On sunny weekends, the Zoo may experience high attendance. For your safety and guest experience, the Zoo may need to limit parking once the lots are full. We typically reopen the parking lots once guests start leaving and spaces open.
Please note: Large crowds may mean longer wait times and a loud environment. Here are some tips to plan your Zoo visit.
Know Before You Go Tips for Sunny Weekends:
Arrive early to secure a parking spot. Zoo Admission opens at 9 am.
Consider visiting later in the day. Parking spaces may open after early guests begin to leave after 1 pm. Last admission is 4 pm, and the Zoo closes at 5 pm.
Carpool with friends and family.
Consider planning your visit on a lower attendance day. Mondays and Tuesdays are typically less busy days. Sunny, warm days also attract larger crowds.
Explore other parts of Randolph County: If parking is full, consider visiting these nearby areas until parking opens: https://www.heartofnorthcarolina.com/things-to-do/Parks-and-Recreation
We are excited to welcome you to the Zoo! The North Carolina Zoo serves and welcomes everyone, and it is our promise to value equity, respect, inclusivity, and kindness. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the gate on the day of your visit.
The Zoo is open year round, closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
April - October 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November - March 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Last entry is one hour before closing.
North Carolina Zoo Members: Free.
Become a member today and visit all year.
General Admission: Tickets are available for purchase online, or pay for admission at the gate the day of your visit. Online tickets are valid for one visit within 30 days of the purchase date. We do not offer rain checks, refunds or exchanges for weather or animal visibility.
Adults (ages 13 - 61): $15
Seniors (ages 62+): $13
Military (with ID): $13
Children (ages 2 - 12): $11
Under 2: Free
NC EBT Rate: Individuals and families enrolled in North Carolina Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) are eligible for up to six $5.00 general admissions by presenting an NC EBT card and matching photo ID. This discount is only available for in-person, same-day purchases. Not valid for group visits, attractions, or any Zoo special events. Pandemic-EBT cards are not accepted.
AZA Reciprocity Discounts: Reciprocal memberships for participating Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) organizations will be accepted provided the member follows the following guidelines:
• You must have your membership card with you.
• The membership card must be in your name.
• You must present a photo ID.
• The expiration date on the membership card must be valid.
Current list of participating organizations
Getting Around the Zoo
Just a reminder… this is the world’s largest natural habitat zoo. With roughly 5 miles of walking trails to navigate, make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a refillable water bottle. Animals are only visible from the walking paths.
Tram Service is available daily between the North America Entrance, Junction Plaza (the center of the Zoo) and Africa Entrance. Parking Lot shuttles with transportation between the North America and Africa parking lots is available April - October starting at 11am daily.
Strollers, Manual Wheelchairs and Electric Convenience vehicles (ECVs) are available for rent from the Gift Shop at the entrance.
Golf Cart Tours of the Zoo and Behind the Scenes Experiences are available by reservation only.