of polar bear breeding season upon us, Payton and Anana will likely be together around mid to late February. Fingers crossed for a successful breeding season for him and Anana!

Pictured Above: Payton

Buy your advance tickets for your winter Zoo adventure here.

Read about the safety measure the Zoo is implementing due to COVID-19.