Outdoor Recreation for All Ages
Welcome Spring! Enjoy one of the Zoo's seasonal attractions, open from Spring through Fall. From thrilling Zoofari rides to magnificent butterfly gardens, these family-friendly activities will delight guests of all ages. Most seasonal attractions are scheduled to open on April 1, 2023. Additional fees apply.
Ride a polar bear, lion or elephant? Kids adore taking a whimsical spin on our Endangered Species Carousel.
The Canine for Conservation Dog Show is a fun, high-energy show starring dogs rescued from shelters.
As part of our wide range of outdoor recreation activities, the Zoo offers a dazzling walk-through habitat with butterflies.
Treehouse Trek is a new adventure for guests of all abilities. Portions of this attraction are wheelchair accessible.
On the Giraffe Deck, you’ll be able to get eye-to-eye with these long-legged giants; an outdoor recreation experience you’ll never forget.
Physical Activities and a Fun Safari Adventure
Elevate your Zoo Experience by Participating in one of these unique additional attractions. For adventurers looking for places to hike, the Zoo offers a new experience through Air Hike. And for people of all ages, we offer both public and private Zoofaris. Additional fees apply.
For those seeking to challenge their physical abilities, the North Carolina Zoo’s Air Hike is a must for fun and adventure!
African Wildlife Adventure
Activities and Places to Hike, All Included with Your Admission
Add to your day at the Zoo by enjoying one of these outdoor recreation experiences that are included with your admission. These experiences include activities for children and for adventurer adults looking for places to hike too.
This 5,625-square-foot area transforms gigantic sculptures of bugs, leaves, flowers and insects into an exciting playground for children!
Nature Play Area for families to explore, get wet, get muddy, meet Animal Ambassadors, build a survival shelter, walk the Treetop Trail and more!
The North Carolina Zoo invites its guests to venture down one of our many hiking trails. The Zoo’s trails include more than 5 different trail options with various lengths and difficulty levels.
Become a Zoo Trekker by completing six activities during your visit and earn a souvenir pin. The Zoo’s outdoor recreation activities also serve as a fun competition.
Visit the North Carolina Zoo for an Unforgettable Adventure for the Entire Family
The NC Zoo offers outdoor recreation activities for guests of all ages and abilities. Families with small children can enjoy safe and calm environments where their children can play after exploring our various exhibits. Older guests also have the opportunity to enjoy a thrilling adventure at The Zoo. With our various places to hike and safari experiences, they can connect with the nature around at a whole new level.
Visit the North Carolina Zoo today and take advantage of its many outdoor recreation options for all visitors.
What the Zoo’s Visitors Have to Say
"Clean& fun. Well guided trails and trams to travel on. Good food is available at multiple spots in the zoo. Bathrooms are set throughout the whole zoo. And in great spots. The animals and environments are well cared for, and so magical to see. Strollers and handicap electric scooters available to rent. It really is worth the trip. And cheap tickets for such a large zoo. Recommended 100% for any age.
Also, the paths are all shaded by trees so it's not miserable to walk in the blaring sun."
"The NC Zoo is full of incredible animals to see. Every type you could ever think of is here and they are sorted by continent. The refreshment stand/cafe is a nice cool off spot under the umbrellas and the petting zoo for kids is neat. I loved using the binocular stands to see far away animals. The river otter exhibit is one of a kind."
"This is a really great place. Easy to get to and get around. I took a friend for her birthday during the week when attendance was light. Most of the animals were viewable. Some of the small glass front enclosures were hard/impossible to view due to the sun. The lizards were super fun and the butterfly exhibit is absolutely worth the $3 upcharge."